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Medical News & Perspectives
July 3, 2013

Preparedness Key to Combating Potential Pandemic Resulting From Any New Influenza Strain

JAMA. 2013;310(1):18-19. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.7130

As the world’s public health leaders closely watch to see whether the H7N9 virus emerging in China could become pandemic, experts at the annual General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology held in Denver in May emphasized the importance of preparing a nimble response to all influenza strains with such potential.

As of mid-May, H7N9 had caused 31 deaths and at least another 100 human cases in China, while many questions about the virus and its likelihood of spreading remained unanswered. Despite the unknowns, researchers and public health authorities are working feverishly to prepare for a potential pandemic of H7N9.