For the first time in 41 years, the world is at the start of an influenza pandemic. The announcement regarding raising the H1N1 influenza pandemic level from Level 5 to Level 6 came today from from Dr. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization.
As of today, nearly 30,000 confirmed cases have been reported in 74 countries. And as Chan observes, “This is only part of the picture. With few exceptions, countries with large numbers of cases are those with good surveillance and testing procedures in place.”
“Further spread is inevitable,” said Chan in a statment to the global press.
Currently, the infection has been of moderate severity and, says Chang, thanks to pandemic preparedness programs, no other pandemic has even been detected so early or watched so closely.
As an industry, pharmaceutical companies worldwide continue to work with local and international healthcare organizations and regulatory agencies to develop antivirals and vaccines.