New Reporting Requirements For H1N1 Pandemic

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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The increasing number of cases in many countries, with sustained community transmission, made confirming them through laboratory testing extremely difficult and resource intensive. Most countries will cease to submit regular reports of individual laboratory-confirmed cases to WHO. This will release national laboratory and response capacity for close monitoring of the level or nature of the risk posed by the pandemic (H1N1) virus.

Instead, countries will report data against the established indicators for the monitoring of seasonal influenza activity. They will also report unusual epidemiological, clinical or virological events observed in or in relation to the pandemic. Nevertheless, each newly affected country will report to WHO the first confirmed case of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus infection.

The pandemic can be anticipated to last for more than a year, and involve successive waves affecting different geographical areas with different degrees of severity at different times. The surveillance information needed to inform response activities can therefore change over the pandemic’s course.

As a result of these changes, WHO will no longer issue tables showing the confirmed cases for all countries. In the WHO European Region, regional reporting arrangements include sharing data and information with WHO through the WHO/Europe influenza surveillance web site. This is intended to integrate the reporting of different types of data and information for seasonal and pandemic influenza surveillance. The information collected provides the basis for the European regional influenza bulletin published on the site every Friday.

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In addition, WHO has issued new recommendations on vaccination, identifying three objectives that countries could adopt for their pandemic vaccination strategies:

* protecting the integrity of the health care system and the critical infrastructure of the country;

* reducing morbidity and mortality; and

* reducing transmission of the pandemic virus within communities.

During the week starting 13 July, Andorra reported pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza, bringing the total number of affected countries in the WHO European Region to 40. These comprise: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

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