WHO head: Next flu pandemic is matter of when, not if

A global flu pandemic is a realistic threat that the world must prepare for, the World Health Organization said March 11.

The organization revealed its global flu strategy for 2019-30, which focuses on addressing both seasonal flu outbreaks and global pandemics.

The WHO's flu strategy outlines two main initiatives:

  • Ensure every country has a strong flu surveillance and response program
  • Develop tools to better prevent, detect or treat the flu that are accessible to all countries

"The threat of pandemic influenza is ever-present," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, said in a press release. "The question is not if we will have another pandemic, but when. We must be vigilant and prepared — the cost of a major influenza outbreak will far outweigh the price of prevention."

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