October 05, 2005

The Biggest Impending Catastrophe

Important people in Washington are finally becoming convinced of the seriousness of the avian flu pandemic which, in many scientists' view, is all but inevitable. According to this month's National Geographic (print edition), it could kill 180 million to 360 million people. The article says that the UK has already ordered enough antiviral Tamifu for one fourth of its population, and France almost as much, but the US has ordered only 2.3 million treatments -- enough for less than one percent of our population.

Read more at the special bird flu website of Nature magazine.

1. The broken link in the first paragraph has now been fixed.
2. Scientists have just announced that the 1918 influenza virus was a form of bird flu that jumped directly to humans. This "confirms the legitimacy of worries about the bird flu viruses that are now emerging in Asia," according to NYT.