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ILAR J. 2010;51(3):268-80.

Lessons from pandemic H1N1 2009 to improve prevention, detection, and response to influenza pandemics from a One Health perspective.

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Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, Washington, DC 20005-3536, USA.


In April 2009, a novel influenza A subtype H1N1 triple reassortant virus (novel H1N1 2009), composed of genes from swine, avian, and human influenza A viruses, emerged in humans in the United States and Mexico and spread person-to-person around the world to become the first influenza pandemic of the 21st century. The virus is believed to have emerged from a reassortment event involving a swine virus some time in the past 10 to 20 years, but pigs, pork, and pork products have not been involved with infection or spread of the virus to or among people. Because countries quickly implemented recently developed pandemic influenza plans, the disease was detected and reported and public health authorities instituted control measures in a timely fashion. But the news media's unfortunate and inappropriate naming of the disease as the "swine flu" led to a drop in the demand for pork and several countries banned pork imports from affected countries, resulting in serious negative economic impacts on the pork industry. With the continual circulation and interspecies transmission of human, swine, and avian influenza viruses in countries around the world, there are calls for strengthening influenza surveillance in pigs, birds, and other animals to aid in monitoring and assessing the risk of future pandemic virus emergence involving different species. We identify and discuss several lessons to be learned from pandemic H1N1 2009 from a One Health perspective, as stronger collaboration among human, animal, and environmental health sectors is necessary to more effectively prevent or detect and respond to influenza pandemics and thus improve human, animal, and environmental health and well-being.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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