HIV/AIDS & H1N1: mark chichocki, about.com — difference between seasonal & swine flu (054)

about-com1What is the difference between seasonal flu and pandemic flu?
by Mark Chichoki

chichoki4377Question: What is the difference between seasonal flu and pandemic flu?

Every year, people around the world get flu. But that’s seasonal flu. If a pandemic flu occurs it could kill millions worldwide. But what are the differences between seasonal flu and pandemic flu?

Answer: Seasonal Flu

  • Outbreaks are predictable and seasonal; usually in the winter
  • There is usually some immunity from previous exposure.
  • Healthy adults are usually not at risk; primarily affects the elderly, the very young, and the chronically ill.
  • The public health system can meet patient needs.
  • Vaccine is available and usually very effective.
  • Adequate supplies of antivirals are usually available.
  • Annual US deaths about 36,000
  • Symptoms include:
    • fever
    • cough
    • runny nose
    • muscle pain
    • deaths usually occur from complications such as pneumonia
  • Modest impact on society (e.g., school closing and sick people stay home from work)
  • minimal impact on world economy

Pandemic Flu

  • Occurs rarely (3 times in the last 100 years)
  • Because there is no previous exposure, there is no existing immunity
  • Even healthy people are at risk
  • Number of cases could overwhelm the health care system
  • No vaccine until later in the pandemic
  • Limited supplies if any effective antivirals
  • Deaths could number in the millions worldwide
  • Symptoms are more severe with more complications
  • Major impact on society (e.g. widespread school and business closings, quarantines, travel restrictions)
  • Severe impact on the world economy.

Source: United States Department of Health and Human Services; November 1, 2005

eight posts on HIV/AIDS & H1N1 at HAVVACC

  1. weho news: free flu shots tuesday by cedars (056)
  2. cdc recommendations for HIVers (full text) (055)
  3. about.com — difference between  seasonal & swine flus (054)
  4. AIDS-meds no evidence HIV worsens H1N1 severity (053)
  5. natap-sickest H1N1 patients have comorbidities (052)
  6. weho news – michael mooney on vaccine drawbacks (051)
  7. wikipedia: 1918 flu epidemic (050)
  8. cdc swine flu social media toolkit (049)
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