248162 Novel management strategies successfully adopted throughout 2009-11 to combat the Swine flu (H1N1) pandemic in Poland based on non-vaccination

Monday, October 31, 2011: 10:35 AM

Przemyslaw Bilinski, MD, PhD , Chief Sanitary Inspector, Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, Institute of Haematology and Transfusion Medicine, Warsaw, Poland
Andrzej Wojtyla, MD PhD , Director, Institute of Agricultural Medicine Lublin, Lublin, Poland
Piotr Holownia, PhD , Advisor, Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, Warsaw, Poland
Waldemar Wierzba, MD PhD , Editor-in-Chief, Physician's World Journal, 00-378 Warsaw, Poland
Poland was the only country affected by H1N1 to withhold vaccinating its population in 2009 where the Public Health Authorities' response consisted of identification, isolation then containment directed by its Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, (CSI), according to various recommendations eg. WHO. Rapid health risk assessments were performed through a national/local system of information gathering, health monitoring and rapid response to health threats integrated with the country's foremost scientific/medical community as well as international counterparts including rapid alert systems in Europe, WHO and, particularly in the first half of 2009, those from Mexico, USA and Canada from where the virus had originated. So far in 2011 this has effectively dealt in controlling the outbreak in this country and indeed reported cases of influenza-like-illness, (ILI), have not differed significantly from national seasonal averages of flu; the morbidity being similar/less to other affected EU/non-EU member states where vaccination had been employed. After declaring a state of alert the measures adopted were to essentially identify the virus, limit its spread and to isolate sufferers until the end of the September holidays through targeting all entry areas into Poland and conducting public information campaigns. RT-PCR facilities provided confirmation and cases were sent to infectious disease hospital units with person-person contacts followed-up epidemiologically. Only 10% patients with H1N1 received Oseltamivir. Thus, due to mild H1N1 symptoms, normal ILI seasonal averages and a low vaccination compliance in Poland, vaccination is considered unnecessary. The CSI predicts increases of cases next season when collective resistance will have been achieved.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Basic medical science applied in public health
Provision of health care to the public
Public health biology
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe and discuss the novel public health strategy adopted in Poland against swine flu which has to date proved successful in dealing with this pandemic. Compare with actions taken in other countries. Discuss outcomes.

Keywords: Infectious Diseases, Immunizations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: State High School, Medical University of Lodz (MD) including various degree specialisations, PhD in Endocrinology; all in Poland. Various clinical endocrinological post-graduate qualifications gained at leading European universities together with senior management, administration, public health, education and business qualifications. Professional positions have consisted of; Directorships at various major Polish teaching hospitals and departments (eg. in Lodz & Warsaw specialising in internal medicine, osteoporosis & menopause, disease prevention & control, thyroidology, haematology & transfusion etc). Several consultantships also held and member of many prominent European scientific and management associations. My current tenure is Chief Sanitary Inspector of Poland under the Ministry of Health responsible for Public Health in Poland.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.