Dmitri Lvov is perhaps most famous in the West for having made the most unabashedly pessimistic prediction of fatalities - should the bird flu virus go pandemic - by a reputable scientist .
While others were boldly talking of 150-300 million deaths in an absolute `worst-case scenario’, Dr. Lvov trumped the field by suggesting a billion or more. (see Devastating bird flu pandemic one step away – expert)
Of course that was bird flu, not swine flu.
A different virus, with (thus far) far different fatality rates.
No one that I know is thinking in those terms, even if this new virus does go pandemic. Something which isn’t at all assured at this point.
The Swine Flu could still fizzle.
Dr. Lvov, however, says we are at a very `high risk’ of a pandemic. And that the situation will be `clear in a week’.
Proving, I guess – that it is possible to be pessimistic and optimistic at the same time.
Personally, I’ll be surprised if the swine flu situation is `clear’ in a month, much less in a week. And I consider myself an optimist.
In any event, for what it’s worth, here are Dr. Lvov’s thoughts on Swine Flu.
April 28, 2009
MOSCOW - A TOP Russian virologist warned on Tuesday of a 'very high' risk of a global swine flu pandemic, saying the situation would be clear in a week.
'The risk of a pandemic in the world is very high. It could reach Russia in a week,' said the head of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Virology, Dmitry Lvov.
The situation 'will be clear in the coming week. It all depends on whether the new countries affected can contain its development,' he said at a news conference in Moscow.
Russia has so far not been touched by the current swine flu outbreak. The authorities have taken a series of measures to try to shield the country from its spread. – AFP