Flu Pandemic - History, Causes, Symptoms and Remedies


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What Is the Flu?

In terms of illness, it is an outbreak of any disease such as typhoid or influenza the "flu". In comparison, an epidemic is similar but the disease affects a large number of people within a population, community, or region at the same time where as a pandemic is the same disease on a much larger more global scale.

Pandemic influenzas are caused by a new strain of the influenza virus. Because the virus is new, humans do not have an immunity to it and the illness is usually more severe. There is also no vaccine available. Historically a new strain appears 3 or 4 times a century or about every 30 or 40 years. The last outbreaks were:. There are four types of viruses called influenza A, B, C, and D.

Influenza types A and B are responsible for the seasonal disease that occurs almost every winter. Influenza type C usually causes a very mild disease, often without symptoms. Influenza type D viruses affect cattle and are not known to cause illness in people. Only type A influenza causes pandemics in humans.


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Certain conditions have to be met for a pandemic to occur:. It is impossible to predict the impact or death rate of a new influenza virus. The Swine flu has been estimated to have caused between , to , deaths worldwide. In comparison, the Spanish flu was considered "exceptional" and caused the highest number of known deaths 40 to 50 million worldwide and was likely to have been only avian virus in origin. The Asian 2 million deaths and Hong Kong 1 million deaths flus were milder when compared to the Spanish flu, and caused by a combination of human and avian viruses.

Historically, pervious influenzas were able to spread around the world in 6 to 9 months but these events occurred when most travel was by boat. Pathogens ignore national borders, social class, economic status, and even age. While influenza is typically more deadly in very young or elderly people, the influenza pandemic, for instance, was unusually fatal among men aged 20 to 40 years. Pandemics disrupt the economy and social functions like school, work and other mass gatherings. An influenza pandemic would also likely have significant impacts on the overall functioning of a country's health system, as it would draw heavily on resources and health workers.

Just as with many other diseases, influenza pandemics impact poor and socially marginalized communities the hardest. A study in The Lancet looking at the potential impact of a like pandemic on the modern world found that "the countries and regions that can least afford to prepare for a pandemic will be affected the most. The world looks very different than it did years ago, however.

Unlike the world affected by the influenza pandemic, we now have antivirals, vaccines, diagnostic tests, and modern surveillance techniques. Many of these advances were spearheaded by WHO in close collaboration with other agencies and national and regional institutions.

Pandemic Influenza (Flu)

We also have learned from subsequent pandemics in the 20th and 21st century. As this Spotlight will show, we have more tools to combat pandemics than ever before. These include the development of a global influenza surveillance system that constantly monitors the evolution of circulating influenza strains, the development of an unprecedented agreement to ensure sharing of flu viruses and data alongside strengthening global preparedness capacities, efforts to continuously improve the effectiveness of the seasonal influenza vaccine, and powerful new antivirals.

However, for the next influenza pandemic, there are still challenges ahead and in particular ensuring optimum global collaboration between all countries in the world and defining mechanisms that allow equitable access to vaccines, treatments and diagnostics for everyone, everywhere. Between and people are thought to have died. Even so, the world was relatively lucky: it turned out to be milder than some seasonal epidemics, which can kill twice that number.

The sharing of viruses and data between different nations in order to have up-to-date vaccines thus became one of the core tools in the fight against both seasonal and pandemic influenza. It constantly monitors influenza viruses causing seasonal outbreaks in people, zoonotic outbreaks, and potential pandemics and makes vaccine selection decisions twice a year, for the northern and southern hemisphere influenza seasons.

Countries with National Influenza Centres share virus samples and data to support this continuous monitoring.

Update on Flu Outbreak: Mayo Clinic Radio

So much of our work managing the pandemic has to be when it occurs, to impact on health and society," said Dr Zhang. To achieve the best possible outcome now and in the future, there are three critical factors: timeliness and quality of virus and information sharing, research and innovation, and global coordination.

For pandemic influenza, the world has to work as one team," she said. Another system, FluID , looks at the epidemiology of the circulating viruses associated with influenza. WHO is also developing a pandemic influenza severity assessment tool PISA to provide baselines so that there is a barometer by which to compare the virulence of the virus as new strains emerge. Some countries, affected by high numbers of human infections, voiced concern that they were sharing virus samples with GISRS, while knowing that if a pandemic were to occur, they might not have access to the vaccines made using information and materials from those samples.

What is the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus?

To strengthen the sharing of influenza viruses with human pandemic potential and to increase the access of developing countries to vaccines and other critical pandemic response supplies, the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness PIP Framework was set up in by the Member States of WHO. This framework would help countries in need to access vaccines, antivirals, and diagnostics at the time of a pandemic. Influenza is an ever-evolving disease, so the work on prevention, preparedness and response has to adapt continuously to keep up with these changes.

These national efforts, in turn, will build greater global preparedness for the next pandemic. The strategy focuses on three priorities, strengthening pandemic preparedness, expanding seasonal influenza prevention and control and research and innovation. However, developing and distributing a vaccine during a pandemic could take up to a year. This means that non-pharmaceutical measures - the same as those needed to stop seasonal flu - will be critical.

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Some of these are actions that individuals can take, including staying home when sick and washing hands frequently. Xing, Z. Preexisting immunity to pandemic H1N1 [letter].

Patient Comments & Reviews

November There have been no influenza pandemics in the 21st century the s. Article Menu [ ]. Vaccine Science [ ]. Biological Weapons, Bioterrorism, and Vaccines. Cancer Vaccines and Immunotherapy. Careers in Vaccine Research. Ebola Virus Disease and Ebola Vaccines. Human Cell Strains in Vaccine Development. Identifying Pathogens and Transmission Vectors. Malaria and Malaria Vaccine Candidates. Passive Immunization. The Future of Immunization. Vaccines for Pandemic Threats. History and Society [ ]. Cultural Perspectives on Vaccination.

Disease Eradication.

History of Flu Pandemic | Pandemic Influenza (Flu) | CDC

Ethical Issues and Vaccines. History of Anti-vaccination Movements. Influenza Pandemics. The Development of the Immunization Schedule. The History of the Lyme Disease Vaccine. The Scientific Method in Vaccine History. Military and Vaccine History.

Flu Pandemic - History, Causes, Symptoms and Remedies Flu Pandemic - History, Causes, Symptoms and Remedies
Flu Pandemic - History, Causes, Symptoms and Remedies Flu Pandemic - History, Causes, Symptoms and Remedies
Flu Pandemic - History, Causes, Symptoms and Remedies Flu Pandemic - History, Causes, Symptoms and Remedies
Flu Pandemic - History, Causes, Symptoms and Remedies Flu Pandemic - History, Causes, Symptoms and Remedies
Flu Pandemic - History, Causes, Symptoms and Remedies Flu Pandemic - History, Causes, Symptoms and Remedies
Flu Pandemic - History, Causes, Symptoms and Remedies Flu Pandemic - History, Causes, Symptoms and Remedies
Flu Pandemic - History, Causes, Symptoms and Remedies Flu Pandemic - History, Causes, Symptoms and Remedies
Flu Pandemic - History, Causes, Symptoms and Remedies Flu Pandemic - History, Causes, Symptoms and Remedies

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