The deadly Mexico flu outbreak, which has no doubt been caused by inequities in the American medical system, happens to be part of one of the 7 deadly scenarios in 7 DEADLY SCENARIOS: A MILITARY FUTURIST EXPLORES WAR IN THE 21ST CENTURY by Andrew Krepinevich. I thought that would cheer you up! Here's the details of the Mexican outbreak:
Because there is clearly human-to-human spread of the new virus, raising fears of a major outbreak, Mexico's government canceled classes for millions of children in its sprawling capital city and surrounding areas.In 7 Deadly Scenarios, a world-wide avian flu pandemic pushed the American health care system the brink, but the major danger came when Mexico's teetering government collapses and a human wave of sick desperate humanity surges toward the U.S. border. This from the U.S. News & World Report interview with Krepinevich:
"Our concern has grown as of yesterday," U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acting director Dr. Richard Besser told reporters in a telephone briefing.
It first looked mostly like a swine virus but closer analysis showed it is a never-before-seen mixture of swine, human and avian viruses, according to the CDC.
"We do not have enough information to fully assess the health threat posed by this new swine flu virus," Besser said.
Is there a scenario that particularly surprised you as you looked into it?
Sleep well tonight...dream of nanomasks and Tamiflu.
The pandemic scenario. You read what people in the medical community are saying, and their point is that a pandemic influenza is not an if event; it's a when event. Nearly a century ago, we had the famed Spanish influenza that killed more people than all the people killed in World War I. It was almost a "bring out your dead in the morning," overwhelming the ability of the healthcare infrastructure to handle the problem. And so the situation is that you have an avian influenza virus that makes this last leap to where it can be easily transmitted between humans. It takes time to isolate the strains and produce a vaccine. So you've got a period of six to nine months where you need to accumulate large stores of the vaccine. In the meantime, you have to rely on antiviral drugs, and you don't have enough of those. You see breakdowns in areas where U.S. forces are located; they're besieged. You get massive numbers of people moving towards the U.S. border, and the government realizes that we cannot accommodate them because we're hanging on by a thread. The armed forces is given the challenge: How do you stop these people in a humanitarian way? Again, you sit down and you start to think about what does the Pentagon have to worry about. The circumstance is a huge humanitarian catastrophe, one that is quite plausible and that would require the military to be very inventive.