I remember scoffing at a colleague a year ago when he suggested covering avian flu in the magazine. An outbreak in human beings would be so catastrophic, I replied, that it's hard to even imagine — let alone write about the potential implications for the meeting industry. Anyway, it probably won't ever happen, I said. A year later, we're bombarded almost daily with evidence that it's critical to be prepared for a bird flu pandemic. In May, the White House released a 228-page report ...

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