12/02/2004

Baby, Can You Dig Your Man?

The World Health Organization has issued a warning that 100 million people could die in an outbreak of avian flu.

A global outbreak was almost certain and vaccination programmes would not be enough to halt its advance, Shigeru Omi, WHO's director for the Western Pacific, has said here.

"The most conservative estimate is that seven to 10 million people would die, but the maximum range would be 50 million or, in the worst case, even 100 million people," Omi said in his starkest warning yet of the potential peril presented by a mutation of avian flu to a form that could be transmitted by humans.

"It will come," he said.
Perhaps I've been jaded by the mad cow epidemic that never happened (as it stands, more people are killed by lightning strikes than mad cow), but I haven't yet seen anything to make me get worked up about avian flu.