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jerryking : flu_outbreaks   51

Will Tanzania's Drone Industry Take Off?
January 28, 2019 | Business Daily podcast | By BBC World Service.

Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio streamed directly from their servers.
Drones have been used increasingly in Africa for survey and mapping, but will cargo drone delivery companies be the next big thing? Jane Wakefield visits Mwanza on the banks of Lake Victoria to speak to African and international companies hoping to cash in on the drone delivery market. During a trial for a big World Bank project called The Lake Victoria Challenge Jane speaks to the Tanzanian drone pilot making waves across the continent, to the global start ups innovating rapidly, and to one drone company helping to map Cholera outbreaks in Malawi. Jane hears from Helena Samsioe from Globhe, Edward Anderson from the World Bank, Frederick Mbuya from Uhurulabs, Leka Tingitana Tanzania Flying Labs and others. (Photo: A delivery drone in Tanzania, Credit: Sala Lewis/Lake Victoria Challenge)
3-D  Africa  delivery  drones  flu_outbreaks  Malawi  podcasts  start_ups  Tanzania 
january 2019 by jerryking
We can only tackle epidemics by preparing for the unexpected
MAY 28, 2018 | FT| Anjana Ahuja.

"[Chance] Fortune favors the prepared [mind]"

Other pathogens on the WHO’s hit list for priority research include Ebola and the related Marburg virus; Lassa fever; Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever; Mers coronavirus; Sars; Rift Valley fever; Zika; and Disease X.

Many of these are being targeted by the billion-dollar Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, with a mission to develop “new vaccines for a safer world”. Cepi is backed by several national governments — including those of Japan and Norway — the Wellcome Trust, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The coalition has just announced that, following events in Kerala, it will prioritise a Nipah vaccine.

Disease X, incidentally, is the holding name for a “black swan” — an unknown pathogen that could glide in from nowhere to trigger panic. Preparedness is not all about facing down familiar foes. It is also about being ready for adversaries that have not yet shown their hand. [expand our imaginations. The next catastrophe may take an unprecedented form----Simon Kuper]
black_swan  catastrophes  chance  disasters  disaster_preparedness  epidemics  flu_outbreaks  panics  pathogens  preparation  readiness  unexpected  unknowns  viruses 
may 2018 by jerryking
David McCullough’s History Lessons
April 14, 2017 | WSJ | By Alexandra Wolfe.

David McCullough thinks that the country isn’t in such bad shape. It’s all relative, says the 83-year-old historian and author of such books as the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographies “Truman” (1992) and “John Adams” (2001). He points to the Civil War, for instance, when the country lost 2% of its population—that would be more than six million people today—or the flu pandemic of 1918, when more than 500,000 Americans died. “Imagine that on the nightly news,” he says.

History gives us a sense of proportion, he says: “It’s an antidote to a lot of unfortunately human trends like self-importance and self-pity.”.....see history “as an aid to navigation in such troubled, uncertain times,”.....[McCullough] thought back to something that the playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder had said while a fellow at Yale during Mr. McCullough’s undergraduate days. When Wilder heard a good story and wished to see it on the stage, he wrote the play himself. When he wanted to read a book about an interesting event, he wrote it himself.....Even today, Mr. McCullough doesn’t use a computer for research or writing. He still goes to libraries and archives to find primary sources and writes on a typewriter. ...History, he adds, is “often boiled down to statistics and dates and quotations that make it extremely boring.” The key to generating interest, he says, is for professors and teachers to frame history as stories about people.
archives  authors  biographies  Civil_War  contextual  David_McCullough  DIY  flu_outbreaks  Harry_Truman  historians  history  John_Adams  libraries  self-importance  self-pity  sense_of_proportion  storytelling  Pulitzer_Prize 
april 2017 by jerryking
Don’t blame the flu for ER congestion - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jan. 06 2015,

Our emergency rooms are overflowing because of bad planning and misplaced priorities....Influenza is one of the most common and predictable infectious diseases on Earth. In Canada, it spreads from west to east and peaks at roughly the same time each year, near the end of December or early January.

Just as predictably, hospital ERs are besieged, most notably during the Christmas to New Year’s period.

There is more illness in the winter – not just flu, but gastroenteritis, colds and other pathogens spread by coughing and sneezing in close quarters....The larger issue is that our health system does nothing to anticipate and adjust to these problems. On the contrary, it is irresponsibly inflexible.

