Saturday, April 25, 2009


One of the reasons I started this blog in the first place (aside from a convenient excuse to ramble on about whatever I feel like at the moment) was to post information about emergency preparedness, and that sort of thing.

I don't want to come across as some sort of panic-mongering Chicken Little prophet of doom and gloom or anything, but I've been reading about this new Swine Flu and possible linkages to avian and other influenza viruses (virii?), and it's...a little disconcerting, at least. Probably didn't help that I was up until about 2am last night reading this stuff...

Here's the tip of the iceberg:

WHO's Chan says swine flu has pandemic potential
25 Apr 2009 13:46:19 GMT
Source: Reuters

GENEVA, April 25 (Reuters) - Outbreaks of swine flu in Mexico and the United States have the potential to cause a worldwide pandemic but it is too early to say whether they will, the head of the World Health Organisation said on Saturday.
"It has pandemic potential because it is infecting people," WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said.
The new flu strain -- a mixture of swine, human and avian flu viruses which has killed up to 68 people among 1,004 suspected cases in Mexico and infected eight in the United States -- is still poorly understood and the situation is evolving quickly, Chan said on a teleconference. (Reporting by Jonathan Lynn and Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Jon Boyle)

Possible Swine Flu Outbreak At NYC Prep School
Department Of Health Officials Testing 75 Students At St. Francis Preparatory School In Queens

Again, I don't want to sound like Chicken Little, but this has potential to be ugly. The cases identified so far in the US have not been fatal, but that is a mixed blessing. A rapidly fatal virus has less risk of spreading, if it kills the host too quickly. If a virus evolves/mutates/adapts to become a little less lethal, it has a better chance of infecting more people, some of whom may likely die from the infection. But possibly not before spreading it.

Anyone who doesn't understand why a flu pandemic is a big deal should read about the Spanish Influenza of 1918

If this thing does get out of hand, a good supply of clean water is essential! We need to keep clean, and hydrated!

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