Today the Centers for Disease Control urged public schools not to close in the fall when they expect a resurgence of swine flu to strike school children across the country. Thus far the H1N1 influenza virus has been thankfully mild, and there is no evidence, the CDC said, that it is morphing into a deadlier threat. Medical authorities are quick to acknowledge, however, that they can’t predict the future course of the virus.
In the Big Think panel discission on Swine Flu and the Next Pandemic, I was amused when Peter Palese of Mt. Sinai Medical Center, who is perhaps the world’s leading authority on influenza, said that he finally found an advantage of old age: it provides some immunity to swine flu.