WHO launches new strategy for influenza

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The WHO has released a new Global Influenza Strategy for 2019–2030 that aims to prevent seasonal flu, prepare for a pandemic situation and control the spread of zoonotic influenza.

Influenza remains a public health challenge, causing approximately 1 billion cases across the world annually, including 3–5 million severe cases and 290,00–650,000 influenza-related deaths. WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, explained: “The threat of pandemic influenza is ever-present. The on-going risk of a new influenza virus transmitting from animals to humans and potentially causing a pandemic is real. The question is not if we will have another pandemic, but when. We must be vigilant and prepared – the cost of a major influenza outbreak will far outweigh the price of prevention.”

The new strategy is reported to be the most comprehensive and far-reaching strategy for influenza the WHO has developed. It has two primary goals:

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