Skip to 0 minutes and 30 seconds[LAUGHTER]

Skip to 0 minutes and 30 secondsALEX PAPOULIA: Thank you.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 seconds[PHONE RINGING]

Skip to 0 minutes and 42 secondsMARA TSONI: Mara Tsoni.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 secondsALEX PAPOULIA: Mara, it's Alex.

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 secondsMARA TSONI: Alex? Long time.

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 secondsALEX PAPOULIA: What do you think? Is it the flu?

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 secondsMARA TSONI: That's what they're saying.

Skip to 0 minutes and 51 secondsALEX PAPOULIA: Out of season. That sudden? Department of Health hasn't heard anything?

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 secondsMARA TSONI: I like how I'm just a source of information. If I hear anything, I'll let you know.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 secondsALEX PAPOULIA: Off the record.

Skip to 1 minute and 0 secondsMARA TSONI: It's always off the record.

Skip to 1 minute and 4 secondsJIM BROWN: So what do you want to do? Arrest the flu?

Skip to 1 minute and 6 secondsALEX PAPOULIA: I want to bring someone in who could identify whether this even is the flu.

Skip to 1 minute and 9 secondsJIM BROWN: Well, if the sniffles don't go away in--

Skip to 1 minute and 11 secondsALEX PAPOULIA: Why was I put in charge of disease control and bioterrorism if no one is going to take me seriously? It presents just as big a threat as bombings or rogue gunmen. Bigger!

Skip to 1 minute and 23 secondsJIM BROWN: I tell you what. Why don't you keep an eye on things? And in the meantime, I'll promise to wash my hands and cover my mouth if I cough. Okay?

Skip to 1 minute and 40 secondsREPORTER: Dr. Hardy, what can you tell us about the flu outbreak?

Skip to 1 minute and 42 secondsANTONIA HARDY: Well, I'll say what I said this morning. The most likely cause is severe flu. So please just take precautions, rest. See a doctor if you need to. Thank you.

Skip to 1 minute and 57 secondsMARA TSONI: Alex.

Skip to 1 minute and 58 secondsALEX PAPOULIA: Aw, shi..

Skip to 1 minute and 59 secondsMARA TSONI: Nice to see you too.

Skip to 2 minutes and 1 secondALEX PAPOULIA: Well, you came halfway across the city with good news?

Skip to 2 minutes and 3 secondsMARA TSONI: Hospitals are filling up, but that's not why I'm here. We initially saw the spread originating from one place, Mendona Primary School.

Skip to 2 minutes and 11 secondsALEX PAPOULIA: Makes sense.

Skip to 2 minutes and 12 secondsMARA TSONI: But looking closer, there are multiple origins.

Skip to 2 minutes and 16 secondsALEX PAPOULIA: What, so there's no common--

Skip to 2 minutes and 18 secondsALEX PAPOULIA: No common link between the clusters.

Skip to 2 minutes and 20 secondsALEX PAPOULIA: Terrorism?

Skip to 2 minutes and 22 secondsMARA TSONI: Let's not jump to any conclusions. It could still be undetected chains of transmission. It could still be the flu.

Skip to 2 minutes and 28 secondsALEX PAPOULIA: But people are dying.

Skip to 2 minutes and 29 secondsMARA TSONI: People die from the flu. OK, a incubation period two to seven days, fever, chills, body aches, shortness of breath, coughing. Still symptoms of severe flu. I don't think it's--

Skip to 2 minutes and 40 secondsALEX PAPOULIA: What? What's wrong?

Skip to 2 minutes and 42 secondsMARA TSONI: It's a death toll update. It's bigger than I thought. [PHONE CHIMES]

Pandemic chapter 1

In this chapter of Pandemic we introduce you to the fictional country of Mendona, where we see the beginnings of what initially appears to be an outbreak of seasonal influenza like illness.

The key issues raised are:

  • Different people assess the situation with differing levels of risk or concern
  • The difficulties of detecting an outbreak
  • The lack of differentiators between an outbreak of a new biological agent, compared to the normal seasonal outbreaks that occur in any community
  • The barriers within response organisations to investigate outbreaks in detail

After watching this episode of Pandemic, please comment and discuss the issues raised in the comments section below

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This video is from the free online course:

Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Public Health Dimensions

UNSW Sydney