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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

Post Reply - H1N1 virus more virulent this year

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Topic - H1N1 virus more virulent this year
Posted: March 07 2017 at 6:55pm By Eight
Remember that The 1918 Pandemic killed in three waves spread out over around 10 months. At this time it was initially not thought that this was even the disease called influenza. Eventually, however, this became accepted. The causative agent was believed to be Haemophilus influenzae (hence its name), a bacteria. No vaccine existed at this time.

Compare that with the 2009 H1N1 pandemic where clinical trials for vaccines were being conducted in 3 months of the first laboratory confirmed case (April 15th to July 22nd). Mass production of vaccines began in earnest in less than four months and by five months nearly five vaccines were approved by the FDA. On October 5th, 2009--24 weeks and 4 days, just over 6 months--the first doses of an effective were administered to vulnerable populations.

We are worlds ahead in terms of preparation, detection, prevention, and even treatment. It is quite likely that the events (including deathtoll) of The Pandemic will not be repeated to the same extent ever again. Our knowledge on how to combat influenza has been paid for with many, many lives, however.