Pandemic Case Studies: Meningitis & Swine Flu (H1N1)
Case study one: Meningitis epidemicsMeningococcal bacteria (Neisseria meningitidis) are amongst the most common causes of bacterial meningitis. There are several different groups of Meningococcal bacteria that are named A, B, W, Y and X. Meningitis epidemics or outbreaks in different parts of the world have led to millions of deaths, mainly in those aged under 20. Meningitis outbreaks can occur in any part of the world.The so-called ‘meningitis belt’ is a region in sub-Saharan Africa where there is a high incidence of meningitis and outbreaks are regularly reported, with the most common cause being Meningitis A. Although vaccines to prevent Meningitis A already existed, cost prohibited the widespread use in this region. To address this an affordable vaccine was developed and successfully used to reduce the cases of Meningitis A in this region. Watch the short film below that explains how the vaccine was developed and implemented.
This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.
Case study two: Swine flu (H1N1) pandemicThe first pandemic of the 21st century was the Swine flu influenza pandemic that started in April 2009. A vaccine based on this specific strain of influenza was rapidly developed. To bring the pandemic to an end the vaccine was required all round the world, but the supply was limited due to the time associated with the vaccine production. The World Health Organization (WHO) coordinated the distribution of donated influenza vaccines to those most at risk and countries most in need. Huge efforts were taken to mobilize resources, ensure a sufficient supply of prequalified vaccines, support country readiness and deploy vaccines and ancillary products to the countries. To see the whole story please see the video linked in the see also section below.
The Role of Vaccines in Preventing Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance
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