During the holiday season, retail outlets extend their hours, add additional staff, stock more supplies, and so on. All sensible stuff – Planning 101, if you will – designed to make life easier for the consumer.

Hospitals, and the health system more generally, do the opposite: During the holiday season, they reduce or close a range of services, from hospital beds to primary care clinics, and funnel patients to jam-packed emergency rooms.
adjustments  André_Picard  anticipating  community_care  congestion  emergency_rooms  flu_outbreaks  pathogens  planning  primary-care  healthcare  home_care  hospitals  inflexibility  influenza  overcapacity  overflow 
january 2015 by jerryking
Ebola isn’t the big threat. That’s still to come - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Dec. 30 2014

What has helped rein in Ebola is good, old-fashioned infection-control measures pioneered by the likes of Florence Nightingale and James Lister, and gumshoe epidemiological work à la John Snow.

All these approaches date back to the 19th century, but they remain the backbone of tackling outbreaks of infectious disease, especially those like Ebola that spread principally in the health-care setting.

Just as importantly, all these tactics are local and hands-on, with Ebola reminding us that: 1) good public health must be community-based; 2) public-health measures are only effective if there is buy-in from health-care practitioners and the public alike and; 3) for that to occur, good communication is paramount....Ebola is a problem that is solvable. This outbreak actually can be snuffed out. It would be irresponsible to fail to do so and to allow Ebola to gain a more permanent foothold. The difficulties faced in controlling what should be – at least on paper – a relatively easy-to-control outbreak is humbling. It’s also a grim reminder that we’re still not ready for a pandemic that actually is a global threat.

Much work remains to be done in preparedness, education and, above all, in recognizing that in our interconnected world, there is no such thing as a distant threat any more.
threats  public_health  Ebola  flu_outbreaks  André_Picard  interconnections  pathogens  pandemics  19th_century  community-based 
december 2014 by jerryking
Nathan Wolfe: No More Ebola Whac-A-Mole - WSJ - WSJ
Oct. 13, 2014 7:04

Ebola is not the first virus to threaten the world, and it won’t be the last. Stopping the current epidemic is vital, but the world can’t afford to go to sleep after it is stopped. Unless we prepare for the next epidemic, we will find ourselves forever nailing down outbreaks just in time to see the next ones pop up.
disease_surveillance  Ebola  pandemics  interconnections  zoonotic  flu_outbreaks  epidemics  Congo  viruses  disease  surveillance  preparation  disaster_preparedness 
october 2014 by jerryking
Ebola: Can we learn from SARS? - The Globe and Mail
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Aug. 27 2014

here are four key things to know about Ebola:

1. It’s fundamentally spread from animal to human, not human to human.
This is an animal outbreak, with humans as collateral damage. The driving force is new infections acquired from animals. Human-to-human outbreaks are short-lived. This is not a single human outbreak starting from a “case zero.”

The specific animal reservoir for Ebola is unknown but is probably a jungle animal used for food, known as “bush meat.” The large number of cases in West Africa must be the result of more human contact with infected animals, either because there are more infected animals or because they are consumed or hunted more aggressively in West Africa than elsewhere. While identifying a specific animal host would certainly aid in prevention efforts, bush meat remains an important source of dietary protein and won’t be abandoned overnight as a food source. Ebola is a disease of poverty – a potentially deadly meal is better than no meal at all.

2. Unlike SARS, this outbreak won’t end quickly.

This is bad news for West Africa, which should expect a steady stream of new human infections.

3. Quarantine was abandoned a century ago.

There is an essential difference between quarantine and case isolation. Quarantine targets well people potentially incubating an infection; it’s impractical, ineffective and economically disruptive. Case isolation, on the other hand, targets individuals showing symptoms of disease and is the cornerstone of effective infection control.
4. Ebola may cause a scare, but it can’t cause an outbreak in Canada.
Ebola  SARS  flu_outbreaks  lessons_learned  disease  viruses  zoonosis  short-lived  collateral_damage  bad_news  Africa  West_Africa  infections 
september 2014 by jerryking
What We’re Afraid to Say About Ebola -

THE Ebola epidemic in West Africa has the potential to alter history as much as any plague has ever done.

There have been more than 4,300 cases and 2,300 deaths over the past six months. Last week, the World Health Organization warned that, by early October, there may be thousands of new cases per week in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. What is not getting said publicly, despite briefings and discussions in the inner circles of the world’s public health agencies, is that we are in totally uncharted waters and that Mother Nature is the only force in charge of the crisis at this time.

