The cryptic phone call came on a Monday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was holding an important teleconference for a few reporters. I should dial in.

When the time came, just a handful of reporters were on the line. Also there: the CDC’s top flu experts. They sounded worried.

Two unrelated children from southern California had tested positive for flu infections caused by viruses that normally sicken pigs. This could have been a fluke, but from the unusual nature of the call and from the tension in the voices of the experts, it was clear that the CDC officials thought it might be something else: an influenza pandemic.

Read more at STAT…


Photo credit:  Eneas De Troya from Mexico City, México [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons