Top 10 op risks: Epidemic disease

Top 10 op risks: Epidemic disease

Airborne threat: workers in Japan wear masks to help protect against swine flu infection in 2009

The last decade has seen two high-profile widespread outbreaks of respiratory disease: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in 2003 and H1N1 influenza in 2009–10. The risk of a severe influenza pandemic – in which a sudden genetic shift creates a new strain of the influenza virus, which spreads to affect a significant proportion of the world – has been estimated at one in every 25–30 years. Three have occurred in the last century: the worldwide “Spanish flu” in 1917–19, the “Asian flu” outbreak in

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