Monday, July 11, 2005

Avian Flu - A Ticking Timebomb?

The reports on BBC World that I saw makes one think so (a BBC article). WHO officials warn that unlike SARS which had symptoms of high running temparature, this Flu (influenza) has got none & can be diagnosed only during very advanced stages. This allows for the virus to spread itself through say, airplane travelers.

And more frightening thing is that the avian flu virus can come in contact with the human flu virus & we'll have no clue over the mutated strain. Vaccines can be developed very fast though but still it may result in 30 to 300 million deaths & one-third of the world population may not work due to the fear of contracting the virus. A human pandemic is at hand & its fast closing on us as the disease moves to poultry farms in Japan, Vietnam & other South East Asian countries. One more problem is that the migratory wild geese in Lake Qinghai, China are dying due to this & it'll be during this September that these geese will start migrating to other parts of Asia, taking the flu virus with them.

Will countries like China take steps to control this latest threat? Will the South East Asian governements educate their poultry farmers about safe farming methods, sanitation, hygiene & about the disease's potential? Will developed countries help with more money & vaccines? Will the Avian Flu be controlled just like SARS? What are we gonna do?

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