As far as Iâ€™m concerned, the story about a possible flu pandemic is the biggest story in the news right now.
The Wall Street Journal has run an insightful Op-Ed on the topic today titled â€œReasons to Be Fearful: We are ill-prepared for a flu pandemicâ€ by Henry I. Miller. Last week, Charles Krauthammer wrote a chilling piece on the subject in the Washington Post titled â€œA Flu Hope, Or Horror?â€
The common flu kills about 1% of those who contract it each year. The so-called â€œBird Fluâ€ kills 50%. If this particular flu virus mutates such that it can move from human to human with efficiency, then there could be a worldwide plague of epic proportions. One article that I read estimated that over a million people would die in the United States alone.
Some scientists are claiming that it is very likely to mutate so that it can transmit efficiently from human to human, but other scientists are less certain. Some scientists think that â€œBird Fluâ€ will be resistant to drugs like Tamiflu, others arenâ€™t so sure.
One thing is for sure. We all need to be paying close attention to this story.
“bird flu” is a mighty potent foe but not our only public health concern. we’ve got many societal standards which are, quite objectively, as stupid as they are dangerous. in the end we’re too tied to money, or at least scared to let the economy slip, to do what’s good for public health. that’s the way we’ve been for a long time. we’re just now catching wind of this (bird flu), but it’s been watched (and avoided) as an issue for quite some time.