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AS THIS YEAR'S influenza season wanes, those sure to come next year and in years after that loom.
Edwin D. Kilbourne, MD, a noted expert on the disease and research professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, has called influenza "the last great plague." Currently, work is in hand to fight it on two fronts.
For the short term, the decision on the best subtypes to be incorporated into next year's influenza vaccine has been made, and manufacturers are proceeding to cultivate the three viral subtypes that will be in the vaccine.
For the long term, plans are being made to prepare for the certainty that sometime in the future there will occur an influenza pandemic like those in 1919, 1957, and 1968. Draft proposals have been prepared. Last month, representatives of health service providers and state and local health organizations discussed them, seeking
Marwick C. Facing Inevitable Future Flu Seasons, Experts Set 1996 Vaccine and Plan for Unpredictable Pandemic. JAMA. 1995;273(14):1079-1080. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520380015006