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Planning for bird flu pandemic a community obligation

Arizona Daily Sun

Nobody likes to contemplate a disease that modern science seems powerless to cure.
Throw in a mortality rate of 50 percent, and there is good reason to plan early against panic.

That's what local health officials are doing as the avian flu advances westward from Southeast Asia into central Europe. Faced with life or death decisions, individuals tend to look out for their own interests and those of their immediate families first. But it's as a community that Flagstaff is likely to pull through such a crisis best.

The challenge is to recognize early that some tough decisions will have to be made, then make them.

* If there isn't enough vaccine to go around, who should get it first?
* Will all health and public safety workers be expected to remain on the job or be allowed to tend to their families?
* At what point will the sick and dying be told to stay home rather than come to the hospital and risk infecting others?
* How long will schools and businesses have to remain closed and will a citywide quarantine mean shutting off access by outsiders?

Those are all difficult ethical issues to ponder, but we should be thankful that we have the time and knowledge to address them in advance. From the bubonic plague of the Middle Ages to the Spanish Influenza of 1918 and even the polio outbreak in the early 20th century, most pandemics have struck without much warning and with little scientific understanding of their cause or cure.
loe edasi

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trüki see kood alumisse tühja lahtrisse. aitäh :)