Influenza is an important disease in children. In April 2009, human infections caused by a novel swine H1N1 virus were reported in Mexico, followed by a pandemic. As of 14 March 2010, more than 213 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory-confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including at least 16,813 deaths. This influenza pandemic is unique in many respects. Large outbreaks occurred outside the usual season for influenza infection. The virus also caused severe illnesses and deaths in younger people, with many deaths caused by severe pneumonia. A comprehensive approach to pandemic control has been launched, including infection control interventions, antiviral drugs and vaccines. Vaccination is the most efficient way to control morbidity and mortality resulting from influenza infections in humans. For the first time, an influenza vaccine against a pandemic strain became available before the winter. However, the initially smooth influenza vaccination program was disturbed by the fear of possible adverse events following immunization. In Taiwan, mistrust of the influenza vaccination has also caused significant social impacts towards the end of 2009. Lessons learned from this pandemic influenza H1N1 2009 might help health authorities and physicians shape their preparedness for the next pandemic.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health