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First Report of the Expert Committee on Influenza

World Health Organization Technical Report Series No. 64. Available also in a French Edition. 32 pp. Geneva: W. H. O., Palais des Nations, or Columbia University Press, International Documents Services, 2960 Broadway, New York 27, N. Y. 1/6, $0.20; Sw. fr. 0.80; Fr. fr. 65

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“Influenza is one of the most important diseases still unconquered.” Recommendations concerning methods of control and prevention are contained in this report. The report indicates that the best approach to the prevention of influenza lies in prophylactic immunization and that little hope may be expected from quarantine procedures. The methods for preparing the vaccine are still in the developmental stage and further research will be needed to select the proper strains for inclusion in the vaccine, to develop appropriate production and quantitative potency-assay procedures, and to determine the best method of administering the material to man. Hope is expressed for the usefulness of adjuvants in broadening the antigenic response and in extending the duration of immunity. In discussing influenza therapy, the role of antibiotics receives particular attention in the report.

The specialized laboratory-worker will find useful the detailed descriptions of the complement-fixation and hemagglutination tests for the diagnosis of influenza, and the methods of preparation of antisera for the comparison and typing of strains which are included in annexes to the report.