Mexico: Lessons learned from the 2009 pandemic that help us fight COVID-19
Alpuche-Aranda, Celia M.
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In April 2009, Mexican, American, and Canadian authorities announced a novel influenza that became the first pandemic of the century. We report on lessons learned in Mexico. The Mexican Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Plan, developed and implemented since 2005, was a decisive element for the early response. Major lessons-learned were the need for flexible plans that consider different scenarios; the need to continuously strengthen routine surveillance programs and laboratory capacity and strengthen coordination between epidemiological departments, clinicians, and laboratories; maintain strategic stockpiles; establish a fund for public health emergencies; and collaboration among neighboring countries. Mexico responded with immediate reporting and transparency, implemented aggressive control measures and generous sharing of data and samples. Lessons learned induced changes leading to a better response to public health critical events.