Preparing for the next large-scale flu outbreak

16 Dec 2009 13:29:00.000

PA 323/09

A new text book has been published to make sure students and health professionals have a better understanding of flu and are prepared to battle future pandemics on national and international levels. 

The text book Introduction to Pandemic Influenza, co-edited by Professor Jonathan Nguyen Van Tam of The University of Nottingham’s School of Community Health Sciences and the Health Protection Agency East Midlands, has a strong emphasis on practical preparedness, covering areas not dealt with by traditional texts. 

Professor Van-Tam, who is currently carrying out urgent research into how the H1N1 virus is spread, said: “Most health professionals will face at least one pandemic during their lifetime. These events place health systems under massive strain; if severe they place all of society under strain. So learning about this phenomenon, and ways we can be prepared, is of vital importance.”

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Dr Chloe Sellwood, co-editor of the book is responsible for the strategic overview of influenza preparedness within the National Health Service in London. Dr Sellwood said: “The book brings together the best of the global expertise, knowledge and experience of pandemic flu in one useful place. As such, the book will be an important resource for countries that are now approaching the Northern Hemisphere winter and potential increases in cases of pandemic flu.” 

The new book is aimed at public health professionals involved in pandemic preparedness and students studying virology, epidemiology, infectious diseases, public health and medical sciences. It covers influenza epidemiology, vaccinology, virology and immunology, pharmaceutical and public health countermeasures, policy issues, biomathematical modelling, ethics as well as communication between health professionals and the public and promoting the better understanding of influenza.

Each chapter raises five key questions at the beginning and answers them in clear and concise sections, also providing selected papers for further reading and detailing relevant modelling studies. 

The book published by CABI — a not for profit science based development and information organisation .

The research currently being carried out by Professor Van-Tam and his team was commissioned by the Department of Health as part of the UK government's response to the current pandemic.


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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings. 

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.

The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's “only truly global university”, it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008. 

Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives ( in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City. 

CABI is a not-for-profit science-based development and information organisation. Its mission and direction are influenced by member countries that help guide the activities undertaken. These include publishing; development projects and research; and microbial services. CABI produces key scientific information, including CAB Abstracts — the world-renowned bibliographic database covering agriculture and the environment. CABI also publishes multimedia compendia, books, e-books and full text internet resources aiming to further science and its application to real life. For more information go to 

The Health Protection Agency is an independent UK organisation that was set up by the government in 2003 to protect the public from threats to their health from infectious diseases and environmental hazards.  It does this by providing advice and information to the general public, to health professionals such as doctors and nurses, and to national and local government.

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More information is available from Sarah Wilson , PR and Corporate Communications Manager, CABI on +44 (0)1491 829 361, mobile +44 (0)7516 928 845,

Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

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