How do Bird flu, Bubonic plague, Ebola, HIV/AIDS, Influenza and SARS compare? Mick Roberts, Professor in Mathematical Biology at Massey University, New Zealand, summarises the transmission medium, incubation period, transmission rate, fatality ratio, death toll and medication status for these potential epidemic candidates:
Interesting to note that people infected with the above diseases will pass it on to between 0.7 and 3 people, whereas for measles, it is 16 additional cases!
Also of note, with influenza, in one-third of cases, those infected show no symptoms at all and virus shedding begins (i.e. the patient can pass the infection on) before symptoms are apparent .
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Photo: Not some creeping scourge, just lichen on a tree branch