Pestilence Update

The world is not prepared for a global flu pandemic, experts warn. Increased globalisation, urbanisation and movement of people will mean that the next pandemic will spread further and faster than ever before and cause significant disruption. 

Blog note. Jesus indicated that ‘fearful sights’ (various natural disasters) would occur leading up to the time known as the Tribulation and Great Tribulation (a combined seven year period of great destruction on earth). Although these types of things have occurred in the past for centuries and thousands of years, they could be identified as the ‘season of the times’ due to the ferociousness of these events. They would be occurring in greater intensity, severity, frequency, size, duration, scope … just like the pains that a woman experiences in labor the farther along she is in the labor process. We are in the ‘season of the times’ that comes just before the seven (7) year Tribulation/Great Tribulation period
… And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11).
… And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (Luke 21:25)
… Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken; (Luke 21:26)
… This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)
Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. These verses are several of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied Eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor pains that occur in greater severity, frequency, size and duration prior to giving birth. End of note.

The world is not prepared for a global flu pandemic, experts warn

Anne Gulland. The Telegraph•March 11, 2019

The world would quickly run out of flu vaccine in the event of a global pandemic despite efforts to improve production capacity, experts have warned.

Speaking at the launch of the World Health Organization’s new global influenza strategy Martin Friede, co-ordinator of immunisation, vaccines and biologicals at the WHO said that although the world is in better shape to combat a flu pandemic than ever before it is still “not prepared enough”.

Better tools to prevent, detect, control and treat both pandemic and seasonal influenza are urgently needed, said the WHO. More effective vaccines and antivirals, particularly for low and middle income countries, are top of the list, the organisation added.

Dr Friede said that since 2006 global production capacity for vaccines had increased four fold, going from 1.5 billion doses to six billion.

“But that’s still not enough to go around the world as it’s probable that everyone would need two doses of the vaccine,” he said.

But he warned that it still takes too long to produce a vaccine. Currently, researchers have to wait to identify the particular strain of virus that is circulating and then formulate the vaccine – a process that takes about six months.

Dr Friede said that decreasing or eliminating the time lag between identifying the flu strain and developing a vaccine was key. And he said that a universal flu vaccine – one that could be used against all strains of flu – would be a great boon.

But he also called for greater use of other new vaccine technologies, such as adjuvant vaccines – where an ingredient is added to improve a vaccine’s immunogenicity.

“A universal flu vaccine is the ‘holy grail’ but there are other ways to develop vaccines more quickly,” he said.

WHO says that its new strategy is the most far-reaching and comprehensive it has ever developed for flu and its aim is that every single country in the world has a bespoke flu programme that “contributes to national and global preparedness and health security”.

It is also a “call to action” to researchers to develop better treatments, vaccines and diagnostics.

Flu experts warn that another global influenza pandemic is inevitable, and that increased globalisation, urbanisation and movement of people will mean that the next pandemic will spread further and faster than ever before and cause significant disruption. 

The last major pandemic was the the 2009 H1N1 swine flu outbrak which is estimated to have caused between 100,000 and 400,000 deaths.

But seasonal outbreaks of flu also have a huge toll, says WHO – every year there are an estimated one billion cases of flu, of which three to five million are serious. And up to 650,000 people are thought to die every year.

Ann Moen, chief of influenza preparedness and response at WHO, said that a good influenza programme was a “poster child” for responding to other infectious disease outbreaks – a country that had a good influenza vaccination programme, surveillance system and response would be able to use that to combat other diseases, she said.

“Anything that a country can do for influenza will pay dividends for other infectious diseases,” she said. “We cannot wait for the emergency to happen and then be prepared. We really need to help countries strengthen their routine programme for influenza so that they build capacity not only for flu but for other diseases.”

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