What Is an Influenza Pandemic?

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What Is an Influenza Pandemic? Empty What Is an Influenza Pandemic?

Post by ReadyMom on Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:48 pm

Health & Human Services/CDC-Pandemic Influenza
http://www.pandemicflu.gov/general/whatis.html

A pandemic is a global disease outbreak. An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza A virus emerges for which there is little or no immunity in the human population, begins to cause serious illness and then spreads easily person-to-person worldwide.

Historically, the 20th century saw 3 pandemics of influenza:

    1918 influenza pandemic caused at least 675,000 U.S. deaths and up to 50 million deaths worldwide
    1957 influenza pandemic caused at least 70,000 U.S. deaths and 1-2 million deaths worldwide
    1968 influenza pandemic caused about 34,000 U.S. deaths and 700,000 deaths worldwide


Characteristics and challenges of a pandemic

    Rapid Worldwide Spread
      ~When a pandemic influenza virus emerges, its global spread is considered inevitable.

      ~Preparedness activities should assume that the entire world population would be susceptible.

      ~Countries might, through measures such as border closures and travel restrictions, delay arrival of the virus, but cannot stop it.


    Health Care Systems Overloaded
      ~Most people have little or no immunity to a pandemic virus. Infection and illness rates soar. A substantial percentage of the world’️s population will require some form of medical care.

      ~Nations unlikely to have the staff, facilities, equipment and hospital beds needed to cope with large numbers of people who suddenly fall ill.

      ~Death rates are high, largely determined by four factors: the number of people who become infected, the virulence of the virus, the underlying characteristics and vulnerability of affected populations and the effectiveness of preventive measures.

      ~Past pandemics have spread globally in two and sometimes three waves.


    Medical Supplies Inadequate
      ~The need for vaccine is likely to outstrip supply.

      ~The need for antiviral drugs is also likely to be inadequate early in a pandemic.

      ~A pandemic can create a shortage of hospital beds, ventilators and other supplies. Surge capacity at non-traditional sites such as schools may be created to cope with demand

      ~Difficult decisions will need to be made regarding who gets antiviral drugs and vaccines.


    Economic and Social Disruption
      ~Travel bans, closings of schools and businesses and cancellations of events could have major impact on communities and citizens.

      ~Care for sick family members and fear of exposure can result in significant worker absenteeism.


Communications and Information are Critical Components of Pandemic Response

Education and outreach are critical to preparing for a pandemic. Understanding what a pandemic is, what needs to be done at all levels to prepare for pandemic influenza, and what could happen during a pandemic helps us make informed decisions both as individuals and as a nation. Should a pandemic occur the public must be able to depend on its government to provide scientifically sound public health information quickly, openly and dependably. For additional information on pandemic influenza visit: http://www.pandemicflu.gov.




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Post by TRex2 on Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:58 pm

A little background on a recent Influenza Pandemic

https://crofsblogs.typepad.com/h5n1/2019/06/branswell-the-last-flu-pandemic-was-a-quiet-killer-why-we-cant-predict-the-next-one.html

https://www.statnews.com/2019/06/11/h1n1-swine-flu-10-years-later/?utm_source=STAT+Newsletters&utm_campaign=d1d43613b2-MR_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8cab1d7961-d1d43613b2-107686381
The cryptic phone call came on a Monday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was holding an important teleconference for a few reporters. I should dial in.
When the time came, just a handful of reporters were on the line. Also there: the CDC’s top flu experts. They sounded worried.
Two unrelated children from southern California had tested positive for flu infections caused by viruses that normally sicken pigs. This could have been a fluke, but from the unusual nature of the call and from the tension in the voices of the experts, it was clear that the CDC officials thought it might be something else: an influenza pandemic.
That teleconference took place on April 20, 2009. Over the next seven weeks it became apparent that any fears they had had been well-founded.
On June 11, 2009 — 10 years ago today — the World Health Organization declared that the swine flu virus we now simply call H1N1 had indeed triggered a pandemic, the first time in four decades a new flu virus had emerged and was triggering wide-scale illness around the globe.

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Post by ReadyMom on Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:48 pm

TRex2 wrote:
 
On June 11, 2009 — 10 years ago today — the World Health Organization declared that the swine flu virus we now simply call H1N1 had indeed triggered a pandemic, the first time in four decades a new flu virus had emerged and was triggering wide-scale illness around the globe.

I remember it well. I actually participated in several public presentations to educate folks pandemic prepping and helped with our school district vaccination program to get the kids vaccinated with the additional vax needed that was in addition to the 'annual' vax, that year.

I still don't think folks realize how close we came to a very serious pandemic, if that school program had NOT been put in place, nationally. There was such a fine line between what DID happen and what COULD HAVE happened. All because of the school vax programs.

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