Bird Flu getting worrisome

As though there ain’t enough in the world to worry about, SCA spells out some ugly projections.

The bird flu mortality rate of 50 percent is the highest of any influenza virus in history. Indiana’s best-case scenario is a 15 percent “attack rate,” meaning about 15 percent of the population would be infected with avian influenza, said Dr. Charlene Graves, medical director of the Indiana State Department of Health immunization program and co-chair of the Pandemic Influenza Plan committee.

But U.S. and international health experts suggest if human-to-human transmission occurs, the attack rate will be more in the 30 percent to 35 percent rate. In Indiana, at the 15 percent attack rate there would be 4,894 hospital admissions on the lower end to more than 16,000 on the higher end, with 1,400 to 4,000 deaths, according to the state preparedness plan.

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