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May 7, 2009

Public health expert D.A. Henderson to comment on Swine Flu

Public Health Expert Available For Media Comment on Swine Flu Alert and How to Respond to Pandemic Strains of Influenza

Amherst, NY-- As the World Health Organization Raises Swine Flu Alert Level, public health expert and former W.H.O. official D.A. Henderson (Pittsburgh, PA) is available to comment on the potentially imminent pandemic. His Newsweek op-ed on the related bioterrorism concerns of this crisis will be published shortly.

D.A. Henderson was in charge of the domestic preparedness program for the U.S. when in April 2004, we learned of the “avian flu” cases in Vietnam. At that time, the program launched a greatly intensified $100 million effort to vastly augment our capacity to produce influenza vaccine and to undertake research products on alternative methods of production, different vaccine uses, and planning as to how the country should plan and respond if a pandemic strain came along.

Since then, Henderson has continued in an advisory capacity to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and has served on a number of CDC and HHS committees dealing with influenza.

Henderson’s specific infectious disease expertise has been smallpox, polio, influenza, and anthrax. More generally, his time has been spent on surveillance, public health education, and international public health policies and development.

Henderson is the author of Smallpox—The Death of a Disease (Prometheus, June 2009) which details the inside story of eradicating a deadly, worldwide disease.