Book ID: CBB001252198

Influenza: A Century of Science and Public Health Response (2012)

unapi

Dehner, George (Author)


University of Pittsburgh Press


Publication Date: 2012
Physical Details: viii + 285 pp.; bibl.; index
Language: English

In 1976, the outbreak of a new strain of swine flu at the Fort Dix, New Jersey, army base prompted an unprecedented inoculation campaign. Some forty-two million Americans were vaccinated as the National Influenza Immunization Program hastened to prevent a pandemic, while the World Health Organization (WHO) took a wait-and-see approach. Fortunately, the virus did not spread, and only one death occurred. But instead of being lauded, American actions were subsequently denounced as a "fiasco" and instigator of mass panic. In Influenza, George Dehner examines the wide disparity in national and international responses to influenza pandemics, from the Russian flu of 1889 to the swine flu outbreak in 2009. He chronicles the technological and institutional progress made along the way and shows how these developments can shape an effective future policy. Early pandemic response relied on methods of quarantine and individual scientific research. In the aftermath of World War II, a consensus for cooperation and shared resources led to the creation of the WHO, under the auspices of the United Nations. Today, the WHO maintains a large and proactive role in responding to influenza outbreaks. International pandemic response, however, is only as strong as its weakest national link--most recently evidenced in the failed early detection of the 2009 swine flu in Mexico and the delayed reporting of the 2002 SARS outbreak in China. As Dehner's study contends, the hard lessons of the past highlight the need for a coordinated early warning system with full disclosure, shared technologies, and robust manufacturing capabilities. Until the "national" aspect can be removed from the international equation, responses will be hampered, and a threat to an individual remains a threat to all.

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Description From the Russian flu of 1889 to the swine flu outbreak in 2009.


Reviewed By

Review Victoria Lee (2015) Review of "Influenza: A Century of Science and Public Health Response". Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (pp. 122-125). unapi

Citation URI
http://data.isiscb.org/isis/citation/CBB001252198/

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Authors & Contributors
Gallay, Alan
MacDougall, Heather A.
Bhattacharya, Sanjoy
Schneider, William H.
Hulverscheidt, Marion A.
Dehner, George
Journals
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Medical History
Social Studies of Science
Korean Journal of Medical History
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Publishers
University of California, Davis
Ohio State University
Virginia, University of
Johns Hopkins University Press
MIT Press
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Concepts
Public health
Prevention and control of disease
Epidemics
Smallpox
Infectious diseases
Medicine
People
Sigerist, Henry Ernest
Places
Africa
Canada
Toronto (Ontario)
India
Korea
Boston (Massachusetts, U.S.)
Times
20th century
21st century
20th century, late
18th century
19th century
20th century, early
Institutions
World Health Organization (WHO)
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