J. Thompson 2006
Most of us are well aware of the Avian Influenza, Bird Flu virus, by now. Seems we can’t go a day without hearing about this or that town, mostly in Asia, that now has avian influenza in a few if not 100’s to 1000’s of it’s Fowl (Ducks, Geese, Chickens, Turkey etc..). Some news stories are also starting to surface that the H5N1 strain of the avian influenza virus, this is the one that infects humans, is also starting to spread, again mostly in Asia.
So far the United States has not had anyone infected with the H5N1 strain, or I should say nothing has been reported yet anyway. It’s always been the fear that if the avian influenza virus were to somehow mutate into a strain that could pass easily from person to person, this would be the first big sign of a coming pandemic (Worldwide spread of the Virus).
One of the biggest worries that a few of the experts have, WHO (World Health Organization) being one, is that China is under-reporting how many people actually have the H5N1 strain of avian influenza. It would be hard to imagine the economic horror that would accompany a revelation, if in fact it had many more reported cases and deaths then it was actually reporting.
Look at it this way, most of the Items that Americans, and a lot of others for that matter, buy have that old Made In China label attached, what do you think most people would do if they thought a fast spreading version of the avian flu virus, by fast I mean person to person, was in China? It’s human nature to want to stay away from anything that may have come in contact with an infectious disease.
Remember the Mad Cow Disease scare? Plenty of people avoided beef products all together. In fact it almost single handedly decimated the beef industry. The United States stopped importing beef from Canada and Japan stopped importing beef from the United states. Or how about the Sars virus? By now you have a good idea what would happen if the human version of the avian flu were to mutate into a form that could easily spread from human to human.
It’s always good to be wary about something that could drastically impact your life, just don’t take it so far that you stop enjoying life because you are too worried about what may or may not happen. A good place to start are websites like AvianInfluenza.org. Remember live life to it’s fullest, or as that little ditty used to say, “Don’t worry, be happy”.