This month, the World Health Organization finally declared that the new H1N1 virus has become pandemic. Yesterday it reported a big jump in cases and fatalities since Friday. How many people this virus will sicken and kill depends, ultimately, on three things: the virus itself; the impact of what are known as “non-pharmaceutical interventions,” or NPIs; and the availability and effectiveness of a vaccine.
The virus will be the most important factor. Influenza is one of the fastest-mutating organisms in existence, which makes it unpredictable, and a virus newly infecting the human population is likely to be even more unpredictable as it adapts to a new environment.… Seguir leyendo »