Infectious disease experts have confirmed that the global influenza outbreak represents a real danger to humans more than the ongoing risk of the Corona virus, and Professor Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, USA, explained that the global influenza outbreak may be much worse than the Corona pandemic.
The severity of the flu
According to a report by the newspaper “The Telegraph”, Osterholm confirmed that “before Corona, influenza epidemics posed the first biological danger to humans, and this did not change even with the emergence of the Corona virus.”“.
He added: “In the 100 years between 1918 and 2018, we had four influenza pandemics and this shows that the threat of an influenza pandemic is a real and serious threat and the question is not whether we will have another influenza pandemic, but when.”
Osterholm was speaking at the launch of a roadmap for developing vaccines against seasonal influenza that is expected to rise this year as well as pandemic influenza, by the World Health Organization with several other organizations, influenza kills 290,000 to 650,000 people annually, and disproportionately affects the population of low and middle countries Income The world has historically experienced an influenza pandemic once every 25 years. The roadmap outlines what is needed to develop new vaccines, from a better understanding of the immune response to influenza to ensuring sustainable funding.
According to Dr. Martin Fried, a vaccine expert at the World Health Organization, the current influenza vaccines are based on technology that was first developed in the 1940s and needs to be formulated every year depending on the strains of the disease circulating while there has been a gradual improvement in vaccine development in the past ten years, We still don’t have a vaccine that protects against stronger strains for much longer.
The ultimate goal is a universal influenza vaccine that does not have to be given every year, has been effective against many different strains and can be used in low- and middle-income countries There is also an urgent need for pandemic influenza vaccines and experts hope to draw lessons from the Corona pandemic.