bird flu

The never-ending threat of pandemic flu

These are all, or well most of them, legitimate concerns and efforts aimed at preparing us for the big one. But the question is if these scares fail to explode into a large-scale pandemic, will the public — and policy makers — be better prepared or somehow inoculated against taking the threat seriously in the future?

Media eagerly covers bird flu outbreak in China

I don’t mean to make light of the possibility that a handful of human deaths in China apparently caused by a new strain of bird flu could produce a global flu pandemic. But there is a tendency in the media — of which I am a part, and also often guilty — along with some in the public health community to get a bit too excited about these bird flu outbreaks.