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The next pandemic

We get so up in arms about the stupidity of anti-vaxxers that sometimes we overlook the fact that the next pandemic might not have anything to do with anti-vaxxers at all.  H7N9 flu virus may be next on the agenda. China is refusing to provide samples to the CDC, in violation of WHO protocols.  Shades of SARS in 2002.

This might help explain why doctors are advising that children receive this year’s flu vaccine as soon as it’s available.  (H/T:  Instapundit.)  Even though the current vaccine isn’t tailored for H7N9, it still might provide some limited immunity.

Anyway, John Ringo, call your office:

In a town called Jungbao, a lot of people suddenly got sick. Really, really incredibly sick. Dying sick. There’s all sorts of estimates. Jungbao is about the only place that people are starting to open up the mass graves to get a count. And what exactly happened might never be known. Currently, the best estimates I’ve found go like this:

A lot of people got sick. The local medical boss, who was a WHO reporter, contacted Beijing with his estimate that H5N1 had become human to human transmissible and had, possibly, become more lethal. He wanted to report it to the WHO. He was told to hold the fuck on.

— John Ringo. The Last Centurion (Kindle Locations 363-367). Baen Books.

Just sayin’.  True, it’s probably more that China is in a snit over Trump tariffs than anything else at this point…but in the world of viral pandemics, things could go pear-shaped in a hurry, and a snit over economic inconvenience is no reason for China to be withholding flu samples from analysis.  Virus don’t care if you’re Chinese or American, when all is said and done.

This is, for what it’s worth, just another pressing reason for humans to get the fuck off this rock and out, at minimum, into the rest of the solar system.

UPDATE:  Perhaps I wrote too soon.  “Emirates plane carrying sick passengers lands at JFK airport, officials say.”  The flight originated in Dubai.  “The [Emirates] spokesman also initially tweeted that the flight from Dubai stopped in Mecca, where there’s a flu outbreak. He later clarified that some of the passengers came from Mecca and the flight was a direct one from Dubai to New York City.”

Great.