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Pneumonia linked to 1918-1919 flu deaths.

The majority of deaths during the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 were not caused by the influenza virus acting alone but were due to bacterial pneumonia following flu virus infection, according to a study in the Oct. 1 Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Researchers said a future influenza pandemic could unfold in a similar way, pointing to the need for pandemic preparations that include not only efforts to produce new or improved flu vaccines and antiviral drugs, but also stockpiles of antibiotics and bacterial vaccines.

The availability of antibiotics during the subsequent influenza pandemics of the 20th century, particularly those in 1957 and 1968, was probably a key factor in the lower number of worldwide deaths then, said study authors.
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Title Annotation:HEALTH FINDINGS: The latest public health studies and research
Author:Currie, Donya
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Oct 1, 2008
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