ECDC publishes report on flu pandemic

Gary Finnegan

Gary Finnegan

December 7th, 2010

Gary Finnegan

‘A new report on the H1N1 outbreak has been published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) – the EU agency aimed at strengthening Europe’s defences against infectious diseases.’

200influenzaThe pandemic highlighted the challenge of communicating with the public about the risk of illness, according to the ECDC which says that “on balance” the response to the outbreak was handled reasonably well.

“No country over-responded, while the systems developed by the [European] Commission, WHO, and ECDC for discussing and sharing information and analyses proved resilient and useful,” say the authors.

Time for reflection

The ECDC report is just one of several reviews reflecting on how authorities handled the pandemic.

A separate paper published last month by authors from the ECDC and the government of Hong Kong looked at lessons learned in 2009 said many aspects of the international response went well.

The report also notes that the H1N1 outbreak was the first pandemic where the “blogosphere and other rapid social media messaging tools challenged conventional public health communication”.

This year, the H1N1 flu strain is included in the seasonal influenza vaccine. For more on the composition of this year’s flu vaccine check out our interview with Dr Bruno Lina.

The Mayo Clinic also has a useful Q&A on H1N1 and flu vaccines, and the WHO has a useful .