World Politics Review: Military Could Mobilize to Battle Swine Flu

29.04.09

Categorie: Relief |

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The World Health Organization on Monday raised its alert level for swine flu, edging the body closer to declaring a flu pandemic, while the death toll in Mexico, where the disease originated, neared 150. Half a dozen countries, including the United States, have identified swine flu cases, likely vectored by air travel.

Governments across the planet are bracing for a full-blown pandemic that could claim thousands of lives. Among U.S. agencies, the Pentagon could arguably play a leading role in combating the disease. Recent emphasis on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief has prepared the military for a global public health mission. But a lack of detailed directives from Washington could undermine the military’s response.

The military’s role in fighting a flu pandemic is roughly outlined in the U.S. government’s 227-page “National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Implementation Plan,” published in 2006 at the height of the bird-flu scare. The strategy called on the military to perform three major roles: distribution of medical supplies, including vaccines; flu treatment for military and civilian populations at its hundreds of medical facilities; and keeping the peace in the event of a quarantine or mass panic.

Read the rest at World Politics Review.

(Photo: David Axe)

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2 Responses to “World Politics Review: Military Could Mobilize to Battle Swine Flu”

  1. Alpha says:

    So just how many people have died from this so far?

  2. TEJ says:

    Hard to say, right now USA CDC is the only lab that can confirm cases. Many ‘suspected cases and deaths are as yet unrecognized. CDC lab kist are being created and pushed to other nations & states as we speak. News will portray H1N1 as ‘spreading like wildfire’ but really it will just be the delayed confirmation of past cases. Then we’ll get a better idea of ‘. . . just how many people have died from this so far? ‘.

    Then again, ‘. . . just how many people have died from this so far?’ is not a great indicator of future risk.

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