Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

COVID-19 compared with other deadly viruses

The global death toll from COVID-19, which is set to pass five million, is already far worse than most other viral epidemics of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

What history can teach us about pandemic management

While the word "unprecedented" has become part of the rhetoric around COVID-19, this isn't the first pandemic to hit the world, even in recent times. In fact, there are many similarities between the COVID-19 pandemic, and ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Statistics say large pandemics are more likely than we thought

The COVID-19 pandemic may be the deadliest viral outbreak the world has seen in more than a century. But statistically, such extreme events aren't as rare as we may think, asserts a new analysis of novel disease outbreaks ...

Vaccination

Doctor communication key to pandemic vaccine adoption

People who talk with their doctors are more likely to get vaccinated during a pandemic, according to a study of evidence collected during the "swine flu," the last pandemic to hit the U.S. before COVID-19.

page 1 from 40

Influenza pandemic

An influenza pandemic is an epidemic of an influenza virus that spreads on a worldwide scale and infects a large proportion of the human population. In contrast to the regular seasonal epidemics of influenza, these pandemics occur irregularly, with the 1918 Spanish flu the most serious pandemic in recent history. Pandemics can cause high levels of mortality, with the Spanish influenza estimated as being responsible for the deaths of over 50 million people. There have been about three influenza pandemics in each century for the last 300 years. The most recent ones were the Asian Flu in 1957 and the Hong Kong Flu in 1968.

Influenza pandemics occur when a new strain of the influenza virus is transmitted to humans from another animal species. Species that are thought to be important in the emergence of new human strains are pigs, chickens and ducks. These novel strains are unaffected by any immunity people may have to older strains of human influenza and can therefore spread extremely rapidly and infect very large numbers of people. Influenza A viruses can occasionally be transmitted from wild birds to other species causing outbreaks in domestic poultry and may give rise to human influenza pandemics.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns[when?] that there is a substantial risk of an influenza pandemic within the next few years[when?]. One of the strongest candidates is a highly pathogenic variation of the H5N1 subtype of Influenza A virus. As of 2006, prepandemic influenza vaccines are being developed against the most likely suspects which include H5N1, H7N1, and H9N2. Certain scholars and senior policy advisors argue that pandemic influenza represents a substantive threat to the international economy, to each nation's national security, and a challenge to international governance.

On 11 June 2009, a new strain of H1N1 influenza was declared to be a global pandemic (Stage 6) by the World Health Organization after evidence of spreading in the southern hemisphere.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA