jamie goode's wine blog: Swine flu..a potential pandemic

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Swine flu..a potential pandemic

Not Wine Related - but I wanted to comment on the Mexican swine flu outbreak that is in the news (for a good piece of journalism see Susan Watts' blog on the subject).

It's very worrying. A while back, we had the scare about bird flu, H5N1. This virus was extremely dangerous in that it killed a good proportion of the people it infected. The reason it didn't become a pandemic is because it never developed the capacity to transmit from human to human. Had it done so, and kept its virulence, then it would have been grim. In my capacity as science editor I was involved in a couple of meetings on the topic held in Singapore, and the scientists were really concerned.

What's alarming about this swine flu outbreak is that the virus shows human to human transmissibility. It could be very serious indeed. I probably sound like a nutter, but our family has bird flu provisions (three month's worth of non-perishable food plus a course each of Tamiflu) which we've kept up to date. Might be worth thinking about doing the same now?


At 7:02 PM, Blogger Rickg said...

Yeah, what's scary is the story about some students who flew from Mexico City to Auckland via LA... and 10 of them tested positive for swine flu. Quick, where are the others on that flight? And how many other flights went out of Mexico City with infected people?

It would be bad enough if it were localized to Mexico City but international travel makes this potentially very scary indeed.

At the same time I remember the 'civilization would end' folks with bird flu... and that's off the deep end for me.I'm not holing up in my house for months with no human contact unless this is MUCH worse that I think it will be.


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