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January 11, 2006

Black Dawn: The Next Pandemic

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Here's a heads up for our Canadian readers: For the rest of us, we can only hope that this valuable and well done program gets picked up by other stations around the world.

                                                    

Black Dawn: The Next Pandemic

A fifth estate “What if….”

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11 AT 9 P.M. ON CBC-TV

 

“The only thing this virus hasn’t learned yet is how to transmit between humans.   If that happens, we are in great trouble in the world.” Dr. Robert Webster, Director, U.S. Collaborating Center, WHO

 

Black Dawn, a fifth estate docudrama, imagines a world where human-to-human transmission of the avian flu (H5N1) virus is a certainty.  Authorities in Geneva confirm what has long been expected and feared.  And so the race is on to contain the spread of the virus before it engulfs the entire planet and to develop a vaccine before too many die. 

 

Black Dawn follows a fictional character – a nurse - as the avian flu spreads around the world and arrives in Canada.  She and her family struggle to cope as society disintegrates.  The airwaves are full of disturbing images: a London anchor reports on the closure of public transit;  a Karachi correspondent describes an overflowing hospital; a huckster tries to sell an avian flu protection kit;  mountains of garbage build up on the streets as municipal services shut down; as the death count mounts, public hockey arenas are used for storing body bags.  Much of what is depicted in this program will seem unimaginable but it is all based on the best expert projections currently available.

 

The hour-long docudrama poses critical questions for the viewer to consider: Should governments close schools and workplaces?  How should people prepare themselves? Who should get drugs as they become available?  When is it time to call in the army?

 

Black Dawn asks the world’s leading experts to imagine the impact avian flu would have. Their opinions are combined with documentary recreations to paint a starkly realistic picture of life during the next pandemic.  Some predict the coming pandemic will be more lethal than all of the world’s previous plagues.  All agree it will test society like never before.

 

See this special Wednesday, January 11 at 9 p.m. on CBC Television and for more information, visit the website at  http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/  for profiles of experts from the story who are world leaders in flu research, links to the preparedness plans of the World Health Organization and the Public Health Agency of Canada, practical information about vaccines and antivirals and more.

 

Executive producer of Black Dawn is Jim Williamson and senior producer is Jane Mingay. Executive producer of the fifth estate is David Studer and senior producer is Sally Reardon.

 

 

Posted by dymaxion at January 11, 2006 12:26 PM

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