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The possibility of a human influenza pandemic, arising from either mutation of an avian influenza virus or reassortment with a human strain, has received much attention and media exposure. Although there are some dissenters,1 the expert consensus remains that a pandemic is almost inevitable.2–7 The need for a greater appreciation of the risks and challenges posed by avian influenza, and the need for doctors to draw attention to this “predicament of extraordinary proportions” has recently been highlighted.8
We exploited the opportunity afforded by an electronic voting system at a recent course at Oxford University, “Infection & Immunity in Children”, to investigate the perception of physicians on …
Competing interests: AJP has conducted clinical trials of vaccines on behalf of Oxford University, sponsored by all major vaccine manufacturers, and has participated in a clinical trial of a pandemic influenza vaccine. He has received assistance from vaccine manufacturers to attend scientific meetings. Industry-sourced honoraria for lecturing or writing are paid directly to an independent charity or an educational/administrative fund held by the Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford.