Every country in the world must come up urgently with a plan to deal with an inevitable influenza pandemic likely to be triggered by the bird flu virus that hit Asia this year, a top global health expert said on Friday.
"I believe we are closer now to a pandemic than at any time in recent years," said Shigeru Omi, regional director for the Western Region of the World Health Organization (WHO).
"No country will be spared once it becomes a pandemic," he told a news conference.
"History has taught us that influenza pandemics occur on a regular cycle, with one appearing every 20 to 30 years. On this basis, the next one is overdue," he said at a conference of 13 Asian health ministers trying to figure out how to avoid one.
It's nice not to haft-ta worry 'bout dat-there kinda stuff since everyone, here in the United States, gets a flu shot.