- versatile and dangerous infectious organism
- exceptional ability to move across different species
- genetic material arrayed in separate pieces, enabling the virus to mutate more readily
- Some say that the currently circulating bird flu will inevitably produce a widespread human pandemic
- Others believe this is very unlikely ← if the virus could spread efficiently from one human to another, it would already have
- Harvey V Fineberg’s position: both positions are overstated. We do not know enough about the biology and transmissibility of influenza to estimate the immediate risk of a pandemic with any confidence
200 humans infected with the current strain of avian influenza (exposure to infected poultry) > 100 died
- not just hope for the best, that avian flu remains a serious problem only in birds
- prepare for a possible, major outbreak of disease
- ← even if this particular strain does not produce widespread human disease, global influenza pandemics occur on average about 2 or 3 times every century
- seek more effective vaccine
- stockpile possibly helpful antiviral drugs
- intensify domestic and global surveillance
- In May 2006, the White House issued a detailed preparedness plan, with 300 specific tasks to be accomplished by federal agencies for national flu preparedness
- preparedness in every state, county, and community
→ Secretary of Health and Human carried message to meetings with political, civic, & health leaders in every state
- Message: no national preparedness plan until we have 50 state and more than 3000 county and municipal plans that are sound, tested, and practical. Is your community prepared to deal with a major influenza outbreak? Your life may depend upon it.
Watch the video & take notes on a sheet of paper
Once you have registered on Medscape, reach the page http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/545172
When you have finished, click on each item below to see the answer.
Harvey V. Fineberg, Pandemic Influenza Preparedness – Medscape – Oct 13, 2006.