Emergencies preparedness, response

Pandemic influenza prevention and mitigation in low resource communities

Summary guidance derived from "Pandemic influenza preparedness and mitigation in refugee and displaced populations: WHO guidelines for humanitarian agencies


Publication details

Publication date: 2 May 2009

Key principles

Public health measures taken by individuals and communities, such as social distancing, respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene, and household ventilation, are at present the most feasible measures available to reduce or delay disease (morbidity) caused by pandemic influenza.

In the case of mild illness, patients should be provided with supportive care at home by a designated caregiver and only referred to health care facilities if they deteriorate or develop danger signs. Separation of sick from well individuals, with rigorous respiratory etiquette and hygiene measures should be practised.

In health-care settings, a system of triage, patient separation, prioritization of use of antiviral medicines and personal protective equipment (PPE) according to risk of exposure, and patient management should be in place to focus efforts on the most effective interventions to reduce mortality and any further morbidity.