A daily chronicle of ongoing events pertaining to infectious diseases
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Current WHO global phase of pandemic alert: Avian Influenza A(H5N1)
Current phase of global alert according to criteria described in the WHO Pandemic Influenza Risk Management Interim Guidance
The pandemic influenza phases reflect WHO’s risk assessment of the global situation regarding each influenza virus with pandemic potential that is infecting humans. These assessments are made initially when such viruses are identified and are updated based on evolving virological, epidemiological and clinical data. The phases provide a high-level, global view of the evolving picture.
As pandemic viruses emerge, countries and regions face different risks at different times. For that reason, countries are strongly advised to develop their own national risk assessments based on local circumstances, taking into consideration the information provided by the global assessments produced by WHO. Risk management decisions by countries are therefore expected to be informed by global risk assessments, but based on local risk assessments.
The current WHO phase of pandemic alert for avian influenza A(H5N1) is: ALERT
Alert phase:This is the phase when influenza caused by a new subtype1has been identified in humans. Increased vigilance and careful risk assessment, at local, national and global levels, are characteristic of this phase. If the risk assessments indicate that the new virus is not developing into a pandemic strain, a de-escalation of activities towards those in the interpandemic phase may occur.
Please consult the interim guidance document for complete information on pandemic phases:
1The IHR (2005) Annex 2 includes “human influenza caused by a new subtype” among the four specified diseases for which a case is necessarily considered “unusual or unexpected and may have serious public health impact, and thus shall be notified” in all circumstances to WHO.