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..."We're bracing for what's going to happen next. If H7N9 becomes easily transmissible between humans, yes, the case fatality ratio may go down a little from where it is now, but we'd still be talking about millions of people dying," says Osterhaus, the head of a highly bio-secure laboratory in the Netherlands...
In the US, what happens to people who have no health insurance and cannot afford medical treatment?
...BTW OP do you think the reservoir could be somewhere else? If this is already crossing species borders to jump into humans could it be in other species? Thank you.
The 1918 flu pandemic (January 1918 – December 1920) was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic, the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus (the second being the 2009 flu pandemic). It infected 500 million people across the world, including remote Pacific islands and the Arctic, and killed 50 to 100 million of them—3 to 5 percent of the world's population at the time...
Most influenza outbreaks disproportionately kill juvenile, elderly, or already weakened patients; in contrast the 1918 pandemic killed predominantly previously healthy young adults. Modern research, using virus taken from the bodies of frozen victims, has concluded that the virus kills through a cytokine storm (overreaction of the body's immune system). The strong immune reactions of young adults ravaged the body, whereas the weaker immune systems of children and middle-aged adults resulted in fewer deaths among those groups. ......
The global mortality rate from the 1918/1919 pandemic is not known, but an estimated 10% to 20% of those who were infected died. With about a third of the world population infected, this case-fatality ratio means 3% to 6% of the entire global population died. Influenza may have killed as many as 25 million people in its first 25 weeks. Older estimates say it killed 40–50 million people, while current estimates say 50–100 million people worldwide were killed.
...This huge death toll was caused by an extremely high infection rate of up to 50% and the extreme severity of the symptoms, suspected to be caused by cytokine storms. Symptoms in 1918 were so unusual that initially influenza was misdiagnosed as dengue, cholera, or typhoid. One observer wrote, "One of the most striking of the complications was hemorrhage from mucous membranes, especially from the nose, stomach, and intestine. Bleeding from the ears and petechial hemorrhages in the skin also occurred." The majority of deaths were from bacterial pneumonia, a secondary infection caused by influenza, but the virus also killed people directly, causing massive hemorrhages and edema in the lung.
The unusually severe disease killed up to 20% of those infected, as opposed to the usual flu epidemic mortality rate of 0.1%.