The 2009 swine flu (Influenza A H1N1) pandemic defied predictions that the next influenza outbreak was likely to be Avian influenza arising from H5N1-endemic countries in Southeast Asia. As the world struggled to cope with the global financial meltdown, a new unexpected influenza challenge emerged from the Americas – but with the public health community better prepared than before. Although the avian influenza predictions have not occurred yet, the dire warnings were not misplaced, as the pandemic planning that ensued greatly helped decision makers and healthcare professionals around the planet to deal with the current A(H1N1) outbreak.
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