Clin Infect Dis. 2019 Aug 17. pii: ciz803. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciz803. [Epub ahead of print]
Lessons from Influenza Pandemics of the last 100 Years.

Monto AS1, Fukuda K2.
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1 Department of Epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI. 2 School of Public Health, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.


Seasonal influenza is an annual occurrence, but it is the threat of pandemics which produces universal concern. Recurring reports of avian influenza viruses severely affecting humans have served as constant reminders of the potential for another pandemic. Review of features of the 1918 influenza pandemic and subsequent ones helps in identifying areas where attention in planning is critical. Key among such issues are likely risk groups and which interventions to employ. Past pandemics have repeatedly underscored, for example, the vulnerability of groups such as pregnant women and taught other lessons valuable for future preparedness. While a fundamental difficulty in planning for the next pandemic remains their unpredictability and infrequency, this uncertainty can be mitigated in part by optimizing the handling of the much more predictable occurrence of seasonal influenza. Improvements in antivirals and novel vaccine formulations are critical in lessening the impact of both pandemic and seasonal influenza.
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PMID: 31420670 DOI: 10.1093/cid/ciz803