WHO Raises Swine Flu Pandemic Alert To Level 5

Source : https://dofollownet.com

Seems that we have never been so close to an influenza pandemic since the Hong Kong Flu pandemic in 1968, as the World Health Organization raised the pandemic alert level to phase 5, just one level below phase 6 (declared pandemic).

WHO and other Health Authorities around the world were expecting that the next pandemic would come from a mutant strain of H5N1 (or other avian strains like H7N1 or H9N2)and laboratories were working on developing a vaccine against these candidates.

The outbreak and the quick spread of this H1N1 variant has changed the game, and in case of a confirmed pandemic, WHO will have to face tough choices. The worldwide vaccine production is estimated around 500,000,000 doses, which means that only 250,000,000 people will receive the required 2 shots. Even if the production could be increased to 1 billion (assuming there is no chicken eggs shortage), only 500 millions people could be protected. Other 5.5 billions would have to rely on antiviral drugs like Tamiflu for their protection.

WHO urge all countries to get ready to activate their pandemic plan.

Another problem that WHO will have to face: producing enough vaccine for this new swine influenza A/H1N1 will require stopping the production of vaccines for the seasonal flu, which kills thousands of people every year (nearly 1 million worldwide). That rises a difficult public health management issue.

Center for Diseases Control and Prevention provides useful advices on how to protect yourself against Swine Flu virus: Swine Influenza and You

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Created by Keiros 35 weeks 4 days ago – Made popular 35 weeks 3 days ago
Category: Health News   Tags:

That's scaring me.

Asia 35 weeks 4 days 17 hours 47 min ago

According to what I've read about the Spanish Flu pandemic, it came in several waves: the first wave in March 1918 was "mild" and first cases were often considered as "normal seasonal flu". Then new outbreaks started in August and were much stronger than the first wave.

Nobody can predict how things

admin 35 weeks 4 days 17 hours 32 min ago

Nobody can predict how things will evolve. For now, it does not seem that the virus is causing cytokine storms, the strong immune reaction linked to fatality in patients infected with 1918 influenza and H5N1 (avian flu). Antiviral drugs like Tamiflu and Relenza appear effective and can be used to lower the pandemic effects until vaccine get produced.

It does not mean that the virus will not change and become more lethal: nobody knows. It could even become resistant to Tamiflu (like the last H5N1 variant found in Vietnam).

The problem with Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is that the molecule is not degraded by standard sewage water treatment, so it remains in the environment, which can lead to apperance of resistant strains.


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