New global strategy launched by WHO

The World Health Organization has launched new Global influenza for 2019-2030 aimed at protecting people in all countries from the threat of influenza. Experts at the Indian Council of Medical Research and Pune-based National Institute of Virology have said that their strategy was in line with the one released by WHO and due emphasis has been given on strengthening and building the capacity of virus diagnostic laboratories across the country. Influenza remains one of the world’s greatest public health challenges.

Every year across the globe, there are an estimated 1 billion cases, of which 3 to 5 million are severe cases. The goal of the strategy is to prevent seasonal influenza, control the spread of influenza from animals to humans, and prepare for the next influenza pandemic. A statement issued on Monday said that the threat of pandemic influenza is ever-present. WHO recommends annual influenza vaccination as the most effective way to prevent influenza. Vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk of serious influenza complications and for healthcare workers

The new strategy is the most comprehensive and far-reaching that WHO has ever developed for influenza. For more than 65 years, the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS), comprised of WHO Collaborating Centres and national influenza centres, have worked together to monitor seasonal trends and potentially pandemic viruses. This system serves as the backbone of the global alert system for influenza.