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Volume 14, Number 5—May 2008


Pandemic Influenza Planning in the United States from a Health Disparities Perspective

Philip Blumenshine*1, Arthur L. Reingold†, Susan Egerter‡Comments to Author , Robin Mockenhaupt§, Paula Braveman‡, and James Marks§
Author affiliations: *Weill/Cornell Medical College, Ithaca, New York, USA; †University of California, Berkeley, California, USA; ‡University of California, San Francisco, California, USA; §Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey, USA;

Main Article


Factors that could contribute to health disparities among socioeconomic and racial/ethnic groups during an influenza pandemic

Differences in exposure to influenza virus
Crowding in households, medical facilities, public transportation
Occupational factors such as inability to work from home, dependence on childcare outside of the home
Differences in susceptibility to influenza disease, once exposed to the virus
Host factors, including preexisting immunity, age, other underlying diseases or conditions, smoking, nutritional status, stress
Vaccination status, reflecting differences in vaccine seeking and acceptance and in vaccine availability
Differences in timely effective treatment, once influenza disease has developed
Access to outpatient and inpatient medical care
Care-seeking attitudes and behavior
Financial obstacles, including lack of adequate insurance coverage
Logistic obstacles, including transportation, language
Quality of care
Availability of antiviral treatments
Appropriate inpatient treatment

Main Article

1Current affiliation: University of California, San Francisco, California, USA