Monday, June 24, 2019

INFLUENZA THREAT - Stopping a Killer

"Why another flu pandemic is likely just a matter of when" (Part-1 of 3) PBS NewsHour 6/18/2019


SUMMARY:  Despite the availability of vaccines, the flu still kills tens of thousands of people in the U.S. each year, and hundreds of thousands more worldwide.  But public health officials fear that an even graver threat lies ahead: the emergence of a new, much more deadly flu virus.  As William Brangham reports, the scenario has occurred before.

"Why the race to stop the next flu outbreak starts at state fairs and the beach" (Part 2 of 3) PBS NewsHour 6/19/2019


SUMMARY:  Public health officials agree the constantly mutating influenza virus has the potential to cause a major outbreak and a deadly global crisis.  For the second part of the NewsHour’s series on preparing for such a pandemic, we examine how research and testing depends on animals.  William Brangham has the story of scientists looking for potential new flu strains in unexpected places, such as the beach.

"A universal flu vaccine could finally be within sight" (Part 3 of 3) PBS NewsHour 6/20/2019


SUMMARY:  Influenza is a shape-shifter virus that could spark a global pandemic.  Researchers at the National Institutes of Health are working to deliver what is referred to as The Holy Grail in the fight: a universal flu vaccine that could protect against all strains of the virus.  William Brangham concludes our pandemics series by learning what it will take to develop a universal vaccine.

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