Will We Be Ready?

July 25, 2005
by Melissa Healy
Los Angeles Times

In the perennial conflict between germs and humans, the influenza virus has a distinguished roster of battlefield victories. But now, far from America's shores, a new round of hostilities is brewing. For the first time, scientists and public health officials are preparing to fight back... ...The CDC calculates that even a "medium-level" pandemic could claim between 89,000 and 207,000 lives in the United States, with between 314,000 and 734,000 hospitalizations. Some warn that those estimates could be low. The Washington, D.C.-based Trust for America's Health, using CDC methods and official reports of the bird flu virus' virulence, has projected the U.S. death toll of a moderate pandemic at more than 500,000 including nearly 61,000 in California with more than 2.3 million hospitalized and almost 67 million Americans sickened.

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