Description of Containment Measures for Delaying Community Transmission of Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 2009: Lessons Learned

Summary

Background: Limiting community transmission is one of key strategies for containing pandemic influenza A (H1N1), but little is known about applying this strategy in urban settings of a developing country. We describe the progression of pandemic influenza and containment measures implemented in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam from May through September 2009, and the lessons learned. Methods: Data were collected through field observation, by interviewing relevant health authorities and by reviewing surveillance reports and policy documents related to pandemic response. Results: The progression of influenza pandemic was divided into two stages: initiation stage (sporadic clusters of imported cases) and acceleration stage (sustained community transmission); however case-based surveillance was conducted throughout the two stages. Airport screening of passengers began in week 18/09 and then four weeks later the first imported case was detected. The initiation stage lasted for seven weeks (week 22/09 to week 29/09) during