Monday, April 27, 2009

PHASE 4


MON 27 APRIL - 5:00 pm. the World Health Organization has raised the Pandemic Alert System to Phase 4. After nearly five years of close calls with bird flu, this is the most significant public health statement of the 21st century, and will not be the last. That we are facing the possibility of a pandemic in the post-9/11 world should give you pause. This admission by the WHO indicates the world could already be in the first wave of an influenza epidemic. The current outbreak could extend another six to eight weeks and well into June. The case fatality rate (~6%) is already three times that of the 1918 Pandemic (~2%), unusual for a first wave. The summer could see a decrease in cases and a period of apparent recovery and improvement. One only hopes that a second wave does not occur, or at least that it does not mimic what happened in the Fall of 1918.

It should be obvious to anyone by now we are in uncharted, life-altering terrority. If someone you know is still in denial by now, then it's high time they start doing their homework. I started mine on this subject in 2005. As an intelligent, alert observer of the world around you, I maintain you have a "duty to act" in the best interests of your family, even if they are in denial. At the minimum, that duty involves staying informed and acting appropriately. I welcome anyone's input or questions, and I will update data trackers as time permits and information becomes available.

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