Influenza, anthropology, and global uncertainties

Med Anthropol. 2009 Jul;28(3):207-11. doi: 10.1080/01459740903070519.


The response to the novel H1N1 influenza (swine flu) pandemic has been overwhelmingly biological and epidemiological in scope. While plans are moving forward on a vaccine, few of the social effects of a truly massive global catastrophe-or the issues of communication, responding to predictable inappropriate reactions, preparation of populations for these effects, or using local population resources in the epidemic-have been well considered. Anthropology can play an important and underutilized role in planning and responding to influenza and other global emergencies. This editorial discusses these issues and makes some preliminary recommendations.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthropology
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control*
  • Europe
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • International Cooperation*
  • Public Health Practice*
  • Swine / virology
  • Uncertainty