Pandemic (BBC Documentary)

A simple virus brewed in the belly of a dead bird is set to embark on a global killing spree. The likely culprit is H5N1 – a bird flu virus with the dangerous potential to mutate into the next pandemic flu virus.

In a feature-length special, we tell the story of what could happen if a flu pandemic hits. Experts predict the next pandemic will be more disruptive than any disease we’ve seen before. And they’re particularly worried that it will be most deadly for the young and otherwise healthy.

The last flu pandemic in 1918 killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. Nowadays, with extensive global travel and movement, the virus will be able to spread even more easily. The estimates are that hundreds of millions could be infected and potentially die.

Comments

  1. Survivor says:

    I lost my great grandpa in the influenza epidemic of 1918. He was a young man working on his own farm.

  2. Mystery Guest says:

    I watched the whole thing. Scary to say the least.
    I would, if I had my drothers, fight a revolution or zombies, thank ya kindly.
    I am still wondering how the chicken(s), especially the 0 chicken got it.

    • J Smith says:

      New viruses arise from older forms of the virus. Small changes naturally occur when viruses replicate. Most of the time these small changes don’t matter, but sometimes changes can allow the virus to do new things or attack with more intensity. “Chicken zero” probably caught a “normal” and non-fatal form of bird flu, but inside chicken zero’s body the virus changed enough to kill…and also to become transmissible to humans. Viruses can just as easily mutate back to a less virulent/deadly form…very unpredictable.

  3. SweatPea says:

    From a historical and scientific basis a pandemic sometime in the future is inevitable. Probably you cannot simply “protect” yourself against it. The nature of a pandemic “bug” is that it is so easily communicable and this very factor means you can’t avoid it by simply washing your hands or wearing a mask, etc. This works in a hospital environment with a handful of sick people who can be isolated. But in a city or an entire country where people pass by hundreds of other people and put their hands on things in the public hundreds of times highly communicable diseases cannot simply be protrected against with common hygiene techniques.

  4. JP in MT says:

    The really scary ones are the ones that are very easy to catch, \have a 10 day or so incubation period, and mutate rapidly.

  5. Really scary stuff.
    Avoid people, do not use transportation hubs, keep some N95 masks and Nitrile gloves in your GHB, at your desk, and at home, wash hands frequently, avoid touching your face, ‘stop picking your nose’ and set up a quarantine area at your location…

    • J Smith says:

      Don’t forget eye protection (goggles). Some viruses can be transmitted via the mucous membranes of your eyes.

  6. mindyinds says:

    I was really hoping that the film would touch on how to dampen a cytokine storm – I know there are medications and natural ways to keep the inflammation down. Guess I’ll do some research on that. With a 30 year old son and a 20 year old daughter, the whole idea of pandemic flu is terrifying to me. Easy enough for my husband and myself to be in quarantine, but our kids are out in the world, and heedless.

  7. The video is somewhat frightening but really informative and is a great tool to warn us all. Bird flu has been around for quite a long period of time. I believe it has been studied and was determined not to infect us– humans. But despite of all the studies, something has changed.

    The flu that was once restricted to birds is now infecting human beings too. And this is something very alarming.

    It is a continual battle with this kind of mutating viruses. Scientist should be able to predict it in advance and be accurate if possible so that the public will be prepared for the next flu attack.

  8. Stealth Spaniel says:

    What actually killed more of the young and strong in 1918, was the body’s reaction to that particular flu. It cause the body’s immune system to become so super charged, that the immune system literally turned on its own support system. That is what happens when a particular virus is strong, viralent, and renders itself capable of jumping from species to species. Cleanliness should be your very best friend. Wash your hands-always-when starting to prepare food. Wash the countertops, make sure that pots, pans, dishes, etc are all clean. Make sure that everything is clean before putting away. Even city water I prefer to our through my Berkey filter system. I figure, that by the time I get notified, the city has already taken several hundred citizens asunder. Remember that germs like to move around. When was the last time you cleaned the garage? I don’t mean rearrange chairs on the Titanic-but move everything out and powerwash the floors, wipe items with disenfectant cloths, etc? Yet, half the population does the laundry in the garage, some store food or dog/cat food, and many keep seasonal clothing changes in their garages. I don’t think any of us need to be paranoid, but cleanliness is next to Godliness serves us well.

    • J Smith says:

      Many people during the 1918 flu pandemic died because they were too sick to leave their home to get food or water. Entire families were stricken, and neighbors were afraid to go near to help. Stored food, water, and medications could allow more people to survive

  9. Dave in OH says:

    After reading Bam Bam’s post about an outbreak I did a little looking and found a mask called the totobobo mask. I did some asking around and they use these a lot for cancer patients.

  10. Miss Jane says:

    Every unmarried woman, (simply a place to start), should be taught to do: an I.V, sanitize clothing, bedding and surfaces, and how to care for the flu-ill. Our government, rather than train some to help others, would rather help everyone get in touch with their feeling and learn to put condoms on bananas. I work for a Dr. and she said “yes, she would teach me to do I.V.’s because it may be her family I can help”. The government could careless about any of us dying of the flu. I think if there had been more fever reducers or knowledge about how to reduce a fever, in 1918, there would have been more survival.