Martin W

    More scary predictions in America, from yet another expert who seems oblivious to natural selection (evolutionary biology):

    It’s not a matter of if… but a matter of when. Those were the words of Dennis Perrotta, associate professor of epidemiology and biosecurity with the University of Texas School of Public Health, as he addressed the Angelina County Pandemic Influenza Task Force this past week in a workshop session held at Angelina College. "We are long overdue for pandemic influenza. If history is a predictor of current events — and it usually is — it’s going to happen," Perrotta said. People who know, like scientists and officials at the Center for Disease Control, have been talking about the threat of pandemic influenza for 10 years now, he said.

    "Now it’s important to know because of the 100 or so (human) deaths of the 200 or so cases (of bird flu). That’s a lot of people dying. It’s a striking number." Throughout the ages, Perrotta said, influenza started in birds and ended in people. The virus right now is large in birds and has affected only a small number of people, he said. But once it mutates, developing the ability to spread from person to person, and if it still retains the 54 percent kill rate that it is showing now, he said, "that’s a global pandemic."

    Even if it has a kill rate of even 25 percent, that’s a huge impact, he said. A pandemic strain will cause severe disease in humans because the global human population will not have pre-existing immunity, and it will spread rapidly from human to human. The pandemic will move around the world in six to eight weeks, he said. Twenty to 30 percent will contract influenza during the first wave. …

    The threat isn’t the bird, he said. The threat is human. "More times humans get in touch with birds, more of a chance of human to human contact … that genetic magic might happen." …

    It will be like tornadoes that are spawned from a hurricane — one disaster brings other related ones.":ohmy: During such an outbreak, Perrotta said, medicines may or may not help. "Healthcare will be overwhelmed." The first vaccine will not be available for four to five months until after the pandemic arrives, and even then, it will be in limited quantity….

    Expert paints grim picture of global bird flu outbreak