Looking at what Plagues the Human Race

Transmission electron micrograph of influenza ...

Image via Wikipedia

2009 Influenza A virus (H1N1 Swine Flu)

  • 18,129 cases
  • 119 deaths
  • 0.65% fatality

2002/3 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

  • 8, 273 cases
  • 775 deaths
  • 9.3% fatality

2003 – 2009 Avian Influenza (H5N1 Bird Flu)

  • 431 cases
  • 262 deaths
  • 61% fatality

Above are 3 global epidemics that hit us in recent years. Looking at the numbers, the fatality rate of H1N1 seems rather laughable compared to SARS and Bird Flu and noted to be only slightly higher than seasonal flu. In addition to the fact that H1N1 can be treated with a regime of commercial anti-virals such as Tamiflu and Relenza, like many I start to wonder if we’re all paranoid or under misdirection by some cleverly weaved PR to take our attention away from the economic crisis or something.


So the pondering let to some Googling and Wikipedia work which cumulated to this entry. I think the most important factor we need to look at is the timeline, where SARS and Bird Flu took its toll over the course of a few years, there are already 18 thousand cases of Swine Flu in just 2 and half months if we take the first case to be on 18 March.

Further reading gives me greater concern. The elderly, the young and those with underlying medical conditions are particular susceptible; it also causes complications in pregnancy such as “spontaneous abortion and premature rupture of membranes“.

While the global death toll seems to have stabilised, the number of cases has recently spiked so we can’t be complacent. As said in a previous entry, I’m not trying to create panic but highlight the dense population of Singapore makes it a good candidate for any potential virus outbreak so we can’t let our guard down yet. Practice good hygiene, seek medical attention if you’re unwell, take preventive measures.

Take a breath of fresh air

Just when everything seems piling up sky high and I’m getting ever so lost at probability class, the mid sem break is here to save the day! I’m thankful to have reached this pit stop in one piece.

Many of you would’ve probably heard about the crane accident in NUS. I was walking towards the computing building that day from business and just happened to pass by the entrance to the business building when I heard a very loud crash followed by shreds of glasses landing on the road. Seconds later, frantic screaming people were heard and they were running away from something. I was taken aback as I’ve only watched such events over the news. Gunshots, bomb blast and screaming people; they belong to the news. I moved closer to get a view of what happened and only saw a tree toppled on top of a bus stop. The full story of what happened only came to me that night over the news. It made me fearful and revolted with sadness at the same time. The man who steered the crane so that it doesn’t hit the business building and the bangladeshi who died in the accident. What would happen to his family while many others and me escaped without a scratch? It’s scary how a matter of few seconds meant life or death, carelessness or heroic, disaster or destruction.

On a happier note, spent time with Subby today chatting about things we normally do not have the time nor energy to discuss. I have a networks assignment this semester which asks us to do a email server (like gmail, hotmail). Cool huh? Of course, ours is very much primitive. Just sending of plain text but I’m very much amazed that my programme can extract stuff from my webpage. :)

Ok, still very lazy to upload photos whatsoever. Ciao!