Influenza - Pandemic
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Influenza virus
A graphic of the microscopic H5N1 virus.

Influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious disease that is caused by the influenza virus. It attacks the respiratory tract in humans (nose, throat, and lungs). The flu is different from a cold. Influenza usually comes on suddenly and may include these symptoms: fever, headache, tiredness (can be extreme), dry cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches. These symptoms are usually referred to as "flu-like symptoms."

Influenza A viruses periodically cause worldwide epidemics, or pandemics, with high rates of illness and death. Unlike other public welfare emergencies, an influenza pandemic will impact on multiple communities across the United States and require swift and coordinated action and cooperation by all levels of government. Advanced planning for a large scale and widespread health emergency is required to optimize health care delivery during a pandemic. In addition, prevention and preparedness activities facilitate the response and recovery during and after an influenza pandemic.

Washington Post 19 Oct 14
The flu pandemic that came to Washington in 1918 killed 2,800, sickened many more
17 Apr 13

Sample Q&A: The Disease

Can a pandemic be prevented?
No one knows for sure.  Influenza viruses mutate all the time, in ways that are hard to predict.  It is impossible to know whether the currently circulating pandemic virus will cause a human pandemic.  The widespread nature of pandemic influenza in birds and other animal species and the likelihood of mutations over time raise our concerns that the virus will become transmissible between humans, with potentially catastrophic consequences.

The risk of influenza viruses spreading to humans increases when outbreaks of highly pathogenic influenza viruses are widespread.  As the numbers of human infections grow, the risk increases that new viruses subtype could emerge, triggering an influenza pandemic.  The first priority, in this situation, is to reduce opportunities for human exposure to the largest reservoir of the virus.  This is achieved through the rapid detection of outbreaks and the emergency introduction of control measures.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and Department of Defense (DoD) have surveillance programs to monitor and detect influenza activity around the world.  The organizations are specifically looking for the emergence of possible pandemic strains of influenza virus in human and animal populations.
Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of the Public Health Service Historian
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
A Guide for Individuals and Families
U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine
Recommendations of the Defense Health Board (DHB)
AFEB Select Subcommittee for DoD Pandemic Influenza Preparedness
Author: McGinn
DoD Instruction 6200.03
Department of Health & Human Services
U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration
US Department of Health and Human Services & US Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Public Health Agency of Canada
Health & Human Services
Global Influenza
Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)
Department of Health and Human Services
Flu.gov - One-stop access to U.S. Government H1N1, avian and pandemic flu information
Pandemic Flu Watchboard
Relenza
MILVAX Webcast by COL Wayne Hachey, 20 Jan 2010

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases explains the emergence and potential spread of new influenza viruses.


AFN: Chicken knows best when it comes to pandemic flu.
Chicken Knows Best Pandemic Flu
AFN: A chicken talks up Pandemic Flu.
Washington Post 19 Oct 14
The flu pandemic that came to Washington in 1918 killed 2,800, sickened many more
Author(s): Fuller T, Gilbert M, Martin V, Cappelle J, Hosseini P, Njabo K, Abdel Aziz S, Xiao X, Daszak P, Smith T
Publication: Emerging Infectious Diseases
Subject: Disease
Disease: 
Influenza - Seasonal
Influenza - Pandemic
Author(s): Government Accountability Office
Publication: GAO-13-374T
Subject: Vaccine-General
Disease: 
Influenza - Seasonal
Influenza - Pandemic
Author(s): Kuster S, Coleman B, Raboud J, McNeil S, De Serres G, Gubbay J, Hatchette T, Katz K, Loeb M, Low D, Mazzulli T, Simor A, McGeer A, and on behalf of th
Publication: Emerging Infectious Diseases; Volume 19, Number 4—April 2013
Subject: Disease
Disease: 
Influenza - Pandemic
Influenza - H1N1
Author(s): Salmon D, Akhtar A, Mergler M, Vannice K, Izurieta H, Lee G, Vellozzi, Garman P, Cunningham F, Gellin B, Koh H, Lurie N, H1N1 Working Group
Publication: Pediatrics
Subject: Vaccine-Safety
Disease: 
Influenza - Pandemic
Influenza - H1N1