Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Response:
An Investment in Public Health Preparedness
Avian influenza A(H7N9) was first notified to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the Government of China on 31 March 2013. As human infection with this virus had never been reported before, this event was notifiable under the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005).
Indeed, avian influenza A(H7N9) is a stark reminder that public health threats continue to put the Asia Pacific Region and the global community at risk.
This publication tells the story of how the global community worked together to fight the shared risk. The information in this publication comes from the people who worked directly to control the threat of avian influenza A(H7N9) at all three levels of WHO: the WHO China Office, the Regional Office for the Western Pacific in Manila and WHO headquarters. This also highlights the joint China–WHO mission that epitomized collaboration in action.
The lessons learnt described in this publication could serve as a guide to both Member States and the Region for future preparedness and response efforts to public health threats. More importantly, it leaves one clear lesson above all else: we must maintain a high level of vigilance and focus on preparedness efforts as we move forward because regrettably this will not be our last battle with deadly viruses.
WHO continues to commit to work with Member States in the shared journey towards a Region better prepared for whatever health challenges the future brings.