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John's Blog

John's conservative blog

Will there be a global swine flu pandemic?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nobody knows the answer to that question yet, but there certainly is reason for concern. All of the necessary ingredients are there. First of all, this is a never seen before strain that is a combination of materials from bird flu, swine flu, and human flu strains. That is just the sort of thing which is most worrisome because the human population has not had a chance to build up natural immunity to it. It might be that older people, say those over 45, might have at least partial immunity due to having been exposed to a similar though not identical strain in the past. But younger people probably have no natural immunity at all and therefore they might be at the most risk.

And sure enough, almost all deaths from this outbreak in Mexico so far have come from the 25 to 45 age group. Scary, isn't it?

Plus we have heard that the outbreak is already too widespread to be contained, so it will have to run it's course. So we are left with taking the usual precautions such as washing our hands and avoiding physical contact with others. In Mexico, at the epicenter of the outbreak, a lot of people have taken to wearing surgical masks in hopes of keeping the virus at bay.

So far, cases reported in the USA have been rather mild. However, this is the early stage of this potential influenza pandemic. During the pandemic of 1916, the virus first appeared in the spring but it didn't really take off until the next winter. Could this case be similar? Will the worst of it come next winter? Only time will tell.

This reminds me of a program I saw recently on the History Channel which discussed possible future mega disasters that might befall mankind. And sure enough, the possible scenario that we are talking about here was high up on the list. The experts interviewed in the program said that it's not a matter of "if," but "when" will the world experience a horrific pandemic that might kill millions.

We could very well under such a scenario see a total breakdown of health care services world wide. There simply would not be enough hospital space or doctors to get the job done if a significant portion of the population became seriously ill all at the same time. It might very well be left up to millions to fend for themselves. It's really a nightmare scenario which we all hope and pray does not happen.

Could the time for such a disaster be now? Personally, I don't think that this will turn out to be the "big one," even though it will be serious enough. It might rather serve as a wake up call to mankind that our position of earth is tenuous at best, and there are many potential disasters out there just waiting to happen.

WHO warns of possible pandemic as Mexico seeks to contain swine flu
posted by John, 4:57 PM

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