A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease. The virus of Asian flu was first identified in Guizhou. It spread to Singapore in February 1957, reached Hong Kong by April, and US by June. Death toll in the US was approximately 69,800. The elderly were particularly vulnerable. Estimates of worldwide deaths vary widely depending on source, ranging from 1 million to 4 million,with WHO settling on “about two million”.
In order to improve the preparedness of the global health community to a pandemic, three areas are crucial: vaccination, surveillance, and building response capacity. As discussed in our May Editorial , the development of a universal influenza vaccine, the holy grail of influenza research, would enhance the capacity to protect people from infection. Gates’ announcement of a US$12 million donation to contribute to the development of such a vaccine is therefore welcome news. However, the development of an effective vaccine is expected to take at least 5-10 years.
UK health and social care services will be at the forefront of the response to an influenza pandemic coming under, at times, extraordinary strain. The Department of Health produces a number of guidance documents for the health and try these out social care sectors. This includes Health and Social Care Influenza Pandemic Preparedness and Response This guidance for health and social care workers is intended to support local preparedness and response planning in England.
The American Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919: A Digital Encyclopedia Largest digital collection of newspapers, archival manuscripts and interpretive essays exploring the impact of the epidemic on 50 U.S. cities (Univ. of Michigan). While the seasonal flu afflicts Americans every year, an influenza pandemic is different.
But these jumps don’t happen often, because animal viruses are very different from human ones. For a human flu pandemic to happen, the animal virus needs to be able to do three things: efficiently infect humans, replicate in humans and spread easily among humans.
The avian flu virus, also known as H5N1, is still evolving and has not yet developed into a strain that can be transmitted from human to human. However, if an avian flu pandemic breaks out before an influenza vaccination has been created, the influenza antiviral agents oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir 20 (Relenza) will provide the first line of defense. These agents are viral neuraminidase inhibitors and impede the ability of influenza viruses to infect respiratory epithelial cells <2003MI49>. Neuraminidase is a viral enzyme that allows newly replicated virus particles to easily release from the host cell membrane and to disperse without clumping, enhancing their ability to infect other cells. Zanamivir 20, which unlike oseltamivir is inhaled instead of ingested, has been shown to be effective in treating both influenza A and influenza B. It typically lessens the severity of the illness and reduces the duration by approximately 2 days <1999MI254>.
At the start of a pandemic, before it reaches the UK , people are likely to be advised not to travel to affected areas or attend international gatherings such as large conferences and sports events. Later, depending on how the disease develops, measures may have to be taken to restrict people’s movements to prevent or delay further spread of the disease.
Vaccines are key to a flu pandemic response , but we can’t make the vaccines in advance. We need to know which flu strain is causing the outbreak before vaccines can be manufactured to protect against it. The N.C. Pandemic Influenza Plan was developed in 2005 in response to global concern over outbreaks of avian influenza (H5N1). The plan was updated to address H1N1 2009.
Due to cotraversaries re: vaccine the % of the herd protection in the population falling year on year. Time to consider compulsory vaccination. Historically we are due a big whammy soon with antibiotic resistant strains-lethal outcome. Washington State Department of Fish Wildlife Information about avian influenza and wild birds with safety tips for bird watchers and hunters.