There are two possible future chapters to this story that should keep us up at night.

The first possibility is that the Ebola virus spreads from West Africa to megacities in other regions of the developing world. This outbreak is very different from the 19 that have occurred in Africa over the past 40 years. It is much easier to control Ebola infections in isolated villages. But there has been a 300 percent increase in Africa’s population over the last four decades, much of it in large city slums. What happens when an infected person yet to become ill travels by plane to Lagos, Nairobi, Kinshasa or Mogadishu — or even Karachi, Jakarta, Mexico City or Dhaka?

The second possibility is one that virologists are loath to discuss openly but are definitely considering in private: that an Ebola virus could mutate to become transmissible through the air. You can now get Ebola only through direct contact with bodily fluids. But viruses like Ebola are notoriously sloppy in replicating, meaning the virus entering one person may be genetically different from the virus entering the next. The current Ebola virus’s hyper-evolution is unprecedented; there has been more human-to-human transmission in the past four months than most likely occurred in the last 500 to 1,000 years. Each new infection represents trillions of throws of the genetic dice.
Ebola  epidemics  viruses  flu_outbreaks  contagions  West_Africa  developed_countries  uncharted_problems  megacities  developing_countries 
september 2014 by jerryking
How should we analyse our lives? -
January 17, 2014 | FT |Gillian Tett.

“Social physics helps us understand how ideas flow from person to person . . . and ends up shaping the norms, productivity and creative output of our companies, cities and societies,” writes Pentland. “Just as the goal of traditional physics is to understand how the flow of energy translates into change in motion, social physics seems to understand how the flow of ideas and information translates into changes in behaviour.”...The only question now is whether these powerful new tools will be mostly used for good (to predict traffic queues or flu epidemics) or for more malevolent ends (to enable companies to flog needless goods, say, or for government control). Sadly, “social physics” and data crunching don’t offer any prediction on this issue, even though it is one of the dominant questions of our are always organised, collected and interpreted by people. Thus if you want to analyse what our interactions mean – let alone make decisions based on this – you will invariably be grappling with cultural and power relations.
massive_data_sets  social_physics  data_scientists  quantified_self  call_centres  books  data  social_data  flu_outbreaks  Gillian_Tett  queuing 
january 2014 by jerryking
Advertisers zeroing in on where, as well as who, you are
Apr. 04 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Susan Krashinsky.

The typical response rate for one of these campaigns is about 1 per cent. The location-specific campaign increased that by 400 per cent on average.

“There’s been a wholesale change in the amount …of data available and the tools available to actually understand it. It’s turning that data into knowledge that is the biggest task,” Mr. Okrucky said.

In an age where we transmit data from devices in our pockets many times a day, using information such as postal code profiles, housing statistics, and demographics by district may seem like an old-fashioned marketing tactic. And it is. But the processing of that information is changing rapidly: the ability to sort through massive data sets, to cross-reference them, and create detailed targets, has accelerated.

“It really gets to the cloud computing capability. We do programs with all these data sets very quickly. And some of the data sets can be absolutely massive,” said Phil Kaszuba, vice-president and general manager at DMTI.
Susan_Krashinsky  location  location_based_services  personalization  target_marketing  CDC  flu_outbreaks  massive_data_sets  advertising  data  databases  online_behaviour  behavioural_targeting  Aimia  LBMA  DMTI  specificity  response_rates  cloud_computing 
april 2013 by jerryking
Planning for the Next Flu Season
March 18, 2013, 12:01 am

march 2013 by jerryking
The Mayor’s Geek Squad
Published: March 23, 2013

Data — or Big Data, as quantitative analysts will call it — is the tool du jour for tech-savvy companies that have realized that lurking in the vast pools of unprocessed information in their networks are solutions to some of today’s most pressing and convoluted problems. A few years ago, Google, for example, took the 50 million most common keywords that Americans typed in search bars and tried to figure out, by comparing them with federal health statistics, where the H1N1 flu virus was to likely strike next.

According to a new book, “Big Data: A Revolution that Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think,” the enormous quantity of information whirling through the ether can affect and enhance our quality of life. As the authors put it, “The change of scale has led to a change of state.”

