2million - 7.5 million global dead prediction from Swine Flu
BREAKING NEWS Health officials have confirmed they are investigating a further 56 cases of suspected swine flu in New Zealand in addition to the 10 Rangitoto College students still awaiting their results.
The new cases all involve people who have visited Mexico or the United States in the last few weeks and who have presented with flu-like symptoms.
The World Health Organisation has escalated its handling of the outbreak, moving from a phase three to a phase four plan. It also announced it has started work on a vaccine
Cost of bad pandemic put at $24b
A severe influenza pandemic could deliver a $24 billion hit to the economy, the Treasury estimates. After the 2006 bird flu scare, a Treasury paper, using the infection and mortality rates of the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak, estimated a severe pandemic could wipe up to 10 per cent off gross domestic product, equivalent to up to $16 billion. Over four years estimated losses would accumulate to about 10 per cent or 15 per cent of one year's gdp. About 40 per cent of the population would be infected and 2 per cent of those would die; equivalent to about 35,000 people. In a typical year about 5 per cent of adults and 20 per cent of children suffer from an influenza-like illness. The impact of a less severe pandemic, similar to those in 1958 and 1967, would cut gdp by up to 2.1 per cent in the first year, roughly the impact of a typical business cycle downturn. "Although the economic effects may be dwarfed by the social and human costs of death and illness, it is still important to evaluate how a pandemic may affect the economy so as to guide policy interventions to lessen the economic impact."
Watching sky news and their expert on the virus from Geneva suggests a worst case scenario (the virus is mutating fast so they say this could go either way at this stage) will be a global death rate of anything between 2million and 7.5million. That's a lot of people for us to lose within 3 months (that's how fast they predict the virus will spread around the planet and burn out), and it may be the social tears in the social fabric that are most damaging. The interesting issue as far as I can tell about this virus is that it still isn't killing anyone outside of Mexico, so the virus has either encubated in Mexico and is the new strain or it was the old strain which has evolved into something less lethal.