UST is developing emergency plan to be used in the event of an avian flu pandemic

Concerns about avian influenza (“bird flu”) and the potential of its causing an influenza pandemic are generating a lot of public interest and at times, fear. Currently there is no pandemic flu. A flu pandemic is a global outbreak that occurs when a new influenza virus causes serious human illness and spreads easily from person to person. All reported cases to date of avian flu appear to be the result of individuals having direct contact with infected birds; however, the UST community is taking this threat seriously and is in the process of developing an emergency plan should this influenza become widespread.

Below are statistics from the World Health Organization regarding the total number of avian flu cases as of Jan. 19, 2006, and additional resources.

Cumulative number of confirmed human cases of avian influenza A(H5N1) reported to WHO

Date of onset

Cambodia

China

Indonesia

Thailand

Turkey

Viet Nam

Total

cases

deaths

cases

deaths

cases

deaths

cases

deaths

cases

deaths

cases

deaths

cases

deaths

2003

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

3

3

3

2004

0

0

0

0

0

0

17

12

0

0

29

20

46

32

2005

4

4

8

5

16

11

5

2

0

0

61

19

94

41

2006

0

0

1

1

1

1

0

0

4

2

0

0

6

4

Total

4

4

9

6

17

12

22

14

4

2

93

42

149

80

To help keep the above statistics in perspective:

Every minute, roughly four people die of tuberculosis (TB) and 15 others newly develop the disease worldwide. TB is preventable and, in 90 percent of cases, can be cured completely for as little as $15 per course of treatment. Yet, TB accounts for one in four adult preventable deaths.

As of December 2005, the total number of people living with HIV worldwide is 40.3 million with 2.3 million of these being children under the age of 15. It is reported that 4.9 million people were newly infected with HIV in 2005. AIDS is the leading cause of death of adults aged 15 to 49 worldwide, killing 3.1 million people last year.

Additional resources: