"Is the World Due for an Influenza Pandemic?"
Peter Palese, PhD, professor of microbiology, medicine, and infectious disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai discusses influenza. “Influenza pandemics are caused by novel influenza viruses, which are responsible for worldwide epidemics with high morbidity and mortality. The most dramatic influenza pandemic in recorded history occurred in 1918-1919. It is estimated that up to 100 million people died worldwide, and the United States likely had 750,000 deaths in a population of 100 million people.” According to Dr. Palese, we still do not understand what is important for person-to-person transmission and what makes an influenza virus highly virulent for humans. Thus, the best hope for successfully fighting a new pandemic virus is a better understanding of the biology of the virus and the development of improved vaccines and antivirals.
— Peter Palese, PhD, Professor, Microbiology, Medicine, Infectious Disease, Chair, Microbiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai