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WHO consultation on revision of pandemic influenza preparedness guidance

Date: 6-9 May 2008
Place: Geneva, Switzerland

WHO's guidance to assist countries in preparing for the next influenza pandemic was developed in 2005. After several important developments, it will be revised at a meeting in Geneva during 6-9 May 2008.

Since 2005, there have been scientific advances, such as the development of H5N1 vaccines and greater experience with clinical treatment of H5N1 cases. Moreover, legal developments such as the entry into force of the new International Health Regulations will influence how Member States and WHO respond to potential and actual pandemic influenza threats.

WHO's experience in working with Member States on pandemic influenza preparedness has highlighted areas that need greatest support. At the meeting, about 150 experts from governments, WHO and other organizations will work on the final content of the revised guidelines.

Working groups will focus on areas such as disease control, surveillance, medical interventions, non-medical interventions (such as continuation of emergency services, organization of mass gatherings and school closures) and the role of communications during an influenza pandemic. Once the content is agreed upon, new draft guidelines will be circulated for comment. The guidelines are expected to be published by the end of 2008.

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