Renowned global health expert Laurie Garrett gave a powerful and frightening talk at PopTech 2008 on how countries deal - both effectively and ineffectively - with pandemics. Examining China's response to SARS, she asked: what if this happened here? How would we respond? Her presentation is essential viewing right now:
Yesterday, just in time for the World Health Organization to raise the threat level from a 3 to a 4 (on a 6-point scale), Laurie gave a wide-ranging press teleconference on Swine Flu. We've summarized some of her high-level questions and answers on our blog:
Finally, 2008 PopTech Fellow Erik Hersman (http://twitter.com/whiteafrican) wrote a terrific piece on information patterns that emerge during an emergency on social networking platforms (like Twitter), and how these can be aggregated and turned into real-time maps that shape a strategy for intervention:
The above represent just the kind of clear thinking we may yet need in this circumstance. Have a look, and if you feel moved to do so, please help us share these insights by forwarding, blogging, and tweeting the above to friends and colleagues.
From Joe & Rita Sterling of Sterling Insights:
It’s been three years since our last pandemic readiness workbook update: Preparing for Pandemic – Family and Neighborhood Readiness Workbook. The Avian Flu has continued to smolder in Asia, Africa and parts of the Middle East only a few new human cases emerged. However, other strains of influenza have continued to mutate, including the new Swine Flu which is in the news today.
You can download a complimentary copy of our updated readiness workbook from our website: http://www.sterlinginsights.com/articles/pandemic_flu_20090501_dnld.pdf
Or you can order a paperback version: http://www.lulu.com/content/263485
From Joe Sterling:
Here’s a great flu explanation on video by Henry Niman, Ph.D. founder of Recombinomics, a research firm focused on genetic evolution of infectious diseases. http://www.recombinomics.com/whats_new.html
I’ve been tracking Niman since 2005 and he is always a bit ahead of everyone else and tells it like it is.