The Asia-Pacific region faces a number of challenges in preparing for an influenza pandemic, yet gaps and inconsistencies in plans across the continent could hinder an effective response to a pandemic, according to a new report presented today at the Lancet Asia Medical Forum 2006, Singapore.
Over 80% of human deaths from avian influenza (H5N1) recorded to date have occurred in South East Asia, which suggests that countries in the region could be the epicentre of the next human influenza pandemic.
The report reveals two distinct groupings in Asia-Pacific. Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand were found to have comprehensive operational guidance manuals that facilitate national responses to pandemic influenza. Plans prepared by China, Thailand and Vietnam were less operational but strategically plan for investment to develop future capacity. The regional as a whole drew from its previous experience of SARS. This report follows a previous analysis of European pandemic plans, a summary of which was published in the Lancet.
Lindsay Wright | alfa
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