But the struggle between people and pathogens is a part of life itself. We cannot continue to be surprised every time a new virus emerges. Instead, we must use the lessons we’ve learned during the year since H1N1 arrived to develop more effective public health responses.Some highlights
- Mexico took a big risk and hit--it reported the possible epidemic quickly despite the likelihood of a steep penalty economically. The cost--one percent of GDP! Pretty significant for a country beset by all kinds of problems.
- Much better than China and SARS
- Demonstrates a need for perhaps providing incentives for countries to be as swift as Mexico.
- Health officials screwed up: kids were contagious up to three ways after fever disappeared (if it appeared at all), and adults were contagious between 5-7 days. So, folks were going back to school and work to spread the disease.
- What is it about kids that make them contagious longer? Just a funky reality to note.
- The article takes seriously that a "mild" epidemic in a developed country does not mean the pandemic was mild across the globe. Of course, the US faced a less nasty outcome.
- We really have no clue about how many people were infected since not everyone got a fever.
- 1/3 of British kids in a survey showed antibodies--which meant they had been infected, which was ten times more than the estimates.
I guess this leaves me a bit uncertain about whether we are better prepared or not for an outbreak of the Z virus.