Assessing Capabilities for Prevention and Response on June 16 and 17, 2004. Participants discussed the history of influenza pandemics and the potentially valuable lessons it holds; the 2003–2004 H5N1 avian influenza outbreak in Asia and its implications for human health; ongoing pandemic influenza preparedness planning at global, regional, national, state, and local levels; strategies for preventing and controlling avian influenza and its transmission within bird and animal populations; and a broad range of medical, technical, social, economic and political opportunities for pandemic preparedness, as well as the many obstacles that stand in the way of this goal.


This workshop summary report is prepared for the Forum membership in the name of the editors as a collection of individually authored papers and commentary. Sections of the workshop summary not specifically attributed to an individual reflect the views of the editors and not those of the Forum on Microbial Threats, its sponsors, or the Institute of Medicine. The contents of the unattributed sections are based on the presentations and discussions that took place during the workshop.

The workshop summary is organized within chapters as a topic-by-topic description of the presentations and discussions. Its purpose is to present lessons from relevant experience, delineate a range of pivotal issues and their respective problems, and put forth some potential responses as described by the workshop participants.

Although this workshop summary provides an account of the individual presentations, it also reflects an important aspect of the Forum philosophy. The workshop functions as a dialogue among representatives from different sectors and presents their beliefs on which areas may merit further attention. However, the reader should be aware that the material presented here expresses the views and opinions of the individuals participating in the workshop and not the deliberations of a formally constituted IOM study committee. These proceedings summarize only what participants stated in the workshop and are not intended to be an exhaustive exploration of the subject matter or a representation of consensus evaluation.


Over the course of 2 days of wide-ranging, intense, and detailed discussion, several themes recurred and were elaborated upon from multiple perspectives. By the end of the proceedings, many of these ideas were surrounded by considerable clarity and a sense of urgency. These pervasive observations, described below, are grouped according to their ability to be

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