Table of Contents:

Foreword

Introduction

I. Storm Gathering

1. 1918

2. Master of Metamorphosis

3. H5N1

4. Playing Chicken

5. Worse Than 1918?

6. When, Not If

II. When Animal Viruses Attack

1. The Third Age

2. Man Made

3. Livestock Revolution

4. Tracing the Flight Path

5. One Flu Over the Chicken's Nest

6. Coming Home to Roost

7. Guarding the Henhouse

III. Pandemic Preparedness

1. Cooping Up Bird Flu

2. Race Against Time

3. Tamiflu

IV. Surviving the Pandemic

1. Don't Wing It

2. Our Health in Our Hands

3. Be Prepared

V. Preventing Future Pandemics

1. Tinderbox

2. Reining in the Pale Horse

Topics

References 1-3,199

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Disposal of the dead, referred to in crisis management circles as “corpse management,”2770 presents special problems for public health officials. "We talk about how people should bury their dead in their backyards, how far from the septic systems," explains the director of the King County public health department in Seattle. "In case you're wondering, it's $20 apiece for high-quality body bags.”2771

During the last pandemic, the average time between when a coffin was constructed and when it was buried in the ground was months. Today, with our just-in-time inventory system, it’s under three weeks.2772 Osterholm predicts, “We will run out of caskets overnight.”2773 Crematorium capacity is equally limited.2774 There will be no place for the dead.2775

“In our lifetime, we have not seen a disease sweep through a community and people die so fast that there’s no one to take care of them at the hospital and there’s no one to bury them,” says Greg Poland, M.D., chair of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic. “That’s what will happen in a pandemic. It would be more deaths than all the world’s wars in all of human history. All within the space of 6 to 18 months.”2776

In the U.K., officials have been scouring the countryside for suitable sites for mass graves as part of “Operation Arctic Sea,” the British government’s emergency pandemic simulations.2777 Their preparedness plan considers creative solutions such as mobile inflatable mortuaries big enough to hold hundreds of bodies.2778 In Australia, officials realized that even with mandatory cremations and all their crematoria working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without disruption, bodies still may pile up. If so, the plan is then to have Army engineers with refrigerated trucks dispose of bodies in “communal burials.” The government realizes that this may raise a “multitude of issues in our multicultural community.” A spokesperson for the Health Department pleaded, “We need all religious societies to respect the fact they may need to be buried communally in mass graves.”2779