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Stratfor Special Report Addresses Mounting Public Anxiety over Avian Flu


Austin, TX, October 24, 2005 – Stratfor released a special report today designed to provide context to the risks involved in the recent Avian Flu outbreak and assuage concerns over a major pandemic of the virus. There is no particular reason, the report says, to fear a global flu pandemic this flu season and there is no scientifically plausible reason to expect a mutation crossover to be imminent. Stratfor will address this topic in a teleconference on North Asia this Thursday, October 27th, among other relevant issues pertaining to the region and global outlook.
The report highlights the fact that 115 people have contracted the virus in the last 3 years, 91 of whom contracted the virus in Vietnam. Cases thus far have been traced to repeated human contact with fowl or ingesting insufficiently cooked chicken products, and human-to-human communicability has not been confirmed in a single case.
While each human host raises the risk of mutation to a more communicable form, the small number of contractions does not produce great odds for the virus, no matter how genetically mutable, to evolve into a human-communicable strain. While the report concedes that no one knows how lethal Avian Flu (H5N1) would be if it were to adapt to human hosts, it also points out that in general, the more communicable a disease becomes, the lower its mortality rate tends to be.
Stratfor also discusses the “politics of genetics” and addresses comparisons to the 1918 flu pandemic as a source of fear, which the report states are unwarranted at this stage.
Media interested in attending the October 27th teleconference event or scheduling an interview with a Stratfor expert should contact Jason Deal. Registration for the event is limited.

About Stratfor:
Stratfor is the world’s largest private geopolitical and public policy intelligence firm providing corporations, governments, and individuals with intelligence and analysis to anticipate the political, economic, and security issues vital to their interests. Armed with powerful intelligence-gathering capabilities and working in close collaboration with Stratfor’s experienced team of professionals, our clients are better able to protect their assets, diminish risk, and increase opportunities to compete in the global market.


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