Two years ago in 2011, the film Contagion was released. The story is about a deadly virus that spreads around the world and wreaks havoc with society.
A few years earlier, ABC-TV presented the movie Fatal Contact, Bird Flu in America, a fictional account of the devastating effects of a bird flu pandemic in the United States. It followed the virus as it traveled from a market in Hong Kong and mutated into a human-to-human strain that quickly spread across the globe. After it was broadcasted last year, nearly 2000 of you wrote I.P.N. asking questions about the program and our official position on it. Normally, we would have dismissed programs like these as entertainment designed to attract viewers and exploit their fears about the subject for ratings & ticket sales. In this case, it wasn’t. It dramatically illustrated just how bad things could become if the H5N1 strain of flu mutates into a human-to-human transmissible form.
Currently, humans have no immunity to H5N1. Fortunately for all of us, this form of avian flu hasn’t spread yet, however, as most virologists & epidemiologists already know, the odds are high that very soon a global pandemic will develop and due to modern transportation systems, spread internationally with unprecedented speed. In past pandemics, influenza viruses have needed more than six months to spread. The recent 2009 H1N1 virus outbreak in Mexico spread in less than six weeks.
A short time after it was it was first detected in Mexico City in April 2009, H1N1 killed over 1,154 people worldwide. Most of the deaths were in the Americas. Eventually, there were over 1 million Americans infected.
The most troubling aspect of this development is that a virus of this type could conceivably combine with the avian flu H5N1 or other viruses and trigger a global pandemic similar to the Spanish flu pandemic (another avian flu virus) of 1918 that killed 675,000 Americans and approx. 50-100 million people worldwide.
With the numbers adjusted for the increase in world population, a similar pandemic would kill upwards of 2-3 million Americans over a period of 9-15 months and quite possibly, 150-300 million worldwide. As frightening as it may seem, it could even be much worse than this. In poor countries like Africa, Southern Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, there are no buffers to prevent the spread. It could sweep across these countries like a biological brush fire, leaving a trail of death and suffering in its wake on a scale not seen since the “Black Death” swept through Europe in the 14th century. See link: http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/plague.htm
The H5N1 Avian flu strain has a 50-100% mortality rate. See: http://www.medicinenet.com/bird_flu/article.htm this means that in a hypothetical situation where 100 people are infected, between 50% & 100% of them will die upon contracting the virus. Even a mild pandemic would increase the annual death for influenza by a factor of 10 from approximately 36,000 to about 360,000.
The only question here is: Are you prepared if the worst happens?
(Or even the least?)
If you aren’t read on. The following document will outline all of the major survival strategies needed to help you survive any type of pandemic.