My Life and Times

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Submitted By juyon66
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Case-In-Point - Influenza Pandemics Past and Future
Julian H.
August 9, 2011
D. Lenz

Case-In-Point Influenza Pandemics Past and Future
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (SANTAYANA, 1905) Unintended consequences of humankind’s activities that have led to the spread of the influenza virus during flu season are the lack of dispersing of the vaccine to the poor and homeless, non restriction of travel to or from known areas with high infection rates, and the quarantining of the infected in industrialized areas. Review of the past influenza epidemics and pandemics have shown that the reaction time is far too slow when dealing with such a communicable disease. In the US, the ill are not forced to stay home to prevent the spread of the disease. During the past H1N1 outbreak, travel was not restricted to and from areas with a high infection rate, nor was the border sealed.
Scientific or technological activities that are improving the situation are in the area of research and study of influenza. This study has allowed scientists to develop vaccines that often aid in preventing severe illness or death. There are two forms of the vaccine, an inactivated (or killed virus) vaccine delivered via needle intramuscularly, or a weakened live virus delivered via nasal spray. These vaccines are updated every year. Study of influenza is done year round in over 130 national centers in over 101 countries (CDC, 2011)
The application of the scientific method aided in the developments that lead to the creation of the influenza vaccine. The problem was the influenza virus. The hypothesis was that a means of inoculation could be created to prevent or slow the spread of influenza. Some of the initial research was performed by Nobel Prize Winner, Frank Macfarlane Burnet. He hypothesized that chicken embryos could be used to cultivate…...

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