An influenza pandemic - A chronicle of an epidemic foretold

Moran Bodas, Ran D. Balicer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Influenza is a striking example of a viral disease in which pathogens constantly change and adaptation is of major significance in the appearance of seasonal outbreaks. These, in turn, can become widespread, possibly pandemic. Pandemic influenza differs from seasonal influenza outbreaks essentially by the emergence of a novel strain of the virus that, at times, is also characterized by enhanced pathogenicity and virulence. The last three influenza pandemics have risen from avian influenza strains, although other subtypes are equally capable of producing pandemic strains. For example, the latest influenza outbreak, which was declared by the World Health Organization as a pandemic, is of swine origin. A severe influenza pandemic may have significant consequences on social and economical structures. Therefore, proper prior planning is essential for capabilities built-up to better cope with possibly worse future pandemics. Each influenza pandemic poses a different challenge, but nevertheless, the basic means for response are similar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-499
Number of pages5
JournalHarefuah
Volume148
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2009

Keywords

  • Avian influenza
  • H5N1
  • Influenza pandemic
  • National preparedness plan
  • Swine influenza

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