Q&A with Dr Ann Moen: How influenza preparedness helps fight other infectious diseases

Dr Moen is Chief of the WHO’s Influenza Preparedness & Response Unit (IPR) What lessons does influenza preparedness offer for tackling respiratory pathogens and other diseases? Capacity building for influenza is critical because if you can prepare for and respond to flu outbreaks or respiratory events, you learn and practice for responses to other emerging diseases. Flu is not a sporadic outbreak like Ebola or Zika. It is always there, so there is always something to practice with and keep skills sharp. Because flu is a continual threat there is a lot of learning that goes on which also supports work on other emerging diseases. It’s like the basic architecture for capacity building in all areas. For…