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Tex Nurs. 2006 Jan;80(1):6-10.

A pandemic flu: not if, but when. SARS was the wake-up call we slept through.

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Infectious Disease Control Unit, Texas Department of State Health Services, USA.


If an influenza pandemic struck today, borders might close, the global economy would be severely impacted, international vaccine supplies and health are systems would be overwhelmed, and some people might panic. To limit the fallout, the industrialized world must create a detailed response strategy involving the public and private sectors. Some experts feel we are overdue for a flu pandemic and the SARS pandemic of 2003 could have been the wake up call to begin preparations. Fortunately there is some assistance coming from the federal government. On January 12, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt announced funding to assist in the preparation for a pandemic flu response. $100 million is being provided initially with another $250 million due later this year to assist states in pandemic flu preparedness. Texas' initial allocation is $5,875,044. While some believe that the AI (H5N1) causing illness and deaths in Asia and Turkey will be the pandemic flu strain, there is no guarantee that will occur. Thus, without knowing which strain may lead to a pandemic, development and manufacturing of a vaccine is delayed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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