Special report on past influenza pandemics and recent virus scares

December 05, 2015

What are the downsides to antiviral treatments? How can diagnostics be improved to assist in current or future pandemics? In which situations will certain antivirals be used, and what factors might limit the uptake of antiviral use during this pandemic?


Primary research: interviews with three influenza experts. Up-to-date Decision Resources epidemiology review of A/H1N1 2009: pandemic versus seasonal influenza, genetic drift versus genetic shift, emerging influenza threats, the current pandemic (cases, hospitalizations, deaths) compared with seasonal flu (cases, hospitalizations, deaths). Case studies: history of influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), H5N1 influenza ("avian flu" or "bird flu"). Influenza vaccines: development and production processes, current egg-based technologies, current and emerging cell-based technologies, companies with approved or potential A/H1N1 2009 vaccines. Antivirals: Tamiflu, Relenza, peramivir. Diagnostics: recent FDA A/H1N1 2009 diagnostic approvals, challenges with influenza diagnostics, opportunities and needs for pandemic diagnostics.