Skip to main content
Accessibility|Contact|Privacy|Terms|Cookies

Pandemic H1N1 Flu Virus Fate

  • Published: 2010-09-28 : Author: NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • Synopsis: Possible future courses for the 2009 pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) virus during the upcoming flu season.

Main Document

NIH scientists consider fate of pandemic H1N1 flu virus - Whither pandemic H1N1 virus

In a new commentary, scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, review the fates of previous pandemic influenza viruses in the years following a pandemic and speculate on possible future courses for the 2009 pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) virus during the upcoming flu season and beyond.

The authors estimate that at least 183 million Americans (about 59 percent of the total U.S. population) have some immunity to pH1N1 because they were exposed to related viruses or vaccines prior to 2009, were immunized against pH1N1 or developed immunity following infection with the pandemic virus.

To stay in circulation in the face of such high levels of population immunity, the pH1N1 virus must adapt either through abrupt or gradual changes. The authors briefly examine a number of earlier pandemics and trace paths taken by the causative viruses. Some for reasons not well understood died out, while others, like those of 1889 and 1918, returned in an explosive fashion. Such an explosive return of pH1N1 virus is unlikely, note the authors, because global levels of immunity are already high and will increase further through immunization with 2010-2011 seasonal influenza vaccines, which contain the pH1N1 strain.

In light of what is known about pH1N1, the NIAID authors express a cautious optimism that unless it disappears entirely the virus will follow a route like that of 1968 pandemic virus, that is, it will persist in a form that causes relatively few deaths.

Nevertheless, the authors caution against complacency. As they acknowledge, many gaps remain in understanding how a given pandemic influenza virus adapts to increased immunity in humans. For that reason, influenza vaccination for everyone older than six months is a wise public health measure to maintain high levels of population-wide immunity. Immunization with 2010-2011 seasonal flu vaccine is particularly urged for babies older than six months, children, teens and young adults as the best way to protect individuals in those potentially more susceptible age groups from illness.

Additional information about NIAID's research programs in influenza is available at www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/flu/Pages/default.aspx.

DM Morens et al. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza virus: What next? mBio DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00211-10 (2010).

Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director, NIAID; David M. Morens, M.D., Senior Scientific Adviser, NIAID; Jeffery K. Taubenberger, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Investigator, Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, NIAID, are available to provide comment.

To schedule interviews, please contact the NIAID Office of Communications, 301-402-1663, niaidnews@niaid.nih.gov

NIAID conducts and supports research at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at www.niaid.nih.gov.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) The Nation's Medical Research Agency includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov

Discussion

• Discuss this article on our FaceBook Page.

Similar Topics

1 : H1N1 Flu Vaccine - Immunity Only Lasts 2 Years : The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
2 : It's Back - H1N1 Flu Returns in 2013-14 : Disabled World.
3 : Why Healthy Children Became Critically Ill with H1N1 : Children's Hospital Boston.
4 : H1N1 Hospitalization Rates Higher for Minorities : Trust for America's Health.
5 : Pandemic H1N1 Flu Virus Fate : NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
From our H1N1 Swine Flu Virus section - Full List (49 Items)


Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.


Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.





1 : Help Your Child in School by Adding Language to The Math
2 : 50% of Retirees Saw Little or No COLA Increase in Net 2018 Social Security Benefits
3 : Turnstone Endeavor Games Concludes with National Records Broken
4 : Spinning in Circles and Learning From Myself by Tsara Shelton
5 : St. Louis HELP Medical Equipment Donation Drive Generates Record-Breaking Results
6 : People Who Snore Suffer from Palate Nerve and Muscle Damage
7 : How Our Ancestors with Autistic Traits Led a Revolution in Ice Age Art
8 : Housing and Disabled People: Britains Hidden Crisis


Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.

© 2004 - 2018 Disabled World™