Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Third meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee

The WHO Director-General convened a third meeting of the International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee on 5 June 2009. The purpose of the meeting was to update the committee on the global situation and seek advice on proposals to introduce severity assessments in any future announcements of pandemic phase changes by WHO.

There was a broad consensus on the importance of including information on severity in future announcements. The committee gave further advice regarding a number of parameters, the monitoring of which will provide information for the assessment of the severity of the epidemic.

In discussion with the committee, the Director-General noted that the world remains in pandemic influenza Phase 5 and reaffirmed that WHO will continue to monitor the situation closely in all countries reporting cases of new influenza A(H1N1).

Based on the advice of the committee, the Director-General determined that it was appropriate to continue the existing temporary recommendations, namely:

  • That all countries intensify surveillance for unusual outbreaks of influenza-like illness and severe pneumonia.
  • Not to close borders and not to restrict international travel. It is considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following travel to seek medical attention.
  • That the production of seasonal influenza vaccine should continue at this time, subject to re-evaluation as the situation evolves.
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