Swine flu could serve as wake-up call

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 3, 2009

In less than a week, swine flu has struck fear in the hearts of millions around the world.

The virus and its potential for rapidly spreading around the globe have captured the entire world’s attention.

And while experts now say the flu’s danger may not be as serious as originally feared, the minor panic illustrates some key factors of importance.

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The healthcare system in undeveloped parts of the world is incredibly insufficient at the moment. As a world community, we must address this in order to avoid a breakout of a more serious kind in the future.

Although this latest outbreak seems to be fairly controllable, imagine what would have happened if the disease that was spreading was much more deadly and much more difficult to control. The world could change within a week.

Let’s hope that never happens, but let’s plan for the worst in case it ever does.

We must continue to develop systems and protocols to prevent and control such outbreaks, not just here in America, but throughout the globe. As connected as we are in this global economy, we cannot afford to consider ourselves on an island.

In the meantime, the best way to control the spread of this latest flu bug is by using common sense, including vigilant hand-washing and covering your mouth when you sneeze, etc.

Swine flu may not be as deadly as we all first feared, but it can serve as a wake-up call to get us ready in case a truly killer bug emerges.