WHO Can Stop an Epidemic

The WHO is an encouraging, and too rare, example of countries getting over their differences to solve a common problem. The WHO is underfunded and needs reform, but it stands between us and some lethal future pandemic, writes Nina Hachigian.

According to the New York Times, this season’s particular flu virus doesn’t respond—at all—to the standard flu medicine, Tamiflu. I admit to shivering when I hear medical experts saying things like “It’s quite shocking” and “We’ve never lost an antimicrobial this fast. It blew me away.” Thirty six thousand Americans die every year from the flu, so it’s no joke. But the last paragraph of the Times piece is particularly chilling:

“And while seasonal flu is relatively mild, the Tamiflu resistance could transfer onto the H5N1 bird flu circulating in Asia and Egypt, which has killed millions of birds and about 250 people since 2003.”

Read more here.

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Nina Hachigian

Senior Fellow