DPR Korea: Influenza A Outbreak - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF n° MDRKP009

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

On 19 January 2018 the Vice Minister of Public Health officially informed the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office in Pyongyang of an outbreak of Influenza A (H1N1) stating that between 1 December 2017 and 16 January 2018 there was a total of 126,574 suspected influenza cases – individuals presenting with influenza-like illness. Of these, 81,640 cases were confirmed as Influenza A (H1N1) and as per the Ministry communication there had been four deaths – three children and one adult. According to the Ministry, 24.5 per cent of suspected influenza cases (numbering 31,010) were among children aged 0-7 years, 22.8 per cent (n= 28,858) were among children 8-16 years and the rest 52.7 per cent (n= 66,706), were among those who were above 17 years. The outbreak has become generalized throughout the country with 28.7 per cent of cases in the capital city – Pyongyang. The Government has requested support for influenza vaccination targeting high-risk individuals, with the MoPH specifically requesting 30,000 Oseltamivir tablets for healthcare workers. WHO has already mobilized a total of 6,500 dosages of oseltamivir which will reach the country during the last week of January and first week of February 2018. There is a request to strengthen the non-pharmaceutical aspect of the operation with an emphasis on public health including surveillance and preventive activities with agencies requested to support conducting an effective communication programme.2 So far, the outbreak has not been graded as WHO is awaiting further epidemiological information from the MoPH including the age break down of suspected and confirmed cases, number of pregnant women affected and confirmation of the type of influenza.