versão impressa ISSN 0042-9686
Bull World Health Organ vol.80 no.3 Genebra Jan. 2002
Influenza viruses for next year's vaccines named
The viruses WHO recommends for use in influenza vaccine for the northern hemisphere in the next influenza season (end of 2002 and beginning of 2003) are designated as follows: an A/New Caledonia/20/99(H1N1)-like virus; an A/Moscow/10/99(H3N2)-like virus (of which the widely used strain is A/Panama/2007/99); and a B/Hong Kong/330/2001-like virus. International influenza experts reached this conclusion at WHO's headquarters in Geneva on 6 February. After this annual meeting, more than 230 million influenza vaccine doses are produced and given. WHO strongly advises early vaccination, especially for the elderly and chronically ill. For most people in good health, influenza amounts to fever, headaches, coughing and a few days off work or school, followed by complete recovery. However, the worst pandemic of the 20th century was the "Spanish flu" of 191819, which killed 40 million people, and only vigilance can reduce the chances of an outbreak of this kind happening again.