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Influenza A (H1N1) pandemic: true or false alarm

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Influenza A (H1N1) virus is the most common cause of influenza in humans. Influenza pandemics must be taken seriously because of their rapid spread. It’s an epidemic infectious disease that spreads through human population across continents or even worldwide. Judging its pandemic potential is difficult with limited information.

Response of the World Health Organization (WHO) and mass media concluded that overestimation and exaggeration of problems provoke unnecessary alarm among the general population. These media transmit calm and sense of safety to the human population. Rapid spread of pandemic phases and communications by WHO gives the impression of an escalation in virulence of the virus, although reflecting an increase in the extent of the spread. Pandemic spread is based on the extent of geographical spread and does not provide any precautionary measures for the severity of the disease. Pandemic phase has consistently emphasized that most cases are mild and majority of the patients overcome the mild symptoms and fully recover the absence of medical treatment. Also we cannot predict the sudden or dramatic jump of severity or fatal infection.

WHO and mass media play a vital role in alerting the individuals about the spread of the influenza pandemic and the safety measures to be considered. However, the real risk and the related factors must be carefully evaluated before raising an alarm about the pandemics.

Sources: http://jech.bmj.com/content/63/10/775.extract

Written by: healthplus24.com team

Date last updated: December 09, 2014