Despite a waning of the initial hysteria and expert studies suggesting that the H1N1 pandemic may not be as bad as feared, security consultants like SRA continue to argue that the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. Here’s a taste of their latest warning (dated November 2009):

– An estimated 25 percent of businesses never reopen in the wake of a major disaster, according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety.

– The H1N1 virus poses a serious risk to the United Kingdom’s economy and it could reduce the Gross Domestic Product of the U.K. by as much as 3 percent

– estimates indicate that up to 15 percent of European workers will be absent from the workplace at the pandemic’s peak. These estimates may be conservative

As SRA explains: “Public health professionals look at pandemic flu and see a public health emergency. Critical infrastructure protection professionals look at pandemic flu and see the potential for economic calamity”. To which we might add: security consultants and pharmaceutical companies see the opportunity for a big profit. While we’re very glad that health professionals have taken the outbreak seriously, is anyone else uncomfortable about the EU Centre for Disease Prevention and Control‘s embrace of Donald Rumsfeldesque rhetoric in its May 2009 report “Influenza Pandemics: Known Facts and Known Unknowns“?