Entries by studioplum_eswi

Why is vaccination against flu necessary?

Influenza (the flu) is a highly contagious and potentially life-threatening disease. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu vaccine is the single best way to prevent the flu, and vaccination is the main tool used to protect people from influenza. The flu vaccine is easily administered […]

Should health care workers be vaccinated?

Health care workers infected with influenza can transmit the highly contagious virus to patients in their care. This is particularly troubling for the many patients at high risk for influenza-related complications. In addition, infected healthcare workers have high risks of not being able to continue to care for their patients. Healthcare workers are therefore strongly […]

Role of the industry

Pandemic outbreaks of influenza have caused a huge burden of disease in 1918, 1957 and in 1968 with estimated numbers of fatal cases of about 40, 2 and 1 million people worldwide respectively. There is no reason to believe that future pandemics would not have a similar impact. Furthermore there is no way to predict […]

The right steps were taken

Scientific experts agree that declaring the pandemic stage for the “Swine flu” and advising to produce pandemic vaccines were absolutely the proper things to do given the science and technology at our disposal when the pandemic emerged. As early as March 2009, it was clear that the “Swine flu” had pandemic potential: it was a […]

H1N1 vaccines

How safe are H1N1 vaccines? A wide range of measures are in place to monitor and review the safety of H1N1 pandemic vaccines, including (pre-)clinical testing, regulatory assessment, and wide-scale monitoring. This builds on the extensive safety record established with seasonal influenza vaccines over the last 60 years in a wide range of age and […]

Similarities between Swine and Spanish flu

It is interesting to note that there are several similarities between the ‘Swine flu’ threat and the ‘Spanish flu’: Both were caused by an H1N1 virus that originally came from birds, but probably was transmitted to humans via pigs in America. Both caused relatively mild disease and little mortality in the first months of their […]

The Mexican flu: a pandemic

The clinical manifestations of the ‘Swine flu’ were relatively mild by the end of May 2009 and reminiscent of what is normally seen in seasonal influenza. Yet, a higher percentage of gastro-intestinal symptoms was observed and many severely affected people were in relatively young age categories with an overall peak between 25 and 50 years. […]

Spread of H1N1 virus

From spring 2009 onwards, a new influenza A virus of the H1N1 subtype started to circulate among humans in Mexico. Tens of thousands were infected before the virus spread to Texas and California, where it was first identified as a new human virus that probably had originated from pigs. The virus had initially not been […]


In the past, new strains have generated pandemics causing high death rates and major disruptions to society. Although healthcare has improved in recent decades, epidemiological models project that today a pandemic is likely to result in 2 to 7.4 million deaths globally. In developed countries alone, accounting for 15% of the world’s population, models project […]

Origin of H1N1 (‘Mexican’ or ‘Swine’ flu)

The accompanying graph reveals the origin of the ‘Swine flu virus’ as deduced from sequence analysis of the respective genome segments, that through a process of so-called “re-assortment” shaped the new virus. All the eight segments originate from avian influenza A viruses that were introduced into pigs directly from birds or through a human intermediate […]