Global Influenza Pandemic?

I hadn’t heard about the danger of an influenza pandemic till this
afternoon when my neighbor told me about it. If its in the Bangkok
Post.. I missed it ! Apparently people are worried about it and are
already buying pill ! Germans and other European countries are really
worried this flu will come soon… I don’t know.. when I look around my
area, I worry more about floods, I worried our plane would crash, I
worry that I will have a car accident. To worry about a virus that
might mutate is something I’ll leave to the World Health Organization
Here part of a report I read today.,.. a bit scary

WHO
is carefully monitoring the ongoing avian influenza outbreaks in parts
of Asia, Russia and Kazakhstan. WHO warns that these and other
outbreaks could evolve into a global influenza pandemic if the avian
influenza virus changes into a form which could transmit easily between
people. The longer the current avian influenza strain (H5N1) continues
to circulate, the greater the possibility that people will be infected
with H5N1, and therefore the greater the risk that the virus will adapt
to people and trigger a pandemic.

Should a pandemic strain emerge, slowing its spread will be vital as this could buy valuable
time to produce vaccines against the virus and introduce other
emergency measures. Antivirals, used intensively in an area where a
pandemic is emerging, combined with other measures such as quarantine
and isolation, could help to delay spread.

Roche has agreed to reserve three million treatment courses (30 million capsules) for up to
five years. The first one million treatment courses (10 million
capsules) will be ready early next year, with the remaining two million
(20 million capsules) ready before mid-2006.

The timing and severity of a flu pandemic is uncertain, but experts predict a pandemic
will occur. Therefore WHO continues to urge countries to develop
preparedness plans. Planning must include international cooperation
between wealthy and poor countries to reduce the opportunity for
national and international spread, and to reduce the death, illness and
social disruption which have been a feature of all previous influenza
pandemics.

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