Monday, December 11, 2006

Pandemic Flu Update

Of all the crises facing the world, the one that has the most potential to kill lots of people is pandemic flu. This is no mere fearmongering in some larger cause (cf. global warming) but a lesson of tangible science (viruses mutate) and history (the Spanish flu of 1918 killed considerably more people than WWI).

So wassup with the much balleyhooed bird flu? We haven't heard much about it lately. The AP explains why. It's out there, but it's hard to track, and this isn't the season. But, and this is the significant point, it may not ever become the starting point of the next human pandemic. There's a certain randomness to all this that can't be predicted at all.

Such events as these are reminders that (a) much of what we fear never occurs; (b) much of what occurs we can't control. These are both good reasons to focus instead on that on which by definition one can actually depend.

1 comment:

The-Best-Bird-Flu-Blogs-team. said...

If you were to look at our site today, you will see that the South Korean Agriculture and Forestry Ministry, has today announced the country's THIRD positive bird flu outbreak in the last 3 weeks.

This is after South Korea had just completed culling hundreds of thousands of poultry from two earlier outbreaks.

Not quite the bird flu's disappearance, the "Experts" have been pondering on now is it?

Where bird flu has gone?

Well no where really. It is still here and is slowly but steadily growing!

Yet according to the AP news service:

"...Earlier this year, bird flu panic was in full swing: The French feared for their foie gras, the Swiss locked their chickens indoors, and Americans enlisted prison inmates in Alaska to help spot infected wild birds.

The H5N1 virus — previously confined to Southeast Asia — was striking birds in places as diverse as Germany, Egypt, and Nigeria, and a flu pandemic seemed inevitable.

Then the virus went quiet. Except for a steady stream of human cases in Indonesia, the current flu epicenter, the past year's worries about a catastrophic global outbreak largely disappeared.

What happened?..."

The good folks at AP do not read the news.

That is what happened!