Group Estimates Potential Flu Death Toll at 500K

More than a half-million people could die and more than 2.3 million could be hospitalized if a moderately severe strain of pandemic flu virus hits the United States, a research group said Friday. The report from the Trust for America's Health assumes that 25 percent of a country's population would become infected if a strain of avian flu became highly contagious and humans had no natural immunity against it. The researchers also assumed the severity of the strain would fall about midway between the pandemic of 1918 and the pandemic of 1968. The group estimated that the federal government has ordered 5.3 million courses of Tamiflu for the stockpile, but that it would require about 70 million doses to cover 25 percent of the U.S. population, which is the rate the World Health Organization has recommended.

Group Estimates Potential Flu Death Toll

BioBOOM Op/Ed: This wouldn't be pretty. Makes Hitchcock's - "The Birds" look like a child's story. More pressure on the industry to step up to the plate for vaccine production and certainly will cause more political posturing in the corridors of the Capitol. Just hope some are willing to act.

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