Now the city has brought this quantitative method to the exceedingly complicated machine that is New York. For the modest sum of $1 million, and at a moment when decreasing budgets have required increased efficiency, the in-house geek squad has over the last three years leveraged the power of computers to double the city’s hit rate in finding stores selling bootleg cigarettes; sped the removal of trees destroyed by Hurricane Sandy; and helped steer overburdened housing inspectors — working with more than 20,000 options — directly to lawbreaking buildings where catastrophic fires were likeliest to occur.
massive_data_sets  New_York_City  mayoral  data_driven  targeted_enforcement  government_2.0  gov_2.0  cities  geeks  in-house  books  hit_rates  unstructured_data  H1N1  flu_outbreaks  Michael_Bloomberg  quants 
march 2013 by jerryking
‘Spillover,’ by David Quammen, on How Animals Infect Humans -
Published: October 2, 2012

SPILLOVER: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic
By David Quammen
587 pages. W. W. Norton & Company. $28.95.
Among these diseases, the devils we know are bad enough. Mr. Quammen also thinks determinedly about what he calls the NBO’s — the Next Big Ones. “Will the Next Big One come out of a rain forest or a market in southern China?” he asks. “Will the Next Big One kill” 30 million or 40 million people? He makes you dread that sneeze at the back of the bus.

Mr. Quammen, whose previous books include “The Song of the Dodo” (1996) and “Monster of God” (2003), is not just among our best science writers but among our best writers, period. (Check out his much anthologized short story “Walking Out,” about a father and son gone hunting, if you want a taste of his fiction.) That he hasn’t won a nonfiction National Book Award or Pulitzer Prize is an embarrassment.
books  pandemics  zoonotic  flu_outbreaks  epidemics  book_reviews 
october 2012 by jerryking
Forget SARS: WHO Expert Says He Fears the Flu More -
May 29, 2003 | WSJ | GAUTAM NAIK | Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
influenza  pandemics  SARS  flu_outbreaks  WHO 
june 2012 by jerryking
What history can teach us about SARS
Apr. 14, 2003 | TIME |By Pete Davies .As scientists race to unravel the mysteries of SARS, one issue high on their agenda will be the likelihood that the new virus is a cross-species transmission in which the virus has mutated from its animal carrier so that it can infect humans, who have no immunity from the alien invader. The most obvious examples of this are HIV and influenza, and the latter disease has disturbing parallels with SARS. The flu virus lives usually in the stomachs of waterfowl, and the two are co-adapted — the birds don't get sick. It is widely believed among virologists, however, that with the domestication of ducks in southern China 2,000-3,000 years ago, flu jumped species.

This region has always had high densities of people living in close proximity to large populations of pigs and chickens. It's not known in which order, but with this ready pool of targets near at hand, flu has transferred from ducks to all three species — and once established, it can swap back and forth between its different new hosts with devastating effect. The virus survives and thrives by constantly mutating — so that just as our immune systems recognize and kill off one strain, a new one emerges against which our defenses don't work. Most are minor adaptations, the product of genetic "drift." Every now and then, however, something more dramatic occurs: a genetic "shift." Also termed "a reassortment event," this is the creation of a wholly new strain with genetic elements taken from viruses found in different species.
China  epidemics  genetic_drift  genetic_shift  viruses  flu_outbreaks  SARS  proximity  zoonosis  zoonotic  genes  HIV  influenza 
may 2012 by jerryking
From Ducks to Pigs to Humans? -
April 22, 2003 | WSJ | By STEPHEN MORSE.
SAR was not the first such outbreak, and it will not be the last. Before SARS, human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, rose from obscurity in the 1970s and '80s to become a global public health crisis, leaving millions of orphans in its wake. Outbreaks of ebola, of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, and of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in food and water have also appeared in recent years. And, of course, the flu still has surprises in store, such as the avian ("bird flu") strains that have infected humans in recent years.
epidemics  SARS  flu_outbreaks  HIV  influenza  zoonotic 
may 2012 by jerryking
Bizarre Insights From Big Data -
March 28, 2012 | NYT | By QUENTIN HARDY.

