July 25, 2009 |
Hundreds of thousands of Americans could die over the next two years if the vaccine and other control measures for the new H1N1 influenza are not effective, and, at the pandemic's peak, as much as 40% of the workforce could be affected, according to new estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is admittedly a worst-case scenario that the federal agency says it doesn't expect to occur.
September 23, 2011 |
The film "Contagion" may have been fiction, but the 1918-19 influenza epidemic was horrifyingly real. The "Spanish flu" epidemic tore a path of destruction across the globe, killing an estimated 50-100 million people within months before disappearing into history. Now, evidence from U.S. soldiers felled by the virus reveals that it circulated in the country for four months before the pandemic was even identified. The findings, published online Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offer a picture of a virus as it turned from common pathogen to killer bug, said senior author Jeffery Taubenberger, a pathologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Md. "This was one of the worst infectious disease outbreaks that ever occurred," Taubenberger said.
October 17, 2013 |
The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19 killed 583,135 Americans, according to public health authorities at the time. Although we no longer suffer such a high rate of flu deaths, during a non-pandemic season, flu still kills on average thousands each year in this country. From the 1976-77 season to the 2006-07 season, flu-associated deaths ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccination is the key to prevention.
March 20, 2008 |
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that climate change and pandemic disease threatened international security as much as terrorism and that Britain must radically improve its defenses. Brown listed the greatest threats to Britain's peace as "war, terrorism and now climate change, disease and poverty -- threats which redefine national security." Officials estimate that a flu-type pandemic in Britain could cost as many as 750,000 lives, according to a report commissioned by Brown. It also says major coastal floods probably would result in a military evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people.
October 6, 2005
On Tuesday, President Bush tried to reassure us by saying he will use the military to enforce a quarantine to prevent the spread of an avian influenza pandemic. I would much rather hear from our president that the federal government will give all the necessary economic support to produce as rapidly as possible a vaccine for the H5N1 (avian) influenza virus. This is the only effective way to prevent a pandemic: a mass vaccination as was done against polio. A Centers for Disease Control director recently said that a vaccine against the avian influenza virus is going to be available but there are not sufficient funds to mass-produce it soon enough.
December 18, 2009 |
Available doses of the vaccine against pandemic H1N1 influenza will top 100 million in the United States by today, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday. The vaccine has become sufficiently plentiful, prompting at least 24 states and some other communities to lift restrictions and open distribution to everyone. And some pharmacies are starting to get the vaccine for general distribution. Earlier, supplies had been targeted at those most at risk, including children and pregnant women.
November 30, 2010 |
That H1N1 pandemic....no, it didn't lead to bodies piled high in the streets. But the point is, it could have -- pandemics sometimes do. And were we prepared? No, we were not. That's the bottom line of a perspective published in the New England Journal of Medicine right before Thanksgiving when our thoughts of birds had all to do with feasts and not the influenza A viruses many wild ones naturally harbor. The commentary, which you can read in full on the Web , was penned by three scientists at RAND in Santa Monica and its main theme was vaccine acceptance.