I don't know about you but this makes me nervous, mankind is overdue for a big one and some say the the 7 years has already started (I do not think
so) but this is very spooky nonetheless....
Avian Flu World's No. 1 Threat, CDC Head Says
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Avian flu poses the single biggest threat to the world right now and health officials may not yet have all the tools they need
to fight it, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday.
Vaccine efforts are still focused on garden-variety influenza, which kills 36,000 Americans every year, and it would be impossible, in case of an
avian flu epidemic, to switch gears quickly to make a special avian flu vaccine, CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding said.
"This is a very ominous situation for the globe," Gerberding told a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, calling it
the "most important threat that we are facing right now."
"I think we can all recognize a similar pattern probably occurred prior to 1918," she said, referring to the 1918 pandemic of influenza, which also
passed from birds to people and killed between 20 million and 40 million people globally.
The H5N1 avian flu, which first appeared in Hong Kong in 1997 and has since popped up twice, is evolving and can jump directly from birds to people,
killing an estimated 72 percent of diagnosed victims, Gerberding said. Officials have documented 45 deaths so far from avian flu.
Gerberding said influenza was far more infectious than severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS, which swept out of China in 2003, killing 800 people
and causing global concern before it was stopped.
Health experts have also pointed out influenza kills much faster than diseases such as AIDS, taking tens of millions of lives in the space of weeks or
The "high season" for the avian flu was just starting in Asia, Gerberding said.