The scientific community is all too familiar with the dangers an influenza pandemic could bring. The politicians and general public are starting to become aware of the issue as well; indeed, one can hardly open a newspaper or turn on the television without hearing about “bird flu.” So, what’s actually being done to prevent an influenza catastrophe? What are the issues? What can be done?
These are the questions that keep public health officials awake at night, because the answer is always that we’re not doing enough. While we may be resigned to the fact that a future pandemic can’t be completely prevented, the damage can be minimized. Today, I’ll discuss the problems we face, and the proposed solutions to counter them, when it comes to pandemic influenza preparedness.