The Tao of Politics

One of my main concerns is: how can I make a difference? There are thousands of political blogs out there. It’s easy to get lost in that ocean. So I may blog about politics on occasion, or I may blog about health issues, depending on where my interests lead me, and where I feel I can contribute something of significance.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Tao of Bird Flu
14. If there was only one strain of bird flu, that would be bad enough, but there are many strains. They all have the potential to mutate, and they all have the potential to kill.

Bird Flu Notes
I don't like to report individual cases of bird flu, but the pace of infection (or at least its manifestation) seems to be accelerating, and spreading, with cases turning up in Iran, Austria, and Germany, all on the same day. (Also it adds to a growing sense of menace that several dozen dead ducks were found in Belgium, nine dead swans in Denmark, eleven dead swans in Hungary, and now countries like France, indeed countries all over Europe, are taking extraordinary measures to avoid having the disease spread to their free-range birds.) Even so, I'm not particularly worried. So far this is a problem only for the birds. We don't see anything yet like we saw in Turkey where several humans became infected, and some of them died. I do however believe that these new developments warrant closer attention on my part and on the part of others.

An official of the UN says that Europe is at risk of having a lot of bird flu this spring as migrating birds return from Africa. It already looks like Europe is having a lot of bird flu, and it’s not even spring yet, so I guess we can look forward to a lot more bird flu showing up all over Europe in the months to come. Bird flu has had ten years to spread. It looks like this is the year it makes a major leap to Europe.

And David Nabarro is at it again, this time saying that we can’t have a vaccine for a pandemic until we actually have a pandemic. So I guess that means all these vaccines that are being developed now are just a waste of time and money. That makes sense to me. So far all we have is a bird flu. I suppose you can’t make a vaccine for humans until you have a human flu and know what its characteristics will be, although I'm sure that someone somewhere will try and refute that notion.

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