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UN Power Grab Is 'For Your Own Good'

  • In Geneva, at the headquarters of WHO, a draft plan for dealing with an influenza pandemic has been formulated. But SHO officials are refusing to make it public.
By Mike Blair

The World Health Organization (WHO), an agency of the United Nations, has seized the authority to control the treatment of a looming flu epidemic in all of the world's nations, including the United States.

As medical authorities in Hong Kong are trying to control a new and mysterious strain of Type A influenza virus, called H5N1 and being referred to in the media as the "avain flu" and "chicken flu," WHO is keeping secret a global plan to deal with a pandemic outbreak.

Both WHO and U.S. health authorities say that an influenza pandemic revealing one that killed more than 20 million people worldwide in 1918 and 1919 could strike without warning.

There are now 17 confirmed cases of the H5N1 flu strain in Hong Kong, including four deaths from the virus. The illness originated from poultry exported to Hong Kong from the southern provinces of Red China. Tens of thousands of chickens have been reported dying from the flu strain in south China.

Experts claim the virus has jumped directly from chickens to humans, unlike the normal progression of influenza virus strains. Normally, flu viruses go from birds to pigs, where they develop within the lung tissues of the hogs, and then become communicable to human beings.

WHO officials, as well as scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, are hopeful that the Hong Kong outbreak will just die out.

However, experts admit that the flu strain, if airborne, could spread from Hong Kong throughout the world almost overnight. Hundreds of international flights from around the globe fly in and out of Hong Kong daily.

While countries like Thailand, as one example, have put warning advisories about travel to Hong Kong, U.S. health officials have done nothing.

One of the criticisms that Hong Kong medical officials have received in the past several weeks is keeping quiet about the emerging avian virus. After the first patient died last May, medical authorities in Hong Kong -- and worldwide -- were aware that they could be facing a potential pandemic situation.

U.S. citizens are likewise being kept in the dark about the flu danger. For example, most Americans are under the assumption that the flu shots they received last fall will protect them form all flu outbreaks. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Currently, a draft U.S. plan for dealing with a pandemic situation has been turned over to Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala for approval. However, U.S. medical experts who drafted the plan admit that it will require numerous revisions before it can be approved for action.