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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 23, 2005 / 16 Sivan, 5765

A Nightmare Scenario

By Mort Zuckerman

Mort Zuckerman
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Should we sound the alarm for a worldwide epidemic that might not occur? There is no choice with the avian flu emerging from Asia. Last week's disclosure that an Indonesian man tested positive for the bird flu that has already killed more than 50 people in Southeast Asia was just the latest chilling news about the disease. Should it develop certain genetic changes, international health experts warn, bird flu could spark a global pandemic, infecting as much of a quarter of the world's population and killing as many as 180 million to 360 million people—at least seven times the number of AIDS deaths, all within a matter of weeks.

This is utterly different from ordinary flu, which kills between 1 million and 2 million people worldwide in a typical year. In the worst previous catastrophic pandemic, in 1918, more than 20 million died from the Spanish flu. That's more than the number of people who died from the Black Death in the Middle Ages—and more people killed in 24 weeks than AIDS killed in 24 years.

What is a pandemic? There are three elements. First, a virus emerges from the pool of animal life that has never infected human beings and is therefore one to which no person has antibodies. Second, the virus has to make us seriously ill. Third, it must be capable of moving swiftly from human to human through coughing, sneezing, or just a handshake. For avian flu, the first two elements are already with us. Well over half the people who have contracted it have died. The question now is whether the virus will meet the third condition, of mutating so that it can spread rapidly from human to human.

Tipping point. It has already moved from chickens to birds to pigs. The latter often serve as a vessel for mixing human and animal viruses because the receptors on the respiratory cells of pigs are similar to those of humans. This illustrates the dangers we face, because this mixture of bird flu and human flu, in either an animal or a person, could cause the viruses to exchange genetic materials and create an entirely new viral strain capable of sustaining efficient human-to-human transmission. This would be the tipping point to a pandemic.

At this point, nobody knows just how close we might be to such a crisis. Experts are alarmed, however, because we are singularly ill prepared. Worldwide, we currently produce only about 300 million doses of flu vaccine a year to serve over 6 billion people. A pandemic that began in Asia could race around the globe in days or weeks, given the number of airliners crisscrossing the oceans from Tokyo, Vietnam, and Indonesia to New York, Los Angeles, and London.

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What should we be doing? A whole lot more. First: We need operational blueprints to get various populations through one to three years of a pandemic. We must coordinate the responses of the medical community, of food providers, of transportation, and of care for first responders from public health, law enforcement, and emergency management at the international, federal, state, and local levels. Second: We must strengthen the World Health Organization so that it can be an accurate clearinghouse of information about the scope and location of the disease, should it begin to spread, and quell false rumors that could lead to global panic. Third: We must track the human cases already documented so as to gain the very earliest warning of any transformation of the disease, and thus of an emerging pandemic. Days would be critical. Fourth: The Bush administration must think of this as terrorism to the nth degree and immediately set up a senior-level emergency task force to develop a strategy. It could serve as a permanent framework for curtailing the spread of future infectious diseases. Fifth: We must prioritize research money to develop a vaccine, expand the production of flu vaccine, and stockpile antiviral medications. It would be irresponsible to begrudge time and money. A pandemic could well bring global, national, and regional economies to an abrupt halt in a world that relies on the speed and distribution of so many products. A pandemic could lead many countries to impose useless but highly destructive quarantines that would disrupt trade, travel, and production—something that has never happened with AIDS, malaria, or tuberculosis. At home, many venues of human contact—schools, movie theaters, transportation hubs, and businesses—would have to be shuttered.

Imagine the chaos. These killer viruses simply can't be isolated in any part of the world. If avian flu were allowed to develop into a pandemic, it would be a direct threat to our health, security, and prosperity.

The word influenza derives from the Latin influentia, reflecting the belief at the time that epidemics were due to the influence of the stars. Today, we have moved far beyond that fantasy, but even so, the world is clearly not ready for an avian-flu pandemic. With the scientific consensus already shifting from if to when the next global outbreak takes place, we have no time to lose.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mort Zuckerman is editor-in-chief and publisher of U.S. News and World Report. Send your comments to him by clicking here.

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