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In Brief

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WHO Global Influenza Strategy launched

WHO has launched a Global Influenza Strategy for 2019-2030 to enhance global and national pandemic preparedness; combat the ongoing threat of zoonotic influenza; and improve seasonal influenza prevention and control in all countries. The strategy has two high-level outcomes for 2030. The first is for the development of better global tools to prevent, detect, control and treat influenza, such as more effective vaccines and antivirals. The second, is for stronger country capacities, with every country having a prioritised influenza program that is evidence based; is optimised for the country’s needs; and contributes to national and global preparedness, response and health security.

WHO estimates that each year worldwide there are 1 billion cases of influenza, 3 to 5 million of which are severe and resulting in 290,000 to 650,000 influenza-related respiratory deaths. Read more about the strategy at https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/311184.

Cases of cancer increasing but survival rates improving

The number of new cancer cases diagnosed in 2019 in Australia is expected to be three times that of 1982, increasing from 47,500 to 145,000, but overall five-year survival rates for all cancers have improved from 50% in 1986-1990 to 69% in 2011-2015. These are some of the findings in a new Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, Cancer in Australia 2019. Increases in the number of cases of prostate cancer, breast cancer, bowel cancer and melanoma are largely responsible for the increased rates of cancer diagnosed. Largest survival improvements have been in patients with prostate cancer, kidney cancer non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Despite survival improving for most cancers, there has been little improvement for some: survival rates for patients with bladder cancer decreased and survival rates for lip cancer, cancer of the larynx, cancer of other digestive organs and mesothelioma showed no significant change. Read the report online at: www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer/cancer-in-australia-2019/contents/table-of-contents.