How to Prepare for a Pandemic

The H1N1 virus may be fizzling out for now, but new diseases will always threaten us--unless we strengthen our global warning system

Chinafotopress / Zuma

Where H1N1 spread, masks followed in an effort to stem the new flu virus.

It's fitting that in a booming metropolis of 20 million people, the first sign that Mexico City had been recalled to life wasn't a public religious ceremony or a political rally but a traffic jam. After a weeklong shutdown in response to the H1N1 flu outbreak, on May 5--Cinco de Mayo--Mexico City began to stir again. The spread of the swine flu had slowed, leading Mexican officials to hope that the worst had passed. "Our strategy is working," said Mexican President Felipe Calderón. "We are now in a position to gradually resume our everyday activities."

International health officials who had been...

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