But when someone claims that the flu is going to kill a billion people in the next 6 months, my BS meter goes off.
The world is on the brink of a major flu epidemic — one that could claim more than a billion lives, the head of the Russian Virology Institute, Academician Dmitry Lvov said at a press conference organized by the RIA-Novosti news agency on Thursday.
“Up to one billion people could die around the whole world in six months,” Lvov said. The expert did not give a timeframe for the epidemic, but said that it is highly probable that it will start this year. “We are half a step away from a worldwide pandemic catastrophe,” the academic said.
The last I heard, the population of the earth is estimated somewhere between 5.5 and 6 billion people. If 1 billion died that would be between 16 and 18 % of the entire population of the planet. According to the BBC, between 30 to 45% of the general population was killed by the black death outbreak of 1348 to 1360.
I find it very hard to believe that we're going to have a flu epidemic that will kill of about half the number percentage that were killed over a 12 year span by the black death in only 6 months. Especially given the advanced state of medical knowledge and sanitation. Even most backwater places today have far superior practices than were maintained in medieval Europe.
I could be wrong, but this just doesn't make sense to me.