Great interview with Laurie Garrett here, on this morning’s Breakfast on ABC Radio National.
Garrett wonders aloud why WHO has not taken us to stage 6 already. Their definition of stage 6 is sustained spread between human beings in two parts of the planet at the same time. Well, according to Garrett, we have Chile, Canada, Australia, Mexico, US, parts of UK. Clearly, we’re there already. Part of the problem, says Garrett, is that WHO’s system was set up with bird flu in mind, and as such it’s a “bogus system” since it looks only at geography, and just assumes a high severity.
Garrett goes on to describe swine flu as “a very wimpy virus so far”, but, “who knows what will happen” as the virus goes through more and more humans and animals and so mutates and changes.
Garrett suggests creating a two-fold measurement system – taking into account both geography and severity. Under this system swine flu would be a pandemic level 6, severity category 1 (wimpy). And bird flu would be at pandemic level “pre-one” at the moment (ie no human to human transmission at all), but severity category 5 (super dangerous).