Flu Pandemic Could Impact the Internet

DailyKos is reporting that a influenza pandemic could bring down the Internets. If you saw the new Pandemic Severity Index provided by the government you know that is hardly the only problem a severe influenza outbreak could create.
Meanwhile, in this country the new CDC guidelines that now rank pandemics in terms of categories 1 through 5, similar to hurricanes, are making the rounds in the media, and working its way through the government bureaucracy down to the states. The meat of the proposal? if there's a category 4 or 5 pandemic (H5N1 or some other), the schools in your town will close for up to three months, and large public gatherings will be canceled. That's because kids are a major vector in spreading flu and other respiratory diseases (ask any parent of a second grader or day care kid).
Not only could a major deadly flu outbreak cause net congestion but millions of sick people may make it difficult for some workers to fix problems and reconnect broken broadband connections. A lack of information as the result of having no Internet or tv access could also spread panic and chaos. However, establishing order is probably already going to be a problem with or without the Net if we are unfortunate enough to end up with one of the Cat 5 epidemics where over 1.8 million people die.

Posted on February 14, 2007

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