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Better general immunisation may reduce impact of AI pandemic

Immunising against secondary bacterial infections may help prevent or reduce the severity of potentially fatal secondary infections common in pandemic flu occurrences, according to employees of MEDEX Assistance, a travel assistance and travel insurance company.

Immunisation against pneumonia, meningitis and Influenza B and other secondary bacterial infections may well reduce the impact of an avian flu pandemic outbreak, they say.
Medex's Medical Director Walter B Koppel, MD, said on the Medex company website, “Should a pandemic outbreak of avian flu occur, a vaccine specific to the final strain will take time to develop, manufacture, and distribute. Unfortunately, time is in short supply when it comes to pandemics as they spread widely and quickly.
"While some treatments are expected to have an impact on combating a pandemic in the short term, historical evidence from past flu pandemics indicate that secondary bacterial infections and not the flu strain itself were responsible for many pandemic-related fatalities."
Koppel concluded that a regimen of immunisations against secondary infections could ultimately reduce fatalities in the case of an avian influenza pandemic.

Editor WorldPoultry

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