Thursday, November 03, 2005


World Crises | "'An influenza pandemic has the potential to cause more death and illness than any other public health threat,' the Health and Human Services department says in its new flu plan, posted on the Internet at

'If a pandemic influenza virus with similar virulence to the 1918 strain emerged today, in the absence of intervention, it is estimated that 1.9 million Americans could die and almost 10 million could be hospitalized over the course of the pandemic, which may evolve over a year or more.'

Why paint such a frightening scenario?

'We felt that it would be important that we have a worst-case scenario to make sure our planning efforts were measured against that,' said Dr. Bruce Gellin, a vaccine expert who is heading up HHS's pandemic influenza planning.


People should prepare for the emotional impact of 'mass casualties and deaths among children' and well as 'economic collapse or acute shortages of food, water, electricity, or other essential services,' it says."

In the back of my mind, I keep seeing such a scenario as a way to transform the U.S. into something like the image in A Handmaid's Tale, but our fearless leaders wouldn't do something like that, would they?

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