Ep 110 Influenza, Take 2: Fowl Play
Ep 110 Influenza, Take 2: Sitting Ducks; Fowl Play
Over five years ago, on October 31, 2017, the very first episode of This Podcast Will Kill You premiered, an action-packed (and mildly disorganized) tour of the influenza virus and the 1918 flu pandemic. So much has happened since that episode’s release, both within the podcast and in the world of public health, not the least of which is a respiratory virus pandemic. Given this distance from the podcast’s beginning and the added perspective of experiencing a pandemic firsthand, we decided to circle back to where we started by revisiting influenza for our fifth season finale. In this episode, we provide a bird’s eye view of influenza viruses overall, from how they make you sick to the long history of influenza pandemics and where we stand with case numbers in recent years. Then we dig deeper by giving you a different kind of bird’s eye view: a close examination of highly pathogenic avian influenza, especially H5N1. How is this virus different from your standard seasonal influenza strain, where did it come from, and how worried do we need to be? Are we just a bunch of sitting ducks? Tune in to find out.