Sunday, November 06, 2005

Preventing a Pandemic - in brief

I have just put this up on H5N1 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The probability of a "humanized" form of H5N1 Avian flu emerging through recombination in the body of a human co-infected with avian and seasonal influenza could be reduced by a programme of seasonal influenza vaccination of at-risk poultry workers. It is not clear at this point whether vaccine production could be stepped up sufficiently to meet this demand.

If an outbreak of pandemic flu does occur, its spread can be slowed by increasing hygiene in aircraft, and by examining airline cabin air filters for presence of H5N1 virus. Air transport out of infected areas must be reduced to the absolute minimum.

Social isolation is one of the most effective ways of limiting the spread of influenza in the local population. Although virus particles are shed in the 3 days before the patient becomes ill, it continues for a week or more once illness begins. The public should be taught that it is anti-social to go out of the house when ill. Frequent hand washing and the wearing of effective masks can also reduce transmission.

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