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iJET Unveils 2007 Year-in-Review Report on Avian Influenza and Pandemic Planning
Date:2/12/2008

Report Provides Comprehensive Account of Global Trends, Progress and

Preparedness to Assist Organizations with Response Planning

ANNAPOLIS, Md., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- iJET Intelligent Risk Systems, a leading provider of global intelligence and business resiliency services, today announced the publication of 2007 Year in Review: Avian Influenza and Pandemic Planning. Created by iJET's health intelligence team, the report provides analysis of worldwide incidences of the avian flu virus (H5N1) and summarizes global pandemic response and preparedness, delivering a comprehensive point of reference to aid organizations in the development and continuation of effective pandemic planning.

According to international experts, global eradication of H5N1 viruses remains a distant and unlikely prospect. While scientists have focused on H5N1 as the most likely candidate for the next pandemic, other influenza viruses could also lead to a global outbreak. In 2007, people also fell ill with H9, H7 and H2 viruses, any of which could create the next pandemic, making the threat that much more dangerous from a global perspective.

A pandemic can disrupt supply chains, endanger the health and safety of employees, and otherwise threaten critical infrastructures-testing the limits of an organization. While 2007 brought high levels of attention to the threat of a pandemic from multinational corporations, global organizations and governments, increased adoption and implementation of pandemic planning remains a critical issue. iJET's year-end report provides authoritative analysis on the global threats, helping risk managers and continuity planners to benchmark existing programs and better prepare for years ahead.

The following is a snapshot of information found within the report:

Trends

The spread of H5N1 avian influenza slowed and the number of human infections fell in 2007, however outbreaks in poultry surged in several regions. Unlike 2006, which saw the unprecedented spread of H5N1 to nearly 40 new countries, 2007 added just five countries to the list of those where H5N1 has previously appeared.

Hot Spots

Nevertheless, avian influenza remained a significant problem in several Asian countries, Egypt and West Africa. Several countries -- notably Indonesia and Egypt -- struggled to contain outbreaks while Myanmar and Pakistan reported their first human cases. During 2007, more than half of the world's human infections -- and nearly 70 percent of all deaths -- were reported from Indonesia.

Problems and Progress

Despite many advances in research, currently available medical countermeasures would be insufficient to contain the spread of pandemic influenza, and pandemic-specific influenza vaccines could not be made in ample quantity or quickly enough to protect the world population during the first wave of a pandemic. The efficacy of currently available antivirals for the treatment of pandemic influenza is also uncertain. The development of new technologies and medical countermeasures will be dependent upon significant financial support from governments.

Pandemic Response and Preparedness

During 2007, governments and corporations worked to improve pandemic preparedness -- with more than 80 percent of countries developing national plans for both avian and pandemic influenza. While a positive sign, more still needs to be done. In general, public planners have yet to adequately address vulnerabilities associated with critical service sectors other than healthcare, while corporate executives need to give added attention to supply chains and partners.

"Pandemic monitoring and planning is essential and continues to be a major business consideration for multinational organizations," said Joan Pfinsgraff, M.D., director of health intelligence for iJET. "It is not only necessary, but imperative for organizations to understand the significant impact that a pandemic could have on their companies."

The Year in Review report is based on data from iJET's World Pandemic Monitor (http://www.worldpandemicmonitor.com), which provides real-time alerting, authoritative analysis, and best practice tools to help businesses build plans to address a vast number of global health concerns.

For more information and to purchase copies of the 2007 Year in Review: Avian Influenza and Pandemic Planning report, please go to http://www.ijet.com/2007avianflu.

About iJET Intelligent Risk Systems

iJET Intelligent Risk Systems is a leader in operational risk management, helping multinational corporations and government organizations monitor, protect against and respond to global threats. Integrating world-class open source intelligence with patented technology, iJET's award-winning Worldcue(R) solutions help clients monitor and assess global threats relative to their key people, facilities and supply chain assets; automatically track and communicate with travelers and expatriates; and deploy emergency response services throughout the world at a moment's notice. Providing a unified view of threats to assets, iJET enables clients to mitigate risks, reduce corporate liability and prepare for and respond to crises.


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SOURCE iJET Intelligent Risk Systems
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