SARS was a virus that caused death by this type of reaction. Although the reaction of the WHO and governments around the world was a lot more surprising, it was quick! The equipment e.g heat sensors at airports, looks to me the this type of virus was fully expected make an appearance.
Any virus that causes a cytokine storm, e.g. like Spanish flu is the biggest threat to mankind.
Here is a simple list of why...
- People with good immune systems are more likely to be affected by such a virus.
- lack of information about powerful antivirals and how deadly they are to youngsters.
- People with AIDS are more likely to survive an outbreak increasing the AIDS infected population to dangerous levels, this may create a symbiotic relationship. (if not already, they could be a monster lurking in human DNA, it could be many years before we know.
The high risk groups are younger people in such an outbreak, this group also tends to coincide those with HIV/AIDS. Although these people would not be immune, they would not have a deadly reaction the virus, which would allow most of them to survive. This would lead to a high population of young people with HIV/AIDS. These days HIV is not a death sentence but if a high population is infected with a cytokine storm virus, the drugs used to treat HIV patients may be used to treat the general public, risking shortages to treat survivors who may very well need continued treatment. This could result in a complete disaster that could spiral out of control in a matter of weeks!
The H5N1 virus, bird flu could be far more serious than people think, not because it might kill millions around world, but because it might trigger a natural selection of people who will create a race that has a 99.9% infection rate for HIV/AIDS. If AIDS becomes untreatable due to an un- natural selection caused by powerful drugs, mankind will be looking at extinction before the end of the century.
HIV/AIDS seems to have a vast quantum survival strategy, such strategies can be observed with cold and flu viruses, just not as complex, AIDS seem to have an unatural advantage.