WHO updates surveillance guidance for global flu pandemic: 3 things to know

The World Health Organization on Dec. 4 published guidance for pandemic influenza surveillance. 

Here are three things to know.

1. The new document marks the first time the organization has updated guidance for global pandemic influenza surveillance since 2009.

2. The document provides background on influenza pandemics, with the last such documented pandemic occurring in 2009 with the rapid spread of H1N1.

"It is not easy to make assumptions about where the next influenza virus with pandemic potential will emerge, or what its characteristics will be, including its severity," wrote the WHO. "This highlights the need for pandemic influenza surveillance to provide data and analyses to clarify the characteristics of the pandemic."

3. The guidance was developed as a resource for policy makers and public health professionals. The document includes specific information on surveillance components and identifies data that should be collected and sent to the WHO, among other information.

To view the full document, click here.

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