August 25th, 2006
While we’ve been preoccupied with other aspects of the sorry state of the world, Revere at Effect Measure reminds us that avian flu is still a major, and growing, threat. We shouldn’t let the absence of headlines lead us to think the potential for a pandemic has passed. Also, we should always keep in mind that, if not H5N1, then another influenza strain will likely become pandemic in the not too distant future.
If you confront other people who think bird flu has gone away as a concern or read news articles to that effect, consider this. In April of this year there were 45 countries reporting infections in their bird or poultry populations. Now, four months later, there are 55. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) continues to warn us that the virus is spreading throughout Asia, Africa and Europe.
The number of confirmed human cases now stands at 240, with 141 deaths. The true number is likely larger, although how much we don’t know. So far it is still small compared with the SARS outbreak of 2003, but like SARS, there is grave and plausible suspicion a devastating pandemic could occur.
Read the entire article.