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MIDTERM PAPER: IUB NATURAL DISASTER RISK ASSESSMENT AND RISK MANAGEMENT Alex Wong There are a few kind of flu, includes seasonal, epidemic and pandemic. The Pandemic is the most deadly one. An influenza pandemic is an epidemic of the influenza virus that spreads over large area like the world and infects a huge proportion of the human population. Pandemic flu is so much more deadly than seasonal flu. It spreads irregularly and could strike mankind without much notice. There have been about 3 main influenza pandemics in each century for the last 300 years, the Spanish Flu, Asian Flu and Hong Kong Flu. Influenza pandemics occur when a new strain of the influenza virus is transmitted to humans, which is originated from another non-human animal species. Species that are thought to be important in the emergence of new human strains are pigs, cows, chickens and ducks. These strains are not protected against any immunity people may have to older strains of human influenza and can therefore spread extremely quickly and infect a very large numbers of people. Influenza viruses can occasionally be transmitted from wild birds to other species mentioned above causing outbreaks in domestic poultry and may mutate and trigger human influenza pandemics. The “Bird Flu”, H5N1, is one of the most recent, which happened in 2000 and is still happening, and dangerous flu. With the increasing cases of human getting this disease suggested there maybe a risk that this virus to changing from spreading animal- to-human to human-to-human. Health professionals are concerned that the continued
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spread of a dangerously high pathogenic avian H5N1 virus across eastern Asia and other countries shows a significant danger to human health. The H5N1 virus has raised concerns about a potential human pandemic because it is powerful, being spread by traveling birds, can be transmitted from birds to mammals including humans, and continues to evolve without any prediction. This can happen anywhere, including Indiana. The virus damages animals, humans’ health, and society. So far it has killed 234 people, which totally 369 people got infected. The death rate is very high.
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