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Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Next Pandemic

When President Bush spoke to the United Nations this week, most of the coverage focused on terrorism. But Mr. Bush spoke about a coming crisis that may make 9/11 look like a picnic:
"We must also remain on the offensive against new threats to public health, such as the Avian influenza," Bush said in his speech to world leaders. "If left unchallenged, the virus could become the first pandemic of the 21st century."
His warning should serve as a reminder of what happened almost a hundred years ago. The Spanish Flu killed millions worldwide, and then simply disappeared. We see the results of that plague in cemeteries across the country. Just look in an old cemetery at the number of death dates ending in 1918 or 1919. You will be surprised.

It is entirely possible that an influenza virus very much like Spanish Flue could sweep the planet, killing an estimated billion people, and bringing the economies of the world crashing. Hopefully, the world can mobilize in time to stop it in time.

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