Avian Flu, Katrina and Disaster Preparedness

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Outbreaks of avian flu in Asia have caused widespread concern, but the virus is not yet able to pass from one human being to another. If it mutates, there could be a pandemic, and health officials say the world is "woefully unprepared." This week, after the anemic response to Katrina, official Washington is paying attention. A high-level briefing on bird flu was followed a day later by a $3.9 billion addition to the Pentagon spending bill and a meeting today with drug companies to discuss vaccines. President Bush has also told reporters he's asking Congress for military authority to enforce quarantines. What are the lessons of Hurricane Katrina and the deadly outbreak of 1918? We hear about the likelihood of an outbreak in the US and what it will take to get ready from journalists, historians doctors and experts in public health.
  • Making News: Mohamed ElBaradei and the IAEA Win Nobel Peace Prize
    This year's Nobel Peace Prize was won today by Mohamed ElBaradei and the International Atomic Energy Agency, an award some consider an implicit criticism of the Bush Administration. The IAEA chief says the honor "strengthens my resolve but I'm very conscious about the heavy responsibility my team and I have to shoulder." Dafna Linzer is Diplomatic Correspondent for the Washington Post.
  • Reporter's Notebook: New York City Reacts to Terrorist Threat
    This week, the Department of Homeland Security warned New York officials of a "non-credible" but "specific" terrorist threat to the city-s transit system. Today, when President Bush asked if Mayor Bloomberg overreacted in ratcheting up security, he said it was Washington's job to pass on information but local officials' call to decide what to do. Brian Jenkins, who founded RAND-s research program on terrorism and is now senior advisor to the think-tank's President, says not acting would have been irresponsible.

2005 Nobel Peace Prize

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Mohamed ElBaradei

Linzer's article on ElBaradei, IAEA sharing Nobel Peace Prize

Avian Flu (H5N1 Virus, Centers for Disease Control on)

President Bush's press conference on Avian Flu

Pandemic Preparedness and Response Act (S 1821)

Laurie Garrett's Los Angeles Times article on pandemic

Harris' article on research into 1918 flu virus

Harris' article on Washington's fear of flu outbreak



Warren Olney