Gov Estimates Pandemic Would Kill At Least 2 Million: “Completely Realistic and Based on Years of Data”
September 18th, 2013
In early 1918 the Spanish flu was nowhere on the radar. A couple years later, by the end of 1920 over 500 million people had been infected and about 100 million were dead – roughly 5% of the world’s population.
The virus spread like wildfire, destroying everyone in its path.
But such things could not happen in our modern society.
Or could they?
Despite breakthroughs in antibiotics, advanced medical facilities, and research teams dedicated specifically to identifying and eliminating any potential pathogens that could befall us, the U.S. government has been planning contingency procedures just in case we have another mutation like we saw at the beginning of the last century.
In fact, with the advent of modern air travel, the spread of a contagion like the Spanish flu could be much deadlier than we could ever imagine.
According to the government, their plans call for a minimum of 2 million dead and 5 million hospitalizations should a viruses such as the H7N9 flu strain or a respiratory coronavirus (MERS-CoV) mutate into a more deadly and contagious form.
According to a recently declassified report from the Department of Defense the threat is real and it could come at any time:
If a flu pandemic strikes, about 30 percent of the U.S. population could fall ill, with 3 million hospitalizations and 2 million deaths. Basic services, such as medical care or essential supply deliveries, will probably be disrupted.
In the plan, the government also says it assumes that a vaccine against a completely new flu strain wouldn’t become available for several months. Even after that, production will ramp up slowly.
Though that level of illness may seem high and the pace of vaccine production slow, it’s completely realistic and based on years of data on flu traits and vaccine production, said Dr. Richard Webby, a flu expert at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.