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Chapter 3

Epidemics_Chapter 3

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Larry Sawchuk

Chapter 3: The Influenza Case Study 1 Influenza Pandemics - global spread of influenza dates back to 1889-90  When the Asiatic flu spread out from Russia to Europe and eventually North and South America - CAUSE of DISEASE = the „A‟ variant of the virus, subtype H2N2 or H2N8 - Estimate = one million people died at the close of this pandemic Contextualizing the Disease - 1918 influenza pandemic:  The 1918 “Spanish flu” = caused by a virus H1N1 strain that had its origins in the avian world  There was no medical cure + there were concomitant respiratory complications (pneumonia or broncho-pneumonia)  Depending on the community = the level of morbidity could be strikingly high with as much as 1/3 of the population suffering from this “novel” flu caused by antigenic shift [antigenic shift = Large fragments of genetic material are replaced with genes from other influenza types from other species. Associated with occasional / periodic world-wide outbreaks of influenzas] * The H1N1 strain was novel in 1918, becoming highly virulent and easily transmissible and consequently is classified as a pandemic strain as opposed to a seasonal strain (caused by antigenic drift). Mukherjea, 2010.  The ease of long distance transportation via ships (e.g. soldiers during WWI) = facilitated the spread of influenza around the world  In only a few locations = physical isolation provided protection to residents allowing them to escape this deadly scourge  Unfortunately, our knowledge regarding this particular epidemic is limited owing to a variety factors:  It occurred at the end of WW I = the disease was poorly understood at the time Chapter 3: The Influenza Case Study  Many feared that reports of the deadly flu would only raise further a
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