Saturday, May 13, 2006


Avian Flu Not Quite What They Say It Is

Pandemic fears are big right now; money is being made from them. Certain politicians are making bucks off questionable vaccines for a potential flu outbreak. However.

However, there may or may not be a a major outbreak, according to the following story from the Canadian Broadcasting Company. I’m betting there won’t be a pandemic of bird flu, at least without help from one or another involved and interested governments.

It reminds me, in a way, of the apocalypitic fears at the end of 1999. Remember? Everything was going to crash; the computer systems would go down, these were End Times, etc., etc.. Like the western calendar was so important a date on it would cause world wide collapse. People are afraid, of course. These are perilous times, and the teetering facade of corporate capitalism (and its hired governments) has a lot of us worried, Not to mention the steadily consolidating neo-con dictatorship enslaving the United States, right. Pandemics are nice ways to divert people’s attention.

C B C . C A N e w s - F u l l S t o r y :
Wild birds not carrying bird flu to Europe
Last Updated Thu, 11 May 2006 22:25:09 EDT
CBC News
Flocks of wild birds migrating from Africa to Europe aren't carrying the deadly H5N1 strain of avian flu, wildlife specialists say.

Experts from the Dutch environmental group Wetlands International tested 5,000 wild birds in Africa for the virus.

Last fall when wild birds from China started migrating through Europe to Africa, scientists feared the birds could spread H5N1 to humans or animals on other continents.

H5N1 has shown up in poultry flocks in Egypt, Nigeria and Sudan, but researchers suspect the cases resulted from the illegal trade of sick farmed birds rather than migratory birds.

The birds are now flying back through Europe.

"As far as the risk to humans, it really doesn't change anything," said Dr. Don Low, chief of microbiology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto. "We don't know exactly what is needed for strain to evolve and adapt to humans; to be able to transmit from humans to humans."

The 170 human cases of H5N1 have largely been contracted from fowl in countries where people live in close proximity to the birds.

It's not surprising that surveillance programs aren't finding the virus, said Dr. Richard Slemons, an animal influenza researcher at Ohio State University.

"We would expect … the number of birds shedding virus to be lower this time of the year than it is during the fall migration when the birds move south," said Slemons.

No one knows why that's the case.

Copyright ©2006 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - All Rights Reserved

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