20 nations vow to stop spread of pandemic influenza

By Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 18 2011 03:21 PM | Updated as of Jan 18 2011 11:21 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Representatives of more than 20 countries mostly from southeast Asia joined a 4-day senior leaders' symposium aimed at helping craft strategies and ways to stop and prevent the spread of pandemic influenza in case a crisis hits any of the participating nations.

Pandemic influenza is a generic term for any virus that spreads quickly among human beings, just like the AH1N1, bird flu virus, and swine flu virus. 

According to Undersecretary Benito Ramos, administrator of the Office of Civil Defense, among the objectives of the symposium are to prepare countries to better integrate their militaries into their pandemic plans, and to come up a whole nation approach in preventing the virus from spreading in case it hits the country. 

The symposium was jointly organized by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the US Pacific Command.