Fictional Weblog Shows Flu Pandemic Risk

Posted on May 27, 2005

For all those who have attacked fictional blogs unnecessarily here is a fictional blog that has value. Declan Butler, Nature's senior reporter in Paris, has written a fictional blog about a pandemic outbreak of bird flu that causes chaos, death and panic. The fictional blog is set in the future (beginning December, 2005) and written by freelance journalist in D.C. Here is an excerpt:
The Commissioned Corps of the US Public Health Service, the nation's uniformed force of health professionals, has just been mobilized. The US Northern Command is in charge of the military response. Soldiers are setting up triage centres, anticipating overflowing emergency rooms and morgues. Images are coming in of tent cities being erected in New York's Central Park. Wards are being installed in schools and churches. Troops are on the streets. "There's going to be civil unrest," a general informed me on the phone this morning.
This is fiction and it is a blog and it is both useful and interesting. A fictional blog used this way can help create awareness of an important issue that many are unaware of. In Southeast Asia bird flu has been a growing and serious problem for the past few years. Scientists do not have a cure for the disease and many health experts believe it could eventually lead to a terrible outbreak like the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1918.

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