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What the Paediatrician Needs to Know When Pandemic Influenza Arrives in Clinical Practice

  • Nicole Ritz
  • Nigel Curtis
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 609)

Avian (H5N1) influenza or “bird ‘flu” has received considerable attention in both the medical literature and the mass media in the last few years. Despite the tabloids’ portrayal of an imminent threat, to date there have been relatively few cases in humans in spite of large numbers of infected poultry (Hien et al. 2004). However, this may be falsely reassuring. Most indications suggest that it is just a matter of time until the next influenza pandemic occurs (Osterholm 2005). In the words of the UK Chief Medical Officer: “most experts believe that it is not a question of whether there will be another severe influenza pandemic but when” (Department of Health 2005). Although experts are agreed that a future influenza pandemic is almost inevitable, its timing is unpredictable and it is uncertain whether the virus responsible will be H5N1 or another, novel, influenza strain (Osterholm 2005). A recent editorial described avian influenza as a “predicament of extraordinary proportions” (Anonymous 2006). The next influenza pandemic will have a dramatic impact on all levels of health care including the everyday work of doctors. This chapter focuses on the clinical aspects of pandemic influenza about which paediatricians need to be familiar.

Keywords

Influenza Virus Avian Influenza Avian Influenza Virus Pandemic Influenza H5N1 Influenza 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicole Ritz
  • Nigel Curtis
    • 1
  1. 1.Associate Professor, Department of PaediatricsUniversity of Melbourne, Head of Paediatric Infectious Diseases Unit, Department of General Medicine, Leader of Microbiology & Infectious Diseases Research Group, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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