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PERSPECTIVE: Biothreat Magnifies Critical Need to Ensure Appropriate Laboratory Security

Published on Homeland Security Today Nov. 9, 2018

Over 100 years ago, the planet was ravaged by the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. This grim anniversary could serve to remind us of the magnitude of the catastrophe. The mortality rate was 20 times higher for 15- to 34-year-olds than previous years’ flu outbreaks and actually depressed the average lifespan in the U.S. by 10 years (Tautenberger 1997). People died within hours of developing symptoms due to the rapid onset of secondary pneumonia infection, many with horrible effects (Grist, 1979). The recurring waves of outbreaks during the pandemic took the lives of 50 million worldwide (National Center for Immunization —). It is likely that most people cannot fully appreciate the level of suffering from a pandemic. The passage of time helps us to heal, helps us to forget.

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