Better general immunisation may reduce impact of AI pandemic
Immunising against secondary bacterial
infections may help prevent or reduce the severity of potentially fatal
secondary infections common in pandemic flu occurrences, according to employees
of MEDEX Assistance, a travel assistance and travel insurance company.
Immunisation against pneumonia, meningitis and Influenza B and other
secondary bacterial infections may well reduce the impact of an avian flu
pandemic outbreak, they say.
Medex's Medical Director Walter B Koppel, MD, said on the Medex company
, â€œShould a pandemic outbreak of avian flu occur, a vaccine specific
to the final strain will take time to develop, manufacture, and distribute.
Unfortunately, time is in short supply when it comes to pandemics as they spread
widely and quickly.
"While some treatments are expected to have an impact on combating a
pandemic in the short term, historical evidence from past flu pandemics indicate
that secondary bacterial infections and not the flu strain itself were
responsible for many pandemic-related fatalities."
Koppel concluded that a regimen of immunisations against secondary
infections could ultimately reduce fatalities in the case of an avian
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