No time for complacency.
According to the Daily News, if the H1N1 (“swine flu”) strain that struck Mexico especially hard earlier this year comes roaring back seriously in the Fall, America could be in for a lot of suffering:
A full-scale pandemic — if it ever comes — could be expected to claim the lives of about 2 percent of those infected, about 2 million Americans.
The government estimates that a pandemic like the 1918 Spanish flu would sicken 90 million Americans, or about 30 percent of the population. Of those, nearly 10 million would have to be admitted to a hospital, and nearly 1.5 million would need intensive care. About 750,000 would need the help of mechanical ventilators to keep breathing.
One way to fight the flu in the Fall is going to be to keep your hands clean. My wife and I, because we have small children and are worried about them, have stocked up on alcohol-based hand washing wipes and liquid hand cleaning dispensers (like those sold by Purell).