Influenza is a common respiratory viral infection. Seasonal outbreaks of influenza cause substantial morbidity and mortality that burdens healthcare services every year.
The influenza virus constantly evolves by antigenic drift and occasionally by antigenic shift, making this disease particularly challenging to manage and prevent. As influenza viruses cause seasonal outbreaks and also have the ability to cause pandemics leading to widespread social and economic losses, focused discussions on improving management and prevention efforts is warranted.
The Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC) hosted the 2nd New Zealand Influenza Symposium (NZiS) in November 2015. International and national participants discussed current issues in influenza management and prevention. Experts in the field presented data from recent studies and discussed the ecology of influenza viruses, epidemiology of influenza, methods of prevention and minimisation, and experiences from the 2015 seasonal influenza immunisation campaign.
The symposium concluded that although much progress in this field has been made, many areas for future research remain.
Charania N, Mansoor O, Murfitt D and Turner N
N Z Med J