Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists consider fate of pandemic H1N1 flu virus

Date:
September 28, 2010
Source:
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Summary:
In a new commentary, scientists review the fates of previous pandemic influenza viruses in the years following a pandemic and speculate on possible future courses for the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus during the upcoming flu season and beyond.

Whither pandemic H1N1 virus? In a new commentary, scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, review the fates of previous pandemic influenza viruses in the years following a pandemic and speculate on possible future courses for the 2009 pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) virus during the upcoming flu season and beyond.

The authors estimate that at least 183 million Americans (about 59 percent of the total U.S. population) have some immunity to pH1N1 because they were exposed to related viruses or vaccines prior to 2009, were immunized against pH1N1 or developed immunity following infection with the pandemic virus.

To stay in circulation in the face of such high levels of population immunity, the pH1N1 virus must adapt either through abrupt or gradual changes. The authors briefly examine a number of earlier pandemics and trace paths taken by the causative viruses. Some -- for reasons not well understood -- died out, while others, like those of 1889 and 1918, returned in an explosive fashion. Such an explosive return of pH1N1 virus is unlikely, note the authors, because global levels of immunity are already high and will increase further through immunization with 2010-2011 seasonal influenza vaccines, which contain the pH1N1 strain.

In light of what is known about pH1N1, the NIAID authors express a cautious optimism that unless it disappears entirely the virus will follow a route like that of 1968 pandemic virus, that is, it will persist in a form that causes relatively few deaths.

Nevertheless, the authors caution against complacency. As they acknowledge, many gaps remain in understanding how a given pandemic influenza virus adapts to increased immunity in humans. For that reason, influenza vaccination for everyone older than six months is a wise public health measure to maintain high levels of population-wide immunity. Immunization with 2010-2011 seasonal flu vaccine is particularly urged for babies older than six months, children, teens and young adults as the best way to protect individuals in those potentially more susceptible age groups from illness.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. DM Morens et al. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza virus: What next? mBio, 2010; DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00211-10

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Scientists consider fate of pandemic H1N1 flu virus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928122559.htm>.
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2010, September 28). Scientists consider fate of pandemic H1N1 flu virus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928122559.htm
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Scientists consider fate of pandemic H1N1 flu virus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928122559.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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