Monday, July 28, 2008

July 27 Flu Update

Japanese scientists are making progress on how to block the replication of the flu virus.

Louisiana is increasing flu controls because it is on the Mississippi flyway.

The FAO steps in to help Myanmar.

New novel weaves pandemic into the narrative.


At 6:35 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Your article from the Galveston Daily news about Mark Lardas’s book review of “The Last Centurion”, probably is not as farfetched as it seems, once you stop and think about it (yeah, I know, the politically correct and naïve love to think anything outside a sunspot or the aurora borealis is ridiculous). In my view, it is entirely reasonable by 2018 for an unprecedented cold spell coupled with an avian pandemic, to unfold and sweep the earth. Actually, when one thinks about it, the entire premise and theme of the book is probably milder and more diluted than the disaster scenario’s depicted on the History, Discover, and NatGeo channels on TV.

Science and military fiction writers often have an uncanny ability to unintentionally predict the future evolution and de-evolution of things in their novels with startling accuracy. Think: Isaac Asimov, Anne Rice, Carl Sagan, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Michael Crichton, Robert Heinlein, George Orwell, J.R.R. Tolkien, Kurt Vonnegut and H.G. Wells, just to name a few…

The same uncanny phenomenon applies to rumors. For example, the unsubstantiated rumors coming out of China about a strange “contagious hemorrhagic disease” infecting and killing several individuals similar to symptoms observed during the 1918 pandemic, is quite intriguing, due to the fact that most often there seems to be a kernel of truth in the origin of rumors. In this instance, the most peculiar thing about the news is that it seems fairly specific in nature and location.

Who knows what is actually transpiring, and unless we start seeing reports of hundreds and tens of thousands of people dying, I guess there is no need to fret (yet). That’s how an actual influenza pandemic will actually start though… first with internet and news rumors… then once it becomes obvious to the health observers, scientists and internet enthusiasts that a really bad health threat has erupted, then the WHO can jump in and issue one of their innocuous pronouncements.



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