• How Are Viruses Spread?
• H1N1 Flu/What is a Pandemic?
• The History of Pandemics
• How to Minimize the Threat of Pandemic
• What is the Math?
A pandemic is an epidemic (an outbreak of an infectious disease) that spreads across international borders, or at least across a large region. According to the World Health Organization, a pandemic can start when three conditions have been met:
- a new influenza virus subtype emerges;
- it infects humans and causes serious illness; and,
- it spreads easily and sustainably among humans.
Previous pandemics include cholera and the Spanish Flu. Currently scientists are training a careful eye on H1N1, the "swine flu."
By the first week of May 2009, there were 642 confirmed cases of H1N1 in humans and two deaths reported in the United States.
Will H1N1 mutate and cause a pandemic? Only time will tell.