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Landmark agreement improves global preparedness for influenza pandemics

An open-ended working group meeting of Member States successfully agreed upon a framework to ensure that in a pandemic, influenza virus samples will be shared with partners who need the information to take steps to protect public health.


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Recommendations to stay free of influenza

  • Get vaccinated against seasonal and pandemic H1N1/2009 influenza. Vaccination is the best protection we currently have.
  • Given that influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people, you can take actions to stay healthy:
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
    • Throw the tissue in the trashcan after you use it.
    • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water. If available, also use an alcohol-based hand rub.
    • Stay home if you get sick: avoid going to work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.

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Influenza: public health research agenda

The Global Influenza Programme (GIP) at the World Health Organization (WHO) recently released its “Public Health Research Agenda for Influenza” in six languages. This publication includes a report from the first global consultation meeting in November 2009.


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