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Lee VJ, Fernandez GG, Chen MI, Lye D, Leo YS
Correspondence: Dr Vernon J Lee, email@example.com
With the increasing concern of an imminent influenza pandemic, Singapore and many other countries have been developing preparedness plans. Influenza affects an estimated 20 percent of the population of Singapore annually, and local outbreaks can last for more than 12 weeks and occur at different periods of the year. The 1968 pandemic in Singapore had a clinical attack rate of about 20 percent and resulted in infections with fever that lasted up to five days. However, absenteeism from work due to seasonal influenza-like illnesses was estimated to be less than one day per person in Singapore. The next pandemic in Singapore is predicted to cause an average of 1,105 deaths and 3,338 hospitalisations, while a severe pandemic will cause more healthcare damage. Preventive strategies include national public health initiatives, vaccination, anti-viral therapy, and hygiene measures. To develop effective preparedness plans, it is important for healthcare workers to understand the disease's epidemiology, outcomes, and treatment and prevention strategies available.
Keywords: epidemiology, infectious disease, influenza, pandemic
Singapore Med J 2006; 47(6): 463-470