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View Diary: Another bird flu to watch for... H7N9 in China (178 comments)

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  •  Greg, perhaps you could comment on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey, jrooth

    the definition of "pandemic." It's a commonly misunderstood term, I think.

    Alpacas spit if you annoy them. So don't do that.

    by alpaca farmer on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 07:04:06 AM PDT

    •  here is a simple wikipedia explanation (6+ / 0-)
      A pandemic can be defined as "An epidemic occurring worldwide or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries, and usually affecting a large number of people."[1]

      The World Health Organization (WHO) has a six-stage classification that describes the process by which a novel influenza virus moves from the first few infections in humans through to a pandemic. This starts with the virus mostly infecting animals, with a few cases where animals infect people, then moves through the stage where the virus begins to spread directly between people, and ends with a pandemic when infections from the new virus have spread worldwide.[2]

      A disease or condition is not a pandemic merely because it is widespread or kills many people;it must also be infectious. For instance, cancer is responsible for many deaths but is not considered a pandemic because the disease is not infectious or contagious.

      For flu, only the Secretary General of WHO can declare a pandemic. Seasonal flu is excluded from this.  You need a novel flu that humans don't have immunity to, can spread H2H (H5N1 fails here, so far) and that causes significant disease.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 07:12:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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