Sometimes unexpected data sources offer big insights....The idea is to have a lot of data of all kinds on hand, because sometimes unexpected combinations of information can lead to valuable insights.
...We will probably see more strange corollaries start to pop up, as more behavior is stored in online databases.
massive_data_sets  data_mining  flu_outbreaks  mobile_phones  unexpected  corollaries  insights 
march 2012 by jerryking
Where Germs Lurk on Planes -
DECEMBER 20, 2011
Where Germs Lurk on Planes
What to Do When Stuck at 30,000 Feet Next to Sneezers and Coughers
germs  viruses  flu_outbreaks  airports  mens'_health  airline_industry  travel  airlines  disease  safety  illness 
december 2011 by jerryking
Eluding Germs on Planes -
OCTOBER 22, 2003 | WSJ | Jennifer Saranow.

When Ronald Primas arrives at the airport for a flight, he picks up his boarding pass and heads through security. He then pops a decongestant and gives himself a spritz of nasal spray. Dr. Primas, a travel-medicine specialist in New York, says his germ-fighting routine helps him avoid catching colds and sinus infections on planes.

Once buckled into his seat, he rubs his hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer such as Purell -- and avoids touching his head and neck area until his hands are de-germed.

Dr. Primas is more worried about germs being passed by another person -- someone coughing on him, for example -- than from inanimate objects such as blankets or pillows, which he uses freely. (Those items, he says, have usually been recently washed.) But just to be safe, when he goes to the bathroom, he uses a tissue to open the door, flush and turn on the faucet.
flu_outbreaks  airports  mens'_health  aircraft  airline_industry  airlines  travel  germs  disease  illness  sanitation 
november 2011 by jerryking
Terror is nasty, but what about that flu pandemic? -
12 July 2005 | Globe and Mail pg .13. | by Jeffrey Simpson.That's the thing about flu. It can travel fast, and it can be virulent. By the time a vaccine is produced, many people in infected areas can die.

SARS showed how fast diseases can travel. Once SARS appeared in China, people in five countries were infected within 24 hours, and in 30 countries within several months; 43 people died in Canada. The Canadian Tourism Commission estimated that SARS cost the economy $419-million. The cost to Ontario's health-care system exceeded $700-million.

The U.S. National Intelligence Council, looking ahead to 2020, says a global pandemic is the single most important threat to the global economy. The growing literature about the likelihood of a pandemic, probably a flu one, is filled with quasi-apocalyptic material: millions dead, billions of dollars of commerce disrupted, serious security risks.

Michael Osterholm, a U.S. public-health expert, writes: "A pandemic is coming. It could be caused by H5N1 or by another novel [flu] strain. It could happen tonight, next year, or even 10 years from now." The number of poultry and wildlife that carry the strain(s) has exploded. Should these deadly strains get into the human food chain, watch out.
pandemics  ProQuest  Jeffrey_Simpson  threats  H1N1  SARS  vaccines  WHO  flu_outbreaks  food_chains  virulence  global_economy  security_&_intelligence  the_single_most_important 
october 2011 by jerryking
New approaches to quantifying the spread of infect... [Nat Rev Microbiol. 2005] - PubMed result
Traditional approaches to mathematical modelling of infectious
diseases deal most effectively with large outbreaks in large
populations. The desire to elucidate the highly variable dynamics of
disease spread amongst small numbers of individuals has fuelled the
development of models that depend more directly on surveillance and
contact-tracing data. This signals a move towards a closer interplay
between epidemiological modelling, surveillance and disease-management
models  mathematics  surveillance  disease  disease_surveillance  market_segmentation  size  flu_outbreaks  epidemiology  infections 
march 2010 by jerryking
Phys Ed: Does Exercise Boost Immunity? - Well Blog -
October 14, 2009 | New York Times | By Gretchen Reynolds.
There is a “ J-shaped curve” involving exercise and immunity. In this
model, the risk both of catching a cold or the flu and of having a
particularly severe form of the infection “drop if you exercise
moderately,” .But the risk both of catching an illness and of becoming
especially sick when you do “jump right back up” if you exercise
intensely or for a prolonged period of time, surpassing the risks among
the sedentary."
exercise  fitness  running  flu_outbreaks  health  immune_system 
october 2009 by jerryking
Air force takes cue from sci-fi - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 15, 2009 | Globe & Mail | Steven Chase. Disruptions
such as a pandemic could dramatically shift the game plan for staffing
the air force, which like other organizations will already face a major
challenge in the next decade: the slowing growth of Canada's labour
RCAF  scenario-planning  flu_outbreaks  contingency_planning  pandemics 
july 2009 by jerryking
Deadlier Strain Would Overwhelm Health Systems -
MAY 1, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by RON WINSLOW and AVERY JOHNSON
health  influenza  survival  H1N1  flu_outbreaks 
july 2009 by jerryking
Updated H1N1 statistics hard to come by
Jul. 07, 2009 | The Globe & Mail | by Gloria Galloway and Caroline Alphonso.
H1N1  statistics  ventilators  Canadian_Healthcare_System  flu_outbreaks 
july 2009 by jerryking
Canada stockpiles ventilators for flu fight
Jul. 07, 2009 | The Globe & Mail | Gloria Galloway. As
the H1N1 pandemic spreads globally, Canadian public health findings show
– for unknown reasons – that victims here have been younger and sicker,
and have required more ventilators than most other countries, including
the United States.
ventilators  flu_outbreaks  healthcare  Canadian_Healthcare_System  pandemics  H1N1  public_health  stockpiles 
july 2009 by jerryking
Pandemics and Poor Information -
MAY 11, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by L. GORDON CROVITZ.
Whenever there's a threat of epidemic, alongside early deaths comes the casualty of information. Asian governments at least learned from their recent experience of bird flu and SARS the importance of not covering up outbreaks. The still open question is how to assess warnings that health professionals make based on inadequate information. Almost by definition, the risk of an epidemic occurs when the one thing disease experts know for sure is that they don't know for sure what will happen.
"What new information would be sufficient to change your decision?"

