Virology: Current Research

ISSN: 2736-657X

Open Access

Are We Approaching a New Influenza Pandemic?


Chandra Wickramasinghe and Jiangwen Qu

Over the past several months influenza activity has continued to increase in the temperate zones of the northern hemisphere and has led to a concern over global health and the impending prospect of another major pandemic. Based on a range of available evidence we argue that the current influenza situation might be related to the ongoing La Niña phenomenon accompanied by increased precipitation patterns in the Pacific. The four most recent human influenza pandemics (1918, 1957, 1968, and 2009) were preceded by La Niña conditions in the equatorial Pacific and almost all influenza pandemics in history fall within ± 1 year of sunspot extreme. Sunspot activity will reach its minimum in 2019. Therefore, a new influenza pandemic may well be imminent now, one hundred years after the 1918-1919 pandemic. It will therefore be prudent and timely to strengthen worldwide surveillance strategies and to prepare ourselves for a future emergency.


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