The world was not ready for the next pandemic.
About 50 million people died globally in 1918 due to the great Influenza pandemic, also known as the Spanish flu. A hundred years later, the Influenza Division of the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA, met to discuss global readiness to fight the next pandemic.¹
Influenza viruses change constantly. This requires ongoing surveillance, investigations, and frequent vaccine changes. It was anticipated by the CDC that a similar situation would still have catastrophic results today, since the world is more crowded, and the habitats of humans and animals are increasingly converging. The number of reported novel Influenza A infections is raising since 2011¹ and CDC estimates that three out of every four new infectious diseases in people come from animals.²
Gaps in the pandemic readiness were identified, being the need for better antivirals, need for reusable respiratory protective devices and ventilator access some of them. The potential consequences of a new pandemic described on CDC's report were:
- Tens of millions of deaths, and infection of the 20-30% of global population.
- Disruption of transportation and supply chains (food, energy, medical supplies).
- Disruption and saturation of healthcare system.
- High economic costs (in the USA has been estimated US$181 billion cost due to pan flu pandemic of 2009³, and US$30 billion in only four months due to SARS-CoV-1).
Despite all the learnings and advice from different health organisations, one hundred years later, we were not ready.
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 D.B. Jerningan, Influenza Division, CDC, 100 Years Since 1918: Are We Ready for the Next Pandemic? (2018). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-commemoration/pdfs/1918-pandemic-webinar.pdf.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. (July 1, 2021). Zoonotic Diseases. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/onehealth/basics/zoonotic-diseases.html.
 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2017). Pandemic Influenza Plan 2017 UPDATE. Retrieved from Pandemic Influenza Plan - Update IV (December 2017) (cdc.gov).
 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (April 2, 2007). Rapid Response was Crucial to Containing the 1918 Flu Pandemic. Retrieved from https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/rapid-response-was-crucial-containing-1918-flu-pandemic.
 R Hatchett et al. Public health interventions and epidemic intensity during the 1918 influenza pandemic. PNAS DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0610941104 (2007).
 WHO. (2019). Ten threats to global health in 2019. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/spotlight/ten-threats-to-global-health-in-2019.
 Kitagawa H. Effectiveness of 222-nm ultraviolet light on disinfecting SARS-CoV-2 surface contamination. Am J Infect Control. 2021 Mar;49(3):299-301. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2020.08.022. Epub 2020 Sep 4. PMID: 32896604; PMCID: PMC7473342.
 Hessling M. The impact of far-UVC radiation (200-230 nm) on pathogens, cells, skin, and eyes - a collection and analysis of a hundred years of data. GMS Hyg Infect Control. 2021 Feb 16;16:Doc07. doi: 10.3205/dgkh000378. PMID: 33643774; PMCID: PMC7894148.
 Narita K . Disinfection and healing effects of 222-nm UVC light on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection in mouse wounds. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2018 Jan;178:10-18. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2017.10.030. Epub 2017 Oct 27. Erratum in: J Photochem Photobiol B. 2018 Apr 3;: PMID: 29101868; PMCID: PMC5771808.