How an Average Person can Prepare for a Pandemic
by Bernie Carr
April 23, 2014
’ve been seeing several news reports of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and got to thinking about pandemics in general. Lots of people fear a global pandemic. If you had to rank a list of super scary threats, pandemic would be pretty high on the list. We’ve all seen movies like Contagion, which is scary enough. We also associate pandemic with nightmarish throngs of zombie like disease ridden creatures. But let’s pull back to reality and get some sense of what is a pandemic and whether they can happen.
What is a pandemic? According to Flu.gov, a pandemic is defined as a global outbreak of disease. It’s not determined by the number of deaths, but by how quickly it spreads.
Do they happen? Pandemics do happen, as in three outbreaks of flu pandemic in the 20th century:
Spanish flu killed $40-50 million in 1918
Asian flu in 1957 killed 2 million people
1 million deaths from Hong Kong flu in 1968
What are the chances?