Currently the worst pandemic in human history is upon us. It is not bird flu. It is a virus that is 100% fatal if untreated and even with treatment life is shortened and life quality effected. The pandemic is the HIV/AIDS pandemic. To date this pandemic has killed 25 million people. 5 million people have come down with it this year alone. 3.1 million people die of the disease each year. 40 million more are infected. 40,000 US citizens come down with the illness each year. In africa, where the pandemic is currently hitting hardest only 1 in 10 infected people are being treated. In Asia the pandemic is out pacing all actions to stop it.
Yet here we are worried about Bird Flu. Currently if you become infected with it the odds of you dying are as yet unkown. The mortality rate in Asian cases is 72%. If you put the deaths in context that percentage should not look as frightening. The cases documented are of very poor people living in terrible conditions and treated with substandard care at the outset of their illness. If an American contracted the illness in the US, I would imagine the mortality would be less. Aids is as 100% fatal for the American as it is for the Botswanan, though it takes 10 to fifteen years to manifest itself. At best a patient will live the rest of their lives ingesting loads of anti-retroviral drugs.
Are we ready for bird flu? Bird flu is a cake walk to the HIV/AIDS pandemic that has been raging out of control for 20 years.
Info Sources - The Aids Pandemic in the 21st Century - United States Agency for International Development issued in 2004
- Center for Disease Control