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The Next Big Disaster

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  • The Next Big Disaster

    Today's must-read is a scary tale of an upcoming pandemic that could sweep a globe near you: the "bird flu."

    Andrew Maxfield, writing on the DC Examiner page that I edit, lays out a compelling case about why we should all be very, very scared:

    Federal health officials and global health authorities have been clear: It is not a question of if, but rather when the next pandemic will occur. H5N1 is a good candidate and it could be this next flu season. The virus is still largely confined to birds, but it is has spread up from Southeast Asia and isnow expanding across Russia. This particular flu virus will be new to humankind, making it particularly virulent. It interacts in a mixing bowl of other species that come into contact with the birds, including domestic fowl and pigs, and if it mixes with a flu strain already adapted for human-to-human transmission ... presto.

    An H5N1 influenza outbreak could mimic the 1918 pandemic. That could mean 1.7 million deaths in the United States and 360 million dead worldwide, perhaps more. But the numbers don't tell the full story. People, and thus the disease, can move much faster than in 1918. With a majority of the adult working population sick and others attending them, as much as 35 percent of the U.S. population may be immobilized. If people venture out, it will be with a mask and a suspicious eye. Schools, businesses and services will grind to a halt as workers get sick or stop showing up. Our utilities, communications, financial systems and government services could also shut down. The tide of the sick and dying will overwhelm hospitals. The health care professionals who are themselves not sick will be too few to treat the millions seeking make-shift beds in high school gymnasiums and community centers. And this will occur globally.

    How is that cough anyway?

    Mr. G

  • #2
    oh fuck

    Official Sponsor of Marco Gonzales and the Productive Out!!!

    Said the Quangle Wangle Quee


    • #3
      Just recently, GlaxoSmithKline was approved to make flu vaccinations. That means there are 3 companies who do it, and there is less of a chance of a shortage as there was last year.


      • #4
        Are flu vaccines homeopathic?
        Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist


        • #5
          They've said something like this each year for the past ten. We're overdue for a flu outbreak.


          • #6
            Normally these things don't bother me much. West Nile and such. I cannot easily explain why this one has me feeling quite nervous.
            No president wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true
            President George W. Bush, March 21, 2006

            I'm a war president
            President George W. Bush, February 8, 2004