Cytokine Storm may well become the new buzzword for 2006. What is it and why is it important? Today's two articles, taken together, give us a frightening look at why pandemic avian influenza has been so devastating in the past. I hope they will also hold out fresh hope for the future. It is a complex and multifaceted topic, so read with care - it just may save the life of someone very dear to you.
As scientists scramble to unlock the mysteries of Avian Flu (H5N1) and its possible pandemic consequences, it is important that we take a look at the history of pandemic influenza and especially the Spanish Influenza of 1918/19. The 1918 pandemic gives us an unusually clear look at what "might be" for us in the days ahead. Although this look at the past is very disheartening, it also holds out several rays of hope for our generation. May we learn from history.