1918 pandemic could kill 62 million today


vaccineAre you wondering who might have called for this research, as I am? What is the real purpose of this number - 62 million dead people? I think, this number is in the news for a simple reason. Fear. Put fear in us. When this pandemic will come (not if, but when), the solution will be a vaccine shot.

BOSTON, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. and Australian researchers have re-analyzed data from 27 countries on the 1918 pandemic and estimate a similar pandemic might kill 62 million today.

Based on 2004 population data, the researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Queensland in Australia say if a similarly virulent strain of flu virus were to strike today approximately 96 percent of deaths would occur in developing countries.

"This is the first time there has been this sort of systematic analysis based on vital statistics, such as death registration data, from the 1918-1920 period," said lead author Christopher Murray of the Harvard School of Public Health.

"These findings are particularly alarming when you consider that all the policy protection is aimed at the high income world. Very few strategies are being thought through that are primarily targeting poor countries."

For many decades, published epidemiological literature assumed that mortality rates from the 1918-20 pandemic were distributed fairly equally. A simple population count from that period would lead to the conclusion that about 20 percent of all fatalities occurred in the developed world. "But when you look at the data, that number shrinks to about 3 percent or 4 percent," said Murray.

The findings are scheduled to be published in Saturday's issue of The Lancet.

source - UPI