Since the first human deaths from H5N1 were recorded in Hong Kong in 1997, avian influenza has spread across the world, concentrating in southeast Asia. Billions of dollars have been spent on control measures, contingency plans and policy measures. In 2009 another influenza virus, H1N1 (popularly named ‘swine’ flu), was recorded in Mexico, and spread in pandemic proportions over the coming months. None of these events to date have resulted in major human mortality on a scale some have predicted. The virus was either virulent but did not spread, or spread but was mild. Yet the prospect of some future combination where pandemic spread and mass deaths is very real, as recent laboratory research on H5N1 confirms.
Over the last 15 years, scientific advances in our understanding of the genetics, epidemiology and ecology of flu viruses have been rapid and impressive. Yet our appreciation of the social, political, institutional and policy implications has been more limited. What lessons can we learn from the experiences of dealing with the potential global threat of highly pathogenic influenza? This workshop aims to bring together researchers, practitioners and policy makers to discuss the issues around a series of relevant themes.
This workshop, jointly hosted by the STEPS Centre and the Centre for Global Health Policy, University of Sussex, will be an invite-only workshop, but many relevant materials and reources are available on our website.
- Workshop programme (pdf)
- Participants(pdf 132kb)
- Pandemic Flu Controversies workshop report (pdf 115kb)
We have created a series of web pages associated with this workshop and our work in this area:
1. Pandemic Influenza: Politics and Policy
2. Pandemic Influenza: Resources
3. Pandemic Influenza: Research themes