It started out, seemingly, like any other case of influenza in Mexico. Now, influenza A (H1N1) has escalated into a global pandemic, as declared by the World Health Organization. It has spread to more than 90 countries, infecting almost fifty thousand people and taken more than two hundred lives.
At Level 6, the highest pandemic alert level by the WHO, the spread of A(H1N1) is now considered "unstoppable." As the virus continues to spread, and talks about A (H1N1) occupy discussions, other newly emerging viruses seem to have flown off the radar. In truth, A (H1N1) is only one of several emerging viruses that threaten public health. World View investigates these other viruses, their origins and what can be done to avert their potentially deadly effects.
In South Africa and Zambia, a newly discovered virus called "Lujo," killed five people just last year. Some experts consider this virus more lethal than A (H1N1), and patients have manifested a much lower rate of recovery. But like A (H1N1), initially called "swine flu," the "Lujo" virus is also believed to have come from animals. The same is true for several other diseases.
GMA Public Affairs' resident veterinarian Doc Ferds Recio travels to places where certain viruses are known to exist, and studies their impact on human lives. His investigation sheds light on the need to re-examine the interactions between people and animals, and how humans have greatly affected the natural ecology to give way to the emergence of new diseases.
The Pandemic Scare, Pagsisisyasat sa mga Bagong Virus airs this Sunday, July 5, after Ful Haus on GMA Network.