Colds and flu

Updated 11 July 2014

How a flu epidemic could hit the world

Here's what would happen if a flu epidemic hit the world.

0

If the H5N1 bird flu virus mutates and spreads easily from human to human (as is evident from events in Indonesia) and is as deadly as the 1918 flu virus it could lead to the following scenario:
BY GREG CALLIGARO for YOU Pulse magazine

New Page 1

THE 1918 FLU TODAY
YEAR 1918 2008
Global population 1,8 billion 6,5 billion
Chief means of transport Troopships, trains Aircraft

Time it takes the virus to reach

all parts of the globe

Four months Four days
Protective and preventive measures Masks and antiseptic Flu vaccines
Treatment Bed rest, aspirin

Antivirals such as

Relenza and Tamiflu

Estimated mortalities 25 million-50 million

100 million if the new virus is

potent and the antivirals not

as effective as scientists hope

(This is an edited version of a story that originally appeared in YOU Pulse / Huisgenoot-POLS magazine, Autumn 2008. Buy the latest copy, on newsstands now, for more fascinating stories from the world of health and wellness.)

 

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Ask the Expert

Flu expert

Dr Heidi van Deventer completed her MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 2004 at the University of Stellenbosch.
She has additional training in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Paediatric Advanced Life Support) as well as biostatistics and epidemiology.

Dr Van Deventer is currently working as a researcher at the Desmond Tutu Tuberculosis Centre at the University of Stellenbosch.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules