This game is modeled on a situation that exists in
the world today.
In China, the rural areas around Hong Kong work hard to satisfy that
city's huge demand for ducks, chickens, pigs and other food animals.
To maximize profit, farms often use a system which places birds, pigs
and humans in close proximity... and which brings these animals
to one of the world's largest travel hubs.
The result, just like on South Spratly Island, is a fertile breeding
ground for influenza strains. The last two global pandemics of flu -
the 1957 Asian strain and the 1968 Hong Kong strain - came from Asia.
In 1997, a new strain of avian flu emerged in the Hong Kong area which
killed almost every chicken that contracted it - and to the great fear
snd amazement of virologists, jumped into the human population, killing
six people. To stop it, millions of birds were slaughtered.
At least four major health organizations conduct constant vigilance
against the emergence of a new deadly strain of influenza, but the possibility
still exists that the world will see another Great Pandemic, like the
so-called Spanish flu of 1918-1919, which will cause tens or hundreds
of millions of deaths.