Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Is Our Obsession With Pandemic Bird Flu Justified?

Date:
March 2, 2009
Source:
American Society for Microbiology
Summary:
While it is almost a certainty that within the next few decades humanity will experience another influenza pandemic, it may not be caused by the avian influenza strain H5N1 that many scientists believe could be a prime candidate.

While it is almost a certainty that within the next few decades humanity will experience another influenza pandemic, it may not be caused by the avian influenza strain H5N1 that many scientists believe could be a prime candidate.

"We continue to be aroused and some nearly panicked by the threat of a flu pandemic caused by the avian influenza virus, H5N1. Is this anxiety justified? In the more than 15 years since it was first recognized, this bird flu virus has yet cause very much mortality in humans or evolve to be readily transmitted between people," says Bruce Levin, the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Biology at Emory University.

Nevertheless, because of the high case mortality of humans infected with H5N1 (sometimes exceeding 90%), pandemic influenza caused by this avian virus has appropriately stimulated a great deal of research on the microbiology, immunology, pathology, virulence, epidemiology and evolution of influenza. It has also contributed to a renaissance of interest in the great influenza of 1918, says Levin.

"The next pandemic could well have the potential to kill as many or more people than that in 1918, but we are far better prepared to deal with the next influenza pandemic than we were that of 1918," says Levin.

Unlike now, in 1918:

  • It was not clear that a virus was responsible for the pandemic
  • There were no vaccines or even ways to develop vaccines to prevent the disease
  • There were no antiviral drugs to mitigate the course of this disease and reduce the rate of transmission
  • There were no antibiotics to treat, or vaccines to prevent, secondary bacterial infections that evidence suggests were the major cause of mortality in influenza patients.

This research was presented February 23, 2009 at the ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society for Microbiology. "Is Our Obsession With Pandemic Bird Flu Justified?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090224225027.htm>.
American Society for Microbiology. (2009, March 2). Is Our Obsession With Pandemic Bird Flu Justified?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090224225027.htm
American Society for Microbiology. "Is Our Obsession With Pandemic Bird Flu Justified?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090224225027.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

AP (Apr. 21, 2014) Breakfast is now being served with a side of sticker shock. The cost of morning staples like bacon, coffee and orange juice is on the rise because of global supply problems. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins