I read a book called ‘The Coming Plague‘ when I was in medical school. It was fascinating. It formed a picture of the world in my mind as a bubbling soup of seething micro-organisms waiting for the right circumstances to break out, to come forth and multiply – at our expense. It also introduced me to the many ways that we have tried to fight back, where we’ve gone wrong, and how we may fight back in the future.
Laurie Garrett speaking at TED at the time of the avian influenza scare in 2007, tells us of the problems that face us in dealing with a severe pandemic and some of the lessons we can learn from the 1918 Spanish influenza epidemic.
We have moved on since this talk. Hopefully the world is more prepared. Fortunately the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus appears to cause an illness more like seasonal influenza than the severe illnesses of avian and 1918 Spanish influenza.
Life in the Fast Lane ‘swine flu’ posts
- Lessons from 1918
- Swine Flu in ICU
- What do you mean pandemic?
- H1 N1 DON’T PANIC!
- The Two Faces of Swine Flu