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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 17, 2007

Fact Sheet: Implementation of the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza
A One-Year Summary Of Efforts To Better Protect Our Nation Against The Threat Of Pandemic Flu

      In Focus: Pandemic Flu

Today, The White House Homeland Security Council Issued A One-Year Report On The Administration's Progress In Implementing The National Strategy For Pandemic Influenza. The United States is better positioned today to detect an outbreak of pandemic flu earlier, to support an international effort to contain the pandemic in its earliest stages, to limit the spread of a pandemic, and to save lives.

We Are Confronting The Threat Of An Influenza Pandemic At Its Source

The United States Has Made Pivotal Contributions To Control The International Spread Of H5N1. Through the International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza, we are working with affected countries and international partners to detect, contain, and prevent animal outbreaks; reduce human exposure to the virus; and enhance planning and preparedness for future outbreaks.

The United States Is Now Better Prepared To Respond To An Outbreak Of Pandemic Influenza

The United States Has Developed Protocols And Trained Personnel To Support An International Effort To Contain The Pandemic In Its Earliest Stages. We have pre-positioned stockpiles of personal protective equipment, decontamination kits, and antiviral medications overseas to complement global efforts to contain pandemic outbreaks.

The Administration Has Made Significant Investments In Vaccines, Antiviral Medications, And Research That Will Help Safeguard Our Nation And Benefit The World. The Administration is investing in the expansion of vaccine manufacturing capacity, the advanced development of new cell-based vaccines, vaccine-stretching technologies known as adjuvants, and the establishment and maintenance of pre-pandemic vaccine stockpiles.

In February 2007, The U.S. Government Released Federal Guidance For Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions For Mitigating The Impact Of A Pandemic. Recent scientific modeling and historical reviews of the 1918 pandemic suggest that non-pharmaceutical interventions could be very effective at slowing the spread of disease and mitigating an outbreak. With the use of antiviral medications, they could potentially prevent illness and death in millions of Americans, but only if they are implemented early and maintained consistently across communities affected by a pandemic. The Community Mitigation Guidance provides a clear roadmap for communities to accomplish these objectives.

The U.S. Government Has Invested In Health System Preparedness, Has Produced Tools To Assist In Planning For Expansion In Hospital Capacity During A Pandemic, And Is Stockpiling Critical Medical Supplies.

We Have Provided Businesses With Practical, Action-Oriented Information To Identify Essential Functions, Protect The Health Of Employees, Maintain Continuity Of Business Operations, And Sustain Society.

We Have Made Significant Progress Over The Past Year, But Much Important Work Lies Ahead

Strengthening Disease Detection And Biosurveillance: We must redouble efforts to develop "real-time" clinical surveillance in the United States, so that we are able to target and refine our efforts more effectively during a pandemic.

Expanding Medical Capacity To Care For Large Numbers Of Ill Patients: Despite our investments and the development of guidance for communities, much more work is necessary to ensure that communities are prepared to care for the burden of illness that would be presented during a severe pandemic.

Addressing Global Needs: The U.S. Government is committed to working with the pharmaceutical industry, our international partners, and the World Health Organization to address global vaccine development and vaccine access.

Implementing Community Mitigation And Building Community Resilience: We must continue to work with non-Federal stakeholders to address practical implementation considerations, including legal and feasibility concerns.

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