Clearly we are on track for a pandemic in the coming months.
The good news is that we were all worried about so-called bird flu H5N1 which was a much more dangerous virus. Here, we are not in the same ball park.
But we can’t at the moment answer the question is it comparable to 1918 Spanish flu which killed a lot of people – or is it much more like Hong Kong flu.
We are coming out of the normal time of year when we have flu circulating in the UK so we don’t really know what size of epidemic there may be in the next couple of months.
It is almost certain that even if it does fade away in the next few weeks which it might we will get a sizable epidemic in the autumn.
We might expect up to 30-40% of the population to become ill in the next six months if this truly turns into a pandemic.
We could get substantial numbers infected in the next few weeks. If I was to be a betting man I would say it would be a slightly longer period of time just because we are heading into the summer months.
Taking the professor’s low estimate of 30% and applying it to the U.S., that means 90,000,000 cases of the flu. Now if someone will just supply a projected fatality rate, we can get a fairly useable picture of what’s ahead, and then perhaps the government will address whether it will be doing anything other than “monitoring” the situation. I