As far as I’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 “Reasons to Be Fearful: We are ill-prepared for a flu pandemic” by Henry I. Miller. Last week, Charles Krauthammer wrote a chilling piece on the subject in the Washington Post titled “A Flu Hope, Or Horror?”
The common flu kills about 1% of those who contract it each year. The so-called “Bird Flu” 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 “Bird Flu” will be resistant to drugs like Tamiflu, others aren’t so sure.
One thing is for sure. We all need to be paying close attention to this story.