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Avian flu spreading?

2006-02-15 03:56:02.308319+00 by Diane Reese 1 comments

The World Food Programme's "Humanitarian Early Warning System" is reporting daily spread of avian flu. The incidence-tracking world map (.pdf) is especially sobering.

I found a dead bird in my garage last night. Honest to goodness, I had a moment of mild mental weirdness. I replenished my three 55-gal. drums of emergency water a couple weeks ago, but of course that's just prudent, living in earthquake country. (Right?)

[ related topics: Music Food Earthquake Maps and Mapping Birds ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2006-02-15 17:32:22.230833+00 by: Dan Lyke

Interesting how the spread is across the climate, not going down into Africa quickly, reinforcing some of Jared Diamond[Wiki]'s theories.

It sure doesn't hurt to be prepared for a disaster, but I'm having trouble differentiating the human impact of this from the political impact. My fear is that by concentrating on this one strain, and perhaps using the resulting hysteria to funnel funds towards an innefective vaccine that's nonetheless profitable to manufacture, we're ignoring all of the other potential ways that bad things could happen. I mean, I'm concerned about this mutating into something that pasees easily between humans, but I'm also concerned that HIV could mutate into something that transmits more easily too.

It seems like there's a huge issue of agriculture at hand here, but there's a complete unknown in terms of direct human risk, and there are plenty of other things I could panic about in that vein.