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From an interview with virologist Nathan Wolfe when he visited Houston in May 2010 (found in the Houston Chronicle Sunday, May 30, 2010)

Q. What's your assessment of H1N1?

A. We were lucky.  People may think we fought and won against swine flu, but that's not the case.  The only reason swine flu wasn't incredibly deadly is that nature handed us a not particularly virulent virus.  If it was just nominally more deadly, it would have killed a lot of people because it spread so effectively.  We dodged a bullet.

Q. What do you think of the public's increasing skepticism regarding pandemic warnings after worst-case scenarios presented about SARS, bird flu and H1N1 didn't materialize?

A. That's a dangerous complacency.  It's like hurricanes.  Not every hurricane that forms smashes into the coast, killing people and causing great damage, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't closely monitor them.  Pandemics are hurricanes that last months or years and affect the entire planet.  People who dismiss the warnings should realize a virus that can spread rapidly and cause disease is out there.  It's just a matter of time before it hits.

For more information on pandemics, see Pandemic Influenza, What Can I Do Now?, "I Prepare You Against These Things," and Pandemic Lessons from the Scriptures.



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