Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pandemic Flu: Europe Not Prepared?

Just a brief note on this article regarding European preparedness for pandemic flu:

The study of 29 European countries by scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine highlighted shortcomings in preparation for vaccine and antiviral drug distribution, insufficient stockpiles, and incoherent plans for border controls.
None of that sounds very good - but this is a pretty brief list. Some other issues are potentially more important. For example, it's likely that in the early stages of a pandemic, no vaccine will be available, as it will take time to develop a vaccine that targets the pandemic strain. Communities and nations have to be prepared for that phase of a pandemic.

In the absence of vaccine, social distancing is one of the best tools for slowing the progress of pandemic flu, so the planning needs to take into account healthcare resources, economic necessities such as food and water, and schools.

The full WHO report on Europe is here.

(Hat-tip to H5N1.)

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