ABSTRACT

Influenza Pandemic Preparedness: A Concept Plan to Prepare for the Contingency of a Major Global Pandemic of Influenza   [open pdf - 0B]

"The WHO and health authorities worldwide have recognized that the world is under threat of a major pandemic of influenza which could potentially have serious effects on the health of the human population. Major pandemics have occurred in 1889, 1918/19, 1957 and 1968 and another major pandemic may well occur in the near future. The 1918/19 pandemic of influenza was one of the most devastating epidemics of an infectious disease to have affected mankind. This pandemic was directly responsible for over 20 million deaths, more than perished in conflict in the preceding Great War, and mainly affected previously healthy young adults. In South Africa the pandemic killed over 300 000 persons, overwhelming the ability of the authorities to dispose of the corpses, in addition to the total paralysis of the healthcare facilities for treating patients. Following on this epidemic there was, also, considerable post-epidemic morbidity in the form of encephalitis lethargica. Unfortunately science has not yet developed the tools to be able to predict when and where a future major pandemic will occur or what the impact of it will be. For this reason countries throughout the world have been invited to prepare contingency plans in the event of a future major pandemic. Were such an event to occur in the future, this would result in a vast demand for vaccine which could result in inequitable distribution as well as major demands for drugs such as antivirals and antibiotics.The WHO has established an influenza pandemic task force to prepare a blueprint plan to guide governments in preparing for the next pandemic. Account will need to be taken of this document when it does appear, probably towards the end of this year, in finalizing a definitive pandemic preparedness plan."

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National Institute of Virology. All rights reserved.
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World Health Organization: http://www.who.org/
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