World health organization

2007: a review of notable public health issues

A nurse fits a protective mask on a doctor in a Jakarta hospital
WHO/Jonathan Perugia

Avian influenza and pandemic preparedness

Avian influenza continued as a threat in several countries this year. Cumulative figures show a human toll of more than 200 deaths in Asia, Africa, the eastern Mediterranean and Europe since December 2003. The world needs to be prepared for a potential influenza pandemic, say experts, with special attention to influenza viruses that come from the animal world such as H5N1. The good news is that countries are now more prepared than ever for such an emergency. For example, projected supplies for an influenza vaccine in the wake of a pandemic rose sharply this year, to 4.5 billion courses by 2010.

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