U.S. Public Health Preparedness for Seasonal Influenza, Has the Response Improved? Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, First Session, November 19, 2015 [open pdf - 6MB]
This is the November 19, 2015 hearing held before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives entitled "U.S. Public Health Preparedness for Seasonal Influenza: Has the Response Improved?" From the opening statement of Fred Upton, "Continuing our longstanding efforts on flu preparedness, today's discussion follows up our hearing last February that focused on a very harsh flu season with a mismatched vaccine that had an overall effectiveness of only 19 percent. Although the official statistics for last flu season are not available yet, in such a severe flu season, we would see up to 50,000 deaths, more than 400,000 hospitalizations, and an economic burden of about $87 billion. I, like others on this subcommittee, expressed my belief at that February hearing that we can -- and must -- do better in addressing this major public health threat to protect folks in Michigan and across the country. Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that flu strains have grown increasingly complex, and have been distributed broadly across the globe. This diversity and geographic distribution is unprecedented since the advent of modern tools for flu virus detection and analysis. Last year's poorly matched seasonal flu vaccine and the bird flu H5 viruses that killed millions of birds in the Midwestern U.S. earlier this year are the most recent examples of this complexity. The WHO cautioned that the consequences of so many flu viruses emerging are 'unpredictable' and 'potentially ominous.'" Statements, Letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Carole Heilman, Karen Midthun, Robin Robinson, and Anne Schuchat.
Serial No. 114--102
Government Printing Office: http://www.gpo.gov/