Scientific American is running a story in this month’s issue about preparing for a flu pandemic. What this article tries to convey is that a pandemic is definitely coming. Whether it’s from the H5N1 strain (which would likely cause hundreds of millions of deaths) or another strain a few years down the road. There have been 3 other flu pandemics in the past 100 years. The 1918 strain being the worst, with 40 million killed. The reason H5N1 is being followed so closely is because it’s already spread to people and because it’s incredibly lethal (a roughly 50% fatality rate at th moment). Even if the fatality rate dropped to 5% when and if it mutates into an easily communicable form, it would be twice as deadly as the 1918 virus.
The Avian Flu (Putnu Gripa)