centers for disease control and prevention
Health officials reported a single-day record of nearly 15,000 new cases.
Being able to extend life, of course, is a great success. But simply adding years of sickness, frailty and decline is not a very appealing prospect. Unfortunately, the progress we are making in terms of keeping people around longer is not always matched by advances in personal health and fitness -- both physically and mentally.
Influenza can be a weapon of mass destruction. The latest candidate worth worrying about is H7N9. It jumped from birds to humans earlier this year. Of the 137 people known to have been infected, 45 died. There's no evidence that H7N9 spreads among humans. On the other hand, it wouldn't surprise any of the experts if H7N9 learns how to jump from person to person and mutates into a fast-moving mass murderer.