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Keywords:

  • H1N1 pandemic;
  • globalisation;
  • global health security;
  • anxiety

Abstract

This paper discusses the ways in which 2009 novel swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) was announced and resonated with current pandemic anxieties. In particular, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are used as a lens through which recent pandemic anxieties can be analysed and understood. This entails a closer look at the securitisation of public health and the challenges and struggles this may have caused within public health agencies. In that light, CDC' formal entanglement with global health security and its announcement of the H1N1 pandemic are interpreted, followed by an ethnographically informed focus on various people who were engaged in the H1N1 emergency response and their practices and practical struggles in the face of pandemic anxiety.