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Before COVID-19

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Before COVID 19 many experts thought whether a high-severity pandemic on the scale of 1918 could occur in modern times. To reflect on the considerable medical, scientific, and societal advancements that have occurred since 1918, while recognizing that there are a number of ways that global preparations for the next pandemic still warrant improvement.

Medical technology and countermeasures at the time were limited or non-existent. Likewise, no flu antiviral drugs were available. Critical care measures, such as intensive care support and mechanical ventilation also were not available in 1918. Without these medical countermeasures and treatment capabilities, doctors were left with few treatment options other than supportive care.

Today, flu vaccines are now produced and updated yearly. Antiviral drugs now exist that treat flu illness, and in the event of virus exposure, can be used for prophylaxis. Many different antibiotics are now available that can be used to treat secondary bacterial infections.

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