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GLOBAL HEALTH REPORT
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 117-130

Mitigation approaches to combat the flu pandemic


1 Division of CBRN Defense, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, Brig SK Mazumdar Marg, Delhi - 110 054, India
2 High Throughput Screening Lab, Jubilant Biosys Ltd, "Jubilant Discovery Center", #92, Industrial Suburb, 2nd Stage, Industrial Area, Yeshwantpur, Bangalore - 560 022, India
3 National Disaster Management Authority, NDMA Bhawan, A-1, Safdarjung Enclave, Delhi - 110 029, India

Correspondence Address:
Rakesh Kumar Sharma
Division of CBRN Defense, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, Brig SK Mazumdar Marg, Delhi - 110 054
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-777X.56258

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Management of flu pandemic is a perpetual challenge for the medical fraternity since time immemorial. Animal to human transmission has been observed thrice in the last century within an average range of 11-39 years of antigenic recycling. The recent outbreak of influenza A (H1N1, also termed as swine flu), first reported in Mexico on April 26, 2009, occurred in the forty first year since last reported flu pandemic (July 1968). Within less than 50 days, it has assumed pandemic proportions (phase VI) affecting over 76 countries with 163 deaths/35,928 cases (as on 15 th June 2009). It indicated the re-emergence of genetically reassorted virus having strains endemic to humans, swine and avian (H5N1). The World Health Organisation (WHO) member states have already pulled up their socks and geared up to combat such criticalities. Earlier outbreaks of avian flu (H5N1) in different countries led WHO to develop pandemic preparedness strategies with national/regional plans on pandemic preparedness. Numerous factors related to climatic conditions, socio-economic strata, governance and sharing of information/logistics at all levels have been considered critical indicators in monitoring the dynamics of escalation towards a pandemic situation. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Government of India, with the active cooperation of UN agencies and other stakeholders/experts has formulated a concept paper on role of nonhealth service providers during pandemics in April 2008 and released national guidelines - management of biological disasters in July 2008. These guidelines enumerate that the success of medical management endeavors like pharmaceutical (anti-viral Oseltamivir and Zanamivir therapies), nonpharmaceutical interventions and vaccination development etc., largely depends on level of resistance offered by mutagenic viral strain and rationale use of pharmaco therapeutic interventions. This article describes the mitigation approach to combat flu pandemic with its effective implementation at national, state and local levels.


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2008 Journal of Global Infectious Diseases | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 10th December, 2008