Remember the threat of H5N1 (AKA Avian Influenza or Bird Flu)?
Here’s a link to an article about H7N9. It’s killed 22 in China as of this writing, but because infection hasn’t occurred in migratory birds and markets that
sell the birds have been closed, the spread of the disease has been slow. What’s most worrying about H7N9 is that appears to spread to humans easier than previous strains of bird flu.
One of the other things that’s aiding global safety from world flu pandemics is that, after denying that SARS was a problem, China was embarrassed when they finally had to admit they had a huge problem with the disease. After they lied about their SARS event, the Chinese government took unprecedented steps toward transparency. They’re better at reporting their problems with contagious disease now. Awareness and sharing of information are ways we will have a chance at containing outbreaks and preventing contagion.
You’re being tracked
Another interesting approach comes from a marriage of epidemiologists and the Internet. Internet searches are tracked for key words. If there’s an uptick in people googling flu symptoms, for instance, maps can be made of the spread of viruses based on the searchers’ locations. This grassroots epidemiological data tracks rates of viral infection and serves as an early warning system so authorities can take steps to warn and protect health care workers, hold quarantines, restrict travel and warn the public to use precautions.
Precautions in case of world flu pandemic may include:
Public awareness campaigns to wash your hands (do that anyway, for God’s sake!); social distancing; banning public gatherings; house arrest; quarantines for public safety; border closings; travel restrictions; promoting the use of masks, etc.,…
When the crap hits the ceiling fan, it pays to be warned and prepared for a world flu pandemic. Governments are working behind the scenes (often with underfunded agencies, departments and programs) to get ready for such catastrophic events.
What are you doing to prepare?
- New study offers insight on pandemic flu (medicalxpress.com)
- Asian countries tighten airport controls on flu fears (radionz.co.nz)
- Global Sourcing, Supply Chain, and Bird Flu: Preparing for Pandemics (spendmatters.com)
- Bird-to-human infections easier with new flu: WHO (thehindu.com)
- Could New Flu Spark Global Flu Pandemic? New Bird Flu Strain Seen Adapting to Mammals, Humans! (socioecohistory.wordpress.com)
- New Bird Flu, are you at Risk? (pinnaclelife.co.nz)
- Taiwan reports first case of H7N9 bird flu, Japan on alert (japandailypress.com)
- Lethal new bird flu passes more easily from birds to humans: WHO (ctvnews.ca)
- Researchers: Elderly more at risk from H7N9 (edition.cnn.com)
- H7N9: “The worst bird flu crisis in history” (crofsblogs.typepad.com)