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Aired January 11, 2006 at 9pm on CBC-TV
Catch a glimpse of the next pandemic through the eyes of a fictional blogger.Read "The Next Pandemic Blog"
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|H5N1 is not considered a pandemic virus at this time. There have been no human cases of H5N1 reported in Canada as of January 11, 2006.|
Black Dawn: The Next Pandemic is a docudrama about a hypothetical pandemic of avian influenza (H5N1), from initial outbreak through mass transmission and global spread.
Although fictional, the scenario is very much grounded in scientific fact and inspired by the research and pandemic preparedness efforts of the world’s leading thinkers on the subject.
The key elements of our timeline are based on the research, modeling predictions and planning assumptions used to prepare pandemic plans by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Public Health Agency of Canada, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the UK's Health Protection Agency.
Expert interviews with epidemiology, public health and emergency planning experts are supported by recreations depicting what a future pandemic might look like.
We decided to have our scenario resemble the1918-19 “Spanish Flu” pandemic based on the informed opinions of leading flu researchers. Recent publications in the scientific journals Science and Nature have documented similarities between the genetic makeups of the H5N1 strain now present in Asia and the pandemic virus of 1918.
H5N1 is an avian influenza virus, which has been present in Asia since 1997. It is primarily found in commercial poultry and wild birds. Although there have been a total of 147 confirmed cases, including 78 deaths (for regular updates, see the WHO's Number of Confirmed Human Cases of Avian Influenza), in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Turkey, Cambodia and China, as of January 11, 2006, the virus has not yet become easily transmissible between people.
More of Your Questions Answered...
The Next Pandemic Blog is a fictional portrayal of a hypothetical pandemic of H5N1 avian influenza – from initial outbreak through mass transmission to global spread. The blog is told through a fictional character who also appears in the documentary, Jane MacDonald, a nurse working in a Toronto hospital when crisis strikes.
As with the documentary, the key elements of this fictional blog are based on the research, modelling predictions and planning assumptions used to prepare pandemic plans by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Public Health Agency of Canada, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the UK’s Health Protection Agency.
To become a pandemic, a virus must meet three official prerequisites, as defined by the WHO: