Influenza: the once and future pandemic

Public Health Rep. 2010 Apr;125 Suppl 3(Suppl 3):16-26.


Influenza A viruses infect large numbers of warm-blooded animals, including wild birds, domestic birds, pigs, horses, and humans. Influenza viruses can switch hosts to form new lineages in novel hosts. The most significant of these events is the emergence of antigenically novel influenza A viruses in humans, leading to pandemics. Influenza pandemics have been reported for at least 500 years, with inter-pandemic intervals averaging approximately 40 years.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Outbreaks / history*
  • Disease Reservoirs / virology
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype*
  • Influenza in Birds / epidemiology
  • Influenza in Birds / history
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology
  • Influenza, Human / history*
  • Poultry