Influenza is a global threat, with the risk of an influenza pandemic still very present in the minds of experts around the world. Three pandemics occurred in the 20th century which resulted in millions of deaths worldwide. The fourth pandemic of H1N1 influenza occurred in 2009 and affected countries on all continents. Globally, seasonal epidemics are thought to be responsible for around three to five million cases of severe illness and anywhere from 250,000 to 500,000 deaths. Of these deaths, 89 percent occur in patients aged ≥65 years.
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