Friday, October 07, 2005

Asian Bird Flu

I am not someone that normally gets freaked out about viruses, flus, recalls, etc. I have people in my life to worry about that sort of thing.

This Asian Bird Flu is pretty disconcerting though. Experts are worried. They are drawing connections between this and the 1918 Spanish flu (also a bird flu that jumped directly to humans) that killed 50 million plus people worldwide.

They estimate that this flu could kill as many as 150 million people. There are a few reasons this one is raising serious concern. It affects healthy people (unlike SARS that was mainly a threat to the very young and the old and infirmed), we are pretty far from a vaccine, and even if an outbreak occurs and people are quarantined...the birds can't be. They have already made their way from Asia to Russia.

Experts also point to history and the fact that we have three pandemics per century and we "are due for one". “President George W. Bush said yesterday that concern about a pandemic is one reason he would like to give the military more power to respond to disasters.

``I take this issue very seriously,'' Bush said at a White House news conference yesterday. ``I'm not predicting an outbreak; I'm just suggesting to you we better be thinking about it, and we are.'' (source)

We can't even handle storms, how could we weather a major outbreak that was killing thousands/millions. This is the major downfall of having children. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't even give this a second thought...

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