A New Black Death
A New Curse
There is now a new strain of flu out there that has the potential to be more deadly than the plague, known as the Black Death, which decimated Europe in the fourteenth century.
This strain is called Avian flu or H5N1 and is thought to be worse than the Spanish flu, that in 1918/1919 was thought to have been responsible for between 50-100 million deaths.
The latest death is of a 39 year old man in Guiyan City, in China who died on January 22nd, having become ill on January 6th.
This follows 60 deaths from 120 cases reported in Vietnam, 153 deaths from 182 cases in Indonesia, 17 deaths from 19 cases in Cambodia and 55 deaths from 159 cases in Egypt.
Countries known to be affected so far are: Bangladesh, Cambodia, PR China, Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Loa PDR, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.
If this strain of flu became pandemic it has the potential to affect one third of the population and kill 1.5 billion people.
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World Health Organization
During the flu pandemic of 2009 the World Health Organization seemed to be able to do nothing to help, except perhaps to know where new cases were reported and how many new deaths there were. Let us hope that that is not the case this time.
Some research laboratories have already drawn criticism by, in an attempt to find a cure, have apparently genetically produced a strain of this flu that is airborne, which it currently isn’t. Obviously if an airborne strain of this flu were to exist outside of a laboratory, then it certainly would overshadow the “Black Death” in Europe.
Let us hope that this strain of flu, with its 60% mortality rate, can be contained or destroyed. In the mean time the WHO has reminded medical institutions that they are to report all cases of a new flu virus and remind all of us of a few tips to avoid catching flu, these are:
If you are sick: Stay at home.
Always sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, dispose of the tissue down a flush toilet.
Wash your hands regularly.
Use a sanitation gel regularly.
On arriving at a building, wipe door knobs, light switches etc. with an alcohol soaked cloth or with sanitation gel.
Avoid touching things outside your home, such as door handles and elevator buttons.
With the flu virus continually mutating and new strains appearing nearly every year that are increasingly more potentially deadly, is it inevitable that some time in the future it will cause catastrophic damage to the human race?
Could it have been a similar thing that killed off the Dinosaurs?
Take care and keep healthy.
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