The National Academies

The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

Modeling Community Containment for Pandemic Influenza: A Letter Report (2006)

As the influenza virus continues to evolve and develop resistance to available pharmaceutical drugs, scientists and policymakers are concerned that the world may be hit with a pandemic that cannot be contained by vaccines and antivirals. If this is the case, nonpharmaceutical community containment strategies may be vital to helping protect the public against influenza outbreaks. The Institute of Medicine convened a committee to examine influenza epidemiology, existing containment models, and historical responses to influenza pandemics in order to assess the utility of community wide intervention strategies and make recommendations to policymakers. Modeling Community Containment for Pandemic Influenza is a letter summarizing this committee meeting.

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What do you know about infectious disease?

True or False: Thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative that was used in some vaccines and other products, has been shown to present a risk to human health.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    The use of thimerosal has been an object of controversy, with some arguing that the substance caused autism in children. However, extensive independent research has presented no convincing evidence of harm associated with the low levels of thimerosal previously present in vaccines.

  • Correct!

    The use of thimerosal has been an object of controversy, with some arguing that the substance caused autism in children. However, extensive independent research has presented no convincing evidence of harm associated with the low levels of thimerosal previously present in vaccines.