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Pandemic Human Influenza

Many people say it is only a matter of time until there is a human pandemic of influenza.  A pandemic is a world wide influenza outbreak that results from a new influenza virus capable of infecting and causing illness in humans, able to spread efficiently from human to human and to which humans have no immunity.  There have been 10 human influenza pandemics in the last 300 years.

Is H5N1 the next pandemic strain of influenza?  No one knows.  What’s the difference between Asian H5N1 and a pandemic influenza virus?  It is not efficiently spread from humans to humans.

How can we prepare for pandemic influenza?  A world wide effort to reduce animal influenza viruses from infecting humans and preparation of a range of H antigens for immediate vaccine production.   This has been discribed by Dr. Ed Kilbourne in the following article:

Avian Influenza: can we prepare for the unpredictable?

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