The response of the Liguria Region (Italy) to the pandemic influenza virus A/H1N1sv


Influenza is a cause of acute respiratory disease. It has a typical epidemic nature during the winter season, but may also assume a pandemic pattern when a completely new virus spreads among humans. Influenza places a heavy economic and healthcare burden on both the National Health Service and society. During the 2009/2010 influenza pandemic season, the Liguria Region drew upon the specific skills of the various sectors of the Department of Health and Social Services. In collaboration with the Department of Health Sciences of the University of Genova, the Regional Health Agency (RHA) and other public organizations, steps were taken to address the issues of technical and scientific updating and the coordination of all the departments of Local Healthcare Units in Liguria. The main activities conducted at the regional level provided an adequate response to the influenza pandemic. These activities focused on Local and National Influenza Surveillance Systems, the regional Pandemic Plan, vaccination strategies for seasonal and pandemic influenza, and the communication of data from monitoring programs (sentinel physicians ? syndromic surveillance). The prevention of influenza transmission and containment of epi-demics and pandemics require effective communication strategies that should target the whole population.