The Next Influenza Pandemic: Lessons from Hong Kong, 1997
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Faculty of Medicine 
The 1997 Hong Kong outbreak of an avian influenzalike virus, with 18 proven human cases, many severe or fatal, highlighted the challenges of novel influenza viruses. Lessons from this episode can improve international and national planning for influenza pandemics in seven areas: expanded international commitment to first responses to pandemic threats; surveillance for influenza in key densely populated areas with large live-animal markets; new, economical diagnostic tests not based on eggs; contingency procedures for diagnostic work with highly pathogenic viruses where biocontainment laboratories do not exist; ability of health facilities in developing nations to communicate electronically, nationally and internationally; licenses for new vaccine production methods; and improved equity in supply of pharmaceutical products, as well as availability of basic health services, during a global influenza crisis. The Hong Kong epidemic also underscores the need for national committees and country-specific pandemic plans.