Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We still have time to prepare for the next flu pandemic, and may be able to avoid it!

Science magazine labels the H1N1 Flu the "Virus of the Year" pointing out that it has proven less lethal than had been feared (but warning that viruses may become more lethal after their first dispersion). It also suggests that the pandemic has shown some of the strengths of the system put in place in this decade, but it has also exposed problems with surveillance in animals and problems with vaccine production.

Flu pandemics have recurred with regularity, but if we use the opportunities to improve surveillance and public health measures (vaccine production and distribution and more conventional approaches) we might be able to avoid future ones, leaving only the regular (killing) seasonal flu epidemics.

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