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Friday, November 19, 2004

Global Flu Pandemic

Get ready, it's coming...

Between a quarter and a third of the world's population will fall ill, according to new World Health Organization estimates, and 1 per cent of the sick will die.

Do the math and the numbers defy credulity; between 16 million and 21 million people would die in a matter of mere months. In Canada, 80,000 to 106,000 people would be expected to succumb.

Armed with that math, think of the consequences. Panic. Crippled health-care systems. Economic disruption on a global scale. Grounded airlines. Distribution networks that will grind to a halt. Social instability.

Or, "three years of a given hell," as a leading U.S. epidemiologist, Michael Osterholm, puts it: "I can't think of any other risk, terrorism or Mother Nature included, that could potentially pose any greater risk to society than this." [read more]

The flu vaccine does more harm than good--just as well that it's in short supply. Instead, focus on staying healthy and building up your immune system.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 02:20 ET.  [permalink]
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