Alexander's question (AKA 'Dr. Alexander's question') is a question used to uncover assumptions and associations that may be confusing your judgment. Asking what information would be needed to change your mind can help bring faulty reasoning to light, and it can also point out what facts you should be researching before committing yourself and others to a course of action.

The uncertainty about the longer-term threat of the current swine flu is a
reminder that nature is more complex than mathematical models.Scientific
hypotheses can then be tested, but this approach has limits when it
comes to predictions.
"Alexander's Question," named for a physician who had posed a canny
question of his fellow experts: What information might make the group
change its mind about the need for immunization? Focusing on it would
have led to more focus on uncertainties: the trade-off between side
effects and flu, the difference between the severity of the flu and its
spread, and the choice between mandatory vaccinations and stockpiling in
case of later need. Decision makers should ask themselves what new
"knowns" would change their views.
pandemics  epidemics  risk-assessment  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  information_flows  information  decision_making  immunization  critical_thinking  uncertainty  assumptions  questions  Dr.Alexander's_Question  information_gaps  hidden  latent  facts  change_your_mind  problem_framing  tradeoffs  flu_outbreaks  side_effects  vaccines  stockpiles  information-poor  CDC  unknowns 
may 2009 by jerryking
The Age of Pandemics -
MAY 2, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | By LARRY BRILLIANT
Modernity--population growth, climate change and increased contact
between humans and animals--is causing more new viruses with pandemic
potential to jump from their traditional animal hosts to humans.
Brilliant outlines what the world needs to do to prepare.

Indeed, to the epidemiological community, the Influenza Pandemic of 2009 is one of the most widely anticipated diseases in history. ....The current pathogen creating the threat is actually a mixture of viral genetic elements from all over the globe that have sorted, shifted, sorted, shifted, drifted and recombined to form this worrisome virus.....Here's the good news: Compared with a few years ago, the world is somewhat better prepared to deal with pandemic influenza. There have been training meetings, table-top exercises, dry runs and preparedness drills at virtually every level of government and civil society. ......Here's the bad news: Today, we remain underprepared for any pandemic or major outbreak, whether it comes from newly emerging infectious diseases, bioterror attack or laboratory accident. We do not have the best general disease surveillance systems or "surge" capacity in our hospitals and health-care facilities......And there is worse news: The 2009 swine flu will not be the last and may not be the worst pandemic that we will face in the coming years. Indeed, we might be entering an Age of Pandemics........In our lifetimes, or our children's lifetimes, we will face a broad array of dangerous emerging 21st-century diseases, man-made or natural, brand-new or old, newly resistant to our current vaccines and antiviral drugs.....Bioterror weapons are cheap and do not need huge labs or government support. They are the poor man's WMD.....
21st._century  bad_news  bioterrorism  disaster_preparedness  disease  disease_surveillance  epidemics  flu_outbreaks  genetic_drift  genetic_shift  infections  influenza  man-made  modernity  pandemics  pathogens  preparation  sorting  surge_capacity  underprepared  viruses  zoonotic 
may 2009 by jerryking

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