Pandemic influenza: follow-up, 3rd report of session 2008-09, report with evidence

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The Stationery Office, Jul 28, 2009 - Health & Fitness - 134 pages
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The original purpose of the inquiry was to revisit issues raised in the earlier report "Pandemic Influenza" (4th report, session 2005-06, HL Paper 88, ISBN 9780104007723) published in December 2005. Whereas the initial focus was on the spread of the avian flu virus H5N1 as one of the most likely causes of the next pandemic, the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico in March 2009 and its rapid global spread means the world is now in the midst of an H1N1 pandemic. Following the swine flu outbreak, the Committee shifted the focus of attention to UK preparedness in terms of the Government's response to the emerging pandemic and subsequent events. The report commends the steps that the Government has taken to prepare for the pandemic. These include entering into advance purchase agreements which will enable the UK to purchase up to 132 million doses of pandemic-specific vaccine "sufficient for everybody in the UK when it becomes available", stockpiling antivirals to enable treatment of 50 per cent of the population (the Government's 'worst case scenario') and ensuring that there are sufficient antiviral collection points to cover the population in each Primary Care Trust. The Committee has concerns about the longer-term planning, the delay in operation of the National Pandemic Flu Service, and critical care and surge capacity. The report also covers advice to high risk groups and recommends a national reference point, for use by general practitioners, from which they can request advice on the treatment of high-risk groups.

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