Week of 5.8.09
How do we fight both the swine flu pandemic and our fear of it?
This week, NOW's David Brancaccio sits down with one of the most prominent figures in world health to discuss the future of the swine flu pandemic. Dr. Larry Brilliant is an epidemiologist, former chief philanthropist at Google.org, and was a central figure in the World Health Organization's successful smallpox eradication program.
Brilliant sheds light on high-tech tools that are making it easier for scientists to detect global outbreaks, the critical importance of early detection and early response, and how the current pandemic has yet to show its real hand.
"Anyone who tells you that they know that this is a mild pandemic, and the WHO has overreacted, they don't know. Anyone who tells you that the WHO and CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] have underestimated it, they don't know," Brilliant tells NOW. "We're all going to find out at the same time...we're all in it together."
The show also features vital insight from Dr. Nathan Wolfe, a Stanford University epidemiologist who specializes in hunting viruses to their source.
The New York Times: How to Prevent a Pandemic by Dr. Nathan Wolfe
Reuters: Swine Flu Fact Box
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Swine Flu
The World Health Organization: Influenza A (H1N1)
The Wall Street Journal: The Age of Pandemics by Larry Brilliant (login required)