WHO Committee – BrizMUN, April 2011
With a definite crisis on their hands, the honourable delegates of BrizMUN’s World Health Organization (WHO) gathered this morning to discuss how they planned to deal with the H1N1 virus with a confirmed case in Frankfurt’s International Airport.
During opening position statements, countries outlined their specific concerns and highlighted how the current situation should addressed and dealt with.
Delegate for Denmark, Angie Loi emphasized how a proactive stance in relation to influenza pandemics was needed. “We require early detection, treatment and isolation if we are to contain the virus to minimize the risk of it spreading,” she said.
France also acknowledged how a multilateral response would help bring about a unified approach.
It was also announced that Japan and the United States heavy financial investment with regards to vaccines has also been extremely valuable.
Delegate for Japan, Kate Stevenson discussed that as Japan was affected by the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, it would do all it could to prevent another outbreak. “We obviously have a reasonable amount of concern,” she said.
Mexico and the United Kingdom raised the issue of public awareness while others acknowledged the impact current European surveillance system is having on the given crisis.
But Germany who made a late entrance was given the opportunity to express its view and stressed that to avoid another pandemic it would remain active and use all available resources to prevent further spread of the virus.
In the first crisis update, it was revealed that 24 cases had been reported in Frankfurt’s International Airport with all displaying the same symptoms as ‘Patient Zero’ (the man who originally contracted H1N1) with the situation declared a phase 4 influenza pandemic.
It was confirmed that ‘Patient Zero’ is a 20 year old student whose parents are poultry farmers and live two hours outside Frankfurt.
The announcement of crisis update two really got discussion rolling after it was announced that 500 more cases had been reported in various other European airports. Patient Zero was also confirmed dead after a cytokine storm took over his body.
Before long, working papers were well and truly underway with some opposition voiced over the use of antiviral drugs in third world countries.
Not all agreed that the public should be notified of the current situation as it was considered unnecessary to raise panic and alarm.
It was reinforced that cooperation was needed between states within the WHO with access to
resources also required to ensure suitable pandemic preparedness.