World markets slumped today as fears increased about the spread of Pandemic Flu. The World Health Organization issued a statement saying that travel bans don’t work. Also from the list of things that don’t work. Anti-viral drugs turned out to be totally useless against the Asian Bird Flu that is very similar to the current strain. Since the reports appeared in the media immediately that it does work against this strain and such information could not possibly be available from Mexico; you should assume it to be no more than corporate hype.
There is also a problem with counting on a vaccine; there was an in depth study published in the British Medical Journal Lancet that called into question the effectiveness of Flu vaccines. It seems no study that these researchers would characterize as scientifically sound has ever been done on Flu vaccine and the death rate each year moves up and down completely independent of the number of people vaccinated. The Bush Crime Family response to the study was to authorize vaccine for younger patients and boost the PR budget. No new studies were funded. Not all viruses respond to vaccination. While it sounds like it should work; why have they never done a study to prove it?
Mexico City is considering a total shut down in order to keep the outbreak from mushrooming beyond their ability to deal with it. This may be the only effective course of action but this requires a level of control that would be nearly impossible to maintain. There are stories from 1918 about towns that attempted to shut themselves off from outside contact and were defeated by things like the mailman coming in. The Flu virus is capable of living 72 hours on a dry surface in cool weather. It would probably take a total quarantine of three weeks and most people don’t have the canned goods to last that long not to mention the problems with services. Proper planning and preparedness would have made this possible but after eight years of the Bush Crime Family we are screwed.