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Biology Discussion

Scientist believe it is not a matter of “if”, but “when” regarding a global pandemic with high mortality. It is estimated that the 2009 H1N1 virus infected 90,000,000 (ninety million) people in the US alone. We were lucky and it had a very low mortality rate. If it has a death rate of even just 5%, 4.5 million Americans would have died! Had it been as virulent as the Spanish Flu discussed in Ch. 32, with a mortality rate of 20% the death toll would have been 18 million people. Ebola has a mortality rate of 50% (!) which would have meant 45 million people would have died had H1N1 been similar.
Can anything be done to minimize the chances of an outbreak of this magnitude occurring? If an outbreak starts, can communities protect themselves (what would it take, is it realistic in our global times)? What would it take to survive such a pandemic (think about basic needs and supplies – how long would they last?).
Be realistic in your discussion – no “Mad Max” fantasy – though there could be some reality to the fiction you have seen… think about what we observed after 9/11, Katrina, what Puerto Rico is still going through after the devastating hurricane. How do those events relate to what might happen in a global pandemic?


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