Thursday, September 08, 2005

WHO: "almost the last stage" before pandemic

According to WHO a bird flu pandemic is inevitable. We just don't know when:
"We may be at almost the last stage before the pandemic virus may emerge," Dr. Jai P. Narain, Director of WHO's communicable diseases department told a news conference on the sidelines of a Southeast Asia health summit in the Sri Lankan capital.

"Whether the avian influenza pandemic will occur, that is not the question any more, (but) as to when the pandemic will occur," he added. (Reuters via ABC News)
With more and more species showing host competence and now good evidence the virus is in migratory birds, there seems no hope of heading off a pandemic. We don't know when and we don't know how bad. But even "mild" flu pandemics take a terrible toll, measured in the millions of lives worldwide.

And if this is one of the really bad ones . . . the equivalent of a Category 5 . . .we won't have to wait for help to arrive from the outside, because there won't be any "outside." At this point the only strategy is to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Unless you think you can "ride this one out."