Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Worst-Case Pandemic Scenario

FOX News has the story describing the U. S. Government's worst-case pandemic scenario here.

I've read some things to suggest the underlying assumptions for the scenario described above might be unduly optimistic. For example, the U.S. is assuming a 2 percent case fatality rate. The author of the Bird Flu Manual suggests 5 percent is a more likely worst case scenario.

Second, the article states that "Although some U.S. states are less prepared than others, the nation has stockpiled antiviral medicines, speeded the production of vaccines, and laid down basic public health guidelines."

Unfortunately, it's been reported elsewhere that at present only one vaccine manufacturing facility is located in the U.S. The others are in Europe. And in the event of a global pandemic, other countries are not likely to share their manufacturing capacity with us.

I'm not suggesting there's cause for alarm -- only that the media is trying to balance ratings-grabbing coverage with a desire not to sow panic among the public.

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