Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Some "good" words about avian flu

This NY Times science article posits that avian flu may not have the incredibly high mortality rate it was first thought to have. He points to the fact that investigators are beginning to be aware of cases where the person did not end up in the hospital to be tested before dying, but simply recovered. He also points to the fact that the countries in which the disease is emerging do not necessarily have facilities that allow for accurate testing, especially in those with mild cases of the disease. That's good news, and I certainly hope it's true. An airborne pathogen with ebola's mortality rate would be too terrible and really would be a harbinger of the new plague. (If I remember correctly, the airborne version of the "original" plague -- as opposed to the flea-borne version -- had a 90% mortality rate, which helped contribute to the 75% population die-off in parts of Europe.)