I just came across this news article. A 2006 outbreak of avian flu in Sumatra has now been confirmed as involving human-to-human transmission.
As folks are aware, the flu virus H5N1 is widely regarded by public health experts as a serious threat. It originated in birds (hence the “avian,” though in fact, most flus are avian flus), and bird populations in many locations around the world have it. Humans are susceptible and it is extremely deadly, although fortunately, current forms are not easily transmitted from human to human. Yet. H2H, as they call it, is one of the main mutations the virus has to make, in order for a pandemic to occur.
Many companies and organizations are racing to understand how the virus works, and develop a vaccine. There is no guarantee that H5N1 will become the pandemic that so many public health officials fear. But there is a real risk. The flu has a greater than 50% mortality rate. Of the eight people who were infected in the Sumatran outbreak in 2006, seven have died.
This is a very dangerous flu. If a pandemic comes, it hits a lot of places and people at once, and could take down local infrastructure. Think about Katrina. How would your community deal with 30% or more of its population sick, many hospitals overwhelmed with large numbers of severe cases and deaths?Â Preparations at the personal level could mean the difference between life and death for you and your family.