Scientists and public health officials are warning that a strain of bird flu known as H5N1 has the potential to cause a worldwide pandemic. In the worst-case scenario, an outbreak could kill millions upon millions of people. In addition, the World Health Organization warns that the global economic impact would be enormous. While all this is still just a possibility, what is known is that many countries, including the United States, are not prepared for a major pandemic.
In this special report from the pages of Scientific American, you'll hear about the latest efforts to stop a pandemic before it happens, and to treat the sick if it happens. You'll also hear about some fascinating new research into the catastrophic "Great Influenza" of 1918, and its relevance for all of us today.
The articles in this special report are:
"Preparing for the Worst" by The Editors of Scientific American. (Originally published: Nov. 2005)
"Preparing For a Pandemic" by W. Wayt Gibbs and Christine Soares.
(Originally published: Nov. 2005)
"Capturing a Killer Flu Virus" by Jeffery Taubenberger, Ann Reid, and Thomas Fanning. (Originally published: Jan. 2005)
©2004 Scientific American