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Do Public Health and Infection Control Measures Prevent the Spread of Flu?

Eric Toner
Date posted:
March 15, 2006
Publication type:

Biosecur Bioterror 2006;4(1):84-86

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Available on publisher's website
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Full article as PDF


Not much is known about influenza transmission or ways to prevent itAn effective response to an influenza pandemic will hinge on the availability of vaccine and antivirals. If they are in limited supply, as is anticipated, then disease control will depend on public health and infection control measures. Unfortunately, not much is known about the efficacy of such interventions for preventing the transmission of flu. In fact, very little is known about influenza transmission. A review of the literature found no English-language experimental studies of person-to-person spread of flu and no studies of the use of masks or hand-washing as means of preventing transmission of flu. Despite the absence of scientific data, some reasonable inferences and extrapolations can be drawn based on what is known, which is discussed below.



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