Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response: A WHO Guidance Document. Levels of influenza activity have returned to the levels seen for seasonal influenza in most countries with adequate surveillance. You will be subject to the destination website's privacy policy when you follow the link. [24] There were not enough doctors, hospital rooms, or medical supplies for the living as they contracted the disease. The 1889–1890 and 1918–1919 flu pandemics each came in three or four waves of increasing lethality. Limited human-to-human transmission may occur under some circumstances, for example, when there is close contact between an infected person and an unprotected caregiver. WHO has been monitoring epidemiological and virological evidence from all parts of the world, including both Northern and Southern Hemispheres, to determine when the pandemic is over. On 24 April 2009, following the isolation of an A/H1N1 influenza in seven ill patients in the southwest US, the WHO issued a statement on the outbreak of "influenza like illness" that confirmed cases of A/H1N1 influenza had been reported in Mexico, and that 20 confirmed cases of the disease had been reported in the US. Goldsmith, Connie. There can be great social disruption as well as a sense of fear. Andrew Price-Smith, Contagion and Chaos (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press,2009). As of July 2009, more than 70 known clinical trials have been completed or are ongoing for pandemic influenza vaccines. To prevent the situation from progressing to a pandemic, the following short-term strategies have been put forward: The rationale for vaccinating poultry workers against common flu is that it reduces the probability of common influenza virus recombining with avian H5N1 virus to form a pandemic strain. "[78], Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza kills 50% of humans that catch it. 17 September 2009", "World Health Organization. [10][11][12], Flu spreads around the world in seasonal epidemics. [119] Several countries, however, have well-developed plans for producing large quantities of vaccine. [125], According to The New York Times as of March 2006, "governments worldwide have spent billions planning for a potential influenza pandemic: buying medicines, running disaster drills, [and] developing strategies for tighter border controls" due to the H5N1 threat. Others have a higher Pandemic Severity Index whose severity warrants more comprehensive social isolation measures. Additionally, CDC has developed an NPI 101 trainingExternalexternal icon for public health professionals to help them learn more about NPIs and share information with their communities on how to use NPIs. Antigenic shift represents an abrupt, major change in an influenza A virus. Zanamivir is also considered for use, but it must be inhaled. By June 2009, that novel H1N1 virus had spread worldwide and the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. Again, these actions do not include medicines, vaccines, or other pharmaceutical interventions. Antigenic shift also can happen when a non-human influenza A virus (for example an avian influenza virus) exchanges genetic information with other influenza A viruses in a process called genetic reassortment, and the resultant new virus is able to infect people. [70] The rapid spread of this new virus was likely due to a general lack of pre-existing antibody-mediated immunity in the human population. [101], The Institute of Medicine has published a number of reports and summaries of workshops on public policy issues related to influenza pandemics. Several agencies within Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)—including the Office of the Secretary, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), CDC, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)—are in the process of working with vaccine manufacturers to facilitate production of pilot vaccine lots for both H5N1 and H9N2 strains as well as contracting for the manufacturing of 2 million doses of an H5N1 vaccine. Phase 4 indicates a significant increase in risk of a pandemic but does not necessarily mean that a pandemic is a foregone conclusion. Many fear that this information could be used for bioterrorism. NPIs, also known as community mitigation strategies, may be more efficient when used early in a flu pandemic and in a layered fashion. [7] In more serious cases, influenza causes pneumonia, which can be fatal, particularly in young children and the elderly. The H1N1 pandemic was characterized by the emergence of a new influenza virus to which many people had no pre-existing immunity. Pandemics happen when new (novel) influenza A viruses emerge which are able to infect people easily and spread from person to person in an efficient and sustained way. If influenza remains an animal problem with limited human-to-human transmission it is not a pandemic, though it continues to pose a risk.

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