Friday, March 18, 2005

Frightening News

The bird flu virus has killed a 5 year old boy in Vietnam, bringing the death total there to 47. The experts cited in the story stated that the virus has not yet shown the ability to transfer from human to human yet. Given the rapid mutations that the flu virus undergoes, I wouldn't be surprised if it did soon. In that case, things could get ugly fast. Ever since reading this book about the 1918 flu epidemic, I have been aware of how dangerous the flu virus really is. The flu doesn't really inspire fear in people like Ebola (which sounds fearsome but has limited ability for mass infection, especially in the more advanced countries) or even AIDS, but it can be quite nasty if a new strain crops up. Like when it jumps from an animal to a human.

By the way, the 1918 epidemic killed 40 million people world-wide. Sleep tight.


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