The State of Influenza

The rapid spread of H5N1 avian influenza has raised global concern about the prospect of a human influenza pandemic, and preparing for such a crisis poses a great challenge to both scientists and policy makers. In a special section of the 21 Apr 2006 issue, Science examined the current picture of influenza, including News reports on antivirals and vaccines, Review and Perspective articles on flu transmission and prevention, and an Editorial underscoring the need for faster and more robust tests to diagnose infection. Three new research papers looked at how seasonal flu epidemics spread and how aspects of H5N1 virus biology may contribute to infection and transmissibility. A special online portal ( ) offered access to previous Science articles that provide additional perspective on the flu crisis, as well as three articles from the Science Classic archive dating from 1918 and 1919 that provide contemporary thoughts on the great 1918 flu pandemic. Finally, a special podcast devoted to influenza featured interviews with Science News writers and scientists on topics related to the special section ( ).

I believe that most articles will be publicly (non-member) accessible.