Avian Flu, Serious threat or blown WAY out of proportion?

March 14th, 2006 | Posted in News, Security | Comments Off on Avian Flu, Serious threat or blown WAY out of proportion?

Since it’s discovery in mainland China was revealed, The avian flu has been the subject of an ever increasing ammount of talk. It’s been compared to the flu outbreak of 1918. Tens of thousands of birds have been destroyed in an effort to contain it.

This strain of flu is apparently resistant to most, if not all, current antibiotics used to treat it. It seems to also have a high mortality rate, although I have not seen anything like an official estimate of what that is, the way people have been talking about it one would be very easily inclined to believe that it’s an inordinately high number.

We’ve seen reports of it appearing in country after country, spreading all over Asia, the Middle East and Europe . More recently there has been more news to make people nervous, it’s started showing up in cats which means that it’s no longer restricted to just birds. People are worried about and talking about a possible pandemic. Not just an Epidemic, where lots of people get sick, but a Pandemic where MOST people get sick and lots of those die.

The level of fearfull anticipation of disaster was brought home this morning when on Good Morning America we are shown examples of survival supplies and told that official recommendations are that everybody should have bottled water, food that does not need refrigeration and can be prepared without electricity and other supplies to last at least ten days.

I can’t help but ask WHY? Is this avian flu actually this bad? and if it is, why has there been so little reporting about it in mainstream media? The preparations that we’re now being told to make remind me of the days when we all expected to have to run for the bomb shelters because the Russians had finally pressed the button.

We’re not just being told “A lot of people might get sick.”. We’re being told “Almost everybody is going to get sick and a lot of the sick will die causing society, basic utilities and even government itself to come to a standstill for nearly two weeks.”

If the situation is that serious, then avian flu and the efforts to combat it should be the number one story on every newscast. Yet it isn’t. Is this because it’s really NOT that serious? Is it because it IS that serious and nobody wants to start a panic? Or is it because very few people have any real clue as to what the real danger is?

For now, the jury is still out on the question that is avian flu. I just hope that if there is a threat, that information starts flowing to the public fast. And if it’s not a threat, that a panic is prevented by getting THAT information fowing fast.

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