Public health measures

The transmission of influenza during an epidemic or pandemic can be limited through the implementation of individual and societal measures. Good communication and information are critical to encourage implementation.

At an individual level, public health measures such as hand-washing and cough etiquette can be useful in limiting influenza infection.

At a societal level, a number of public health interventions, such as school closures and managing mass gatherings, can also contribute to the mitigation and control of transmission of influenza between individuals, households and across societies.

Public health measures are non-pharmaceutical interventions to reduce transmission of infectious diseases including influenza. They can be implemented at individual, community and social levels.


  • Public health measures during the influenza A(H1N1) 2009 pandemic
    In order to learn from the experiences of Member States in the implementation of public health measures during the influenza A(H1N1)2009 pandemic, the WHO Global Influenza Programme held a workshop in Gammarth, Tunisia, 26–28 October 2010. Information and findings from this workshop will inform the revision of the pandemic preparedness and response guidance.

  • Reducing transmission of pandemic (H1N1)
    pdf, 966kb

    This document provides a framework for reducing transmission of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 in school settings. It addresses the planning and possible measures for national and local health and school authorities.

  • Behavioural interventions for reducing the transmission
    pdf, 851kb

    This document focuses on public health measures at individual and family level. It is intended for use by institutions and partners developing communication interventions and activities to reduce the spread and impact of the influenza A (H1N1) virus. Jointly published by WHO/UNICEF.

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