Epidemiologists brace for the pandemic – NPR

On what scares virologists most

Novel forms of influenza are what really keeps most virologists up at night, because we are so good at spreading those around quickly, and it happens every year. We have a flu pandemic every year, and now we’re hatching all kinds of new kinds of flu viruses, mostly in Asia, and then they’re spreading across the globe, and we don’t have immunity to some of those. …

Right now, a typical flu virus, the seasonal flu, will still kill a lot of people every year and it’s a real drain on our global economy. But we kind of put up with that, so if you had a new flu virus that even had a slightly higher mortality rate, you could see a lot more death and destruction because so many people get the flu.

 

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