H1N1 Influenza Page


WHO is in Alert Level 6, meaning that the first global pandemic in 41 years, or since 1968, has been declared. Its spread seems to be slow, but inexorable. This is turning out much like other unexpected strains of influenza; there is no vaccine but it seems to be spreading much like conventional flu strains and with about the same virulence.

Through June 2009, mortality as reported by WHO is low. The Wikipedia article on the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 shows that the first wave, in March 1918, seemed much like previous pandemics with mortality rates of about 0.1%. The second wave, beginning in August 1918 and carrying on in smaller waves through 1920, killed a total of between 50 and 100 million, a total comparable to WW II total deaths (see Wikipedia article). This mortality is unlikely to repeat in the 2009 pandemic because of changes in public health and medical practices in the last 90 years, many of which have resulted in part or in whole from experiences and research after the 1918 pandemic. See the Wikipedia article on Spanish Flu Research.

Log Plot of Flu since April 23

Source: WHO, Situation Updates and Maps



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