Thursday, November 23, 2006

University of Western Ontario: Paul Mayne - October 2006 update

A researcher at the University of Toronto says it’s a matter of time before the emergence of a flu pandemic is expected to hospitalize and kill millions around the world.

Kristy Duncan is the author of a book called “Hunting the 1918 flu: one Scientist’s Search for a Killer Virus”. She speaks about the Spanish flu which killed about 50 million people worldwide and even went as far as exhuming the bodies of seven people who were killed by the 1918 flu.

Determined to find out what the virus looked like, she took samples from the brain, heart, kidney, liver and lung. She did this believing that the H5N1 has similar genetic paths than the Spanish flu. Kristy insists that the scientific world has a unique opportunity in becoming more prepared for the future by learning from the past.

Other leading scientists and the WHO say a pandemic is not only evident, but imminent. The question is; if it is imminent, then why are so few people concerned around the world? So far, to her knowledge only 15% of American businesses and 4% of Canadian businesses have a pandemic flu plan in place.

As a responsible scientific researcher, Duncan says the pandemic is very real and the challenge is not to create panic and fear mongering. Individual preparedness includes building a supply of food, water and medication to last for a period of six to eight weeks.

Something to think about for the next time you go shopping!

For additional information on Pandemic preparedness from a business continuity perspective, please feel free to contact Pitsel & Associates Ltd. Calgary, Alberta, (403) 245-0550. “The time to plan is when you have time to plan.”

No comments: