View Full Version : Osterholm Interview 1/8/07 Computerworld

sharon sanders
February 17th, 2007, 11:45 PM
Hat-tip ScottMcpherson

Preface to the interview with Dr. Osterholm and a somewhat contrarian view (!) from CDC economist Martin Meltzer.

Interview with Osterholm and CDC economist Meltzer.
http://www.computerworld.com/action/...icleId=9007058 (http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9007058)<!-- / message -->

February 18th, 2007, 12:55 AM
Thank you Florida1 - that is quite a stunning article. Quoting a few excerpts from Michael Osterholm from the interview:

"On the other side you have the statement most recently made* by the World Health Organization's Influenza Research at the Human and Animal Interface. In that document they very clearly delineate a potential pandemic that … could approximate what we’re seeing now [with H5N1 in birds], which is 65%. Obviously in that kind of worldwide pandemic it would be as catastrophic as anything we’ve ever seen or known. We’re talking 1 billion with a “b” or more deaths...."

* http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/influenza/WHO_CDS_EPR_GIP_2006_3C.pdf

How will the global economy be affected by a pandemic?

"That impact … is difficult to predict. We can take any one impact issue, such as a lack of workers coming to work, or border closings or the shutdown of certain transportation systems. But for each one of those there is a domino effect. And the domino effect is [for example is when] not enough employees show up at the oil refinery plants. Even if you have some way of moving the petroleum, you can’t refine it. If you can’t refine petroleum you can’t provide gasoline or heating fuel or in some instances the petroleum you need for electrical generating plants. Once that happens you may have electrical grid shutdown and you’re sure to have other things such as transportation shut down....."

Some organizations haven’t done any planning yet. What would you say to those who have yet to get started?

"Pandemics are like earthquakes, hurricanes and tsumanis. They occur. Another pandemic is going to occur. It is not an option."