At least one state health official says that the world is undoubtedly on the edge of an influenza pandemic, judging from the growth of swine flu infections.Dr. Robert Ball is a D.H.E.C. Epidemiologist and Co-chairs the South Carolina Pandemic Influenza Ethics Task Force. He says a pandemic could happen in a matter of days, and if it occurs, it will be hard on the population as well as the state’s health care system.
“There will likely be many, many cases, and even some deaths, in South Carolina. These will severely stretch our healthcare resources, requiring rationing of care, which will be unlike what we expect under normal circumstances,” says Ball.
While the regular seasonal flu has resulted in the death of around 250 people in South Carolina annually in recent years, a pandemic could kill thousands in one year. [Read more...]