Blog from the Future: Avian Influenza

Nature has created a fascinating weblog from the future written as the blow-by-blow blogging of an avian influenza outbreak starting late this year. It is harrowing reading:

  • 25 January 2006 Escaping from hell
    Apologies for the long delay in posting. The past few weeks have been chaos. I was out with WHO teams from dawn to dusk as they tried in vain to stamp out the outbreak with drugs. People fell sick all over Hanoi and 1 in 50 of them died. Many of the worst affected felt fine in the morning, but were dead by lunchtime — blue in the face, gasping for air. At the overcrowded hospital, I saw victims collapsing, suffocating in their own lung fluid, blood streaming from their noses and gums. Others had longer ordeals, tortured by encephalitis as the virus ate into their brains, or overwhelmed by multiple organ failure. Panicky authorities transported corpses out to the fields by truck and burnt them on open pyres.