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Avian Flu Pandemic?

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World News Desk

Avian Flu Pandemic?

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Typically, when one thinks of global instability or national security, war, terrorism and the price of oil are of primary concern. However, in reference to the possibility of avian flu spreading from Asia, Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called it “a very ominous situation for the globe.” Such a pandemic could occur in literal days, crippling economies, and threatening the stability and security of governments around the world.

Of most concern is the fact that the avian flu has already met two of the three criteria that health experts believe are required for the pandemic to occur.

First, a strain of the virus, called A(H5N1), for which humans have little or no immunity, has recently emerged. In January, the World Health Organization reported the following regarding this new strain: “Never before had so many countries been so widely affected by avian influenza in poultry in its most deadly form.” The report added, “Never before had any avian influenza virus caused such extremely high fatality in humans.”

Second, this new strain can jump from one “animal” species to another (e.g. from chicken to human).

The remaining criteria that A(H5N1) does not yet meet is easy transmission from one human to another. However, with the rate at which viruses mutate—as well as the news that in recent months this strain has been detected in several mammals that have never previously been affected—may indicate that it is only a matter of time. According to some government officials, several cases of human-to-human A(H5N1) transmission have already occurred.

History—specifically the 1918 flu pandemic, which swept a planet prior to air travel, killing 20 to 40 million people—carries a most ominous warning. “A pandemic [today] of influenza could result in 350 million deaths globally and would cripple the global economy with the suspension of international trade,” said Michael Osterholm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

So far, however, the world turns to money and drugs as a possible solution to their problem. In particular, the United States, with an already over-stretched, precarious economy, is expected to take the lead. Consider this statement: “It is the first time in the history of mankind that anyone has thought about keeping a worldwide pandemic at bay,” says William Aldis, the top World Health Organization official in Thailand.

Bible prophecy reveals that viruses such as this will not be held at bay.

Source: The International Herald Tribune

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