Drooling on the Pillow

Friday, March 24, 2006

Don't Be Too Kind to Our Web-Footed Friends 

I've been pretty calm about the danger of winding up in a mile-high stack of victims of bird flu, but I am aware of a chorus of voices saying I shouldn't be.

Sean Lynch, over at Catallarchy, links to an article in the Detroit Free Press about a new article in Nature magazine about why there have been so few bird to human transmissions and no known human to human transmissions. It turns out you almost have to get jiggy with a budgie to catch this bug and it will require several specific mutations before we can give it to each other.

So why all the noise? Lynch thinks he knows:

So we have the press on one side who know that
fear sells, and we have the scientists on the other
side who know that fear gets grants, and on the third
side we have our “fascism lite” governments who will
take any opportunity to acquire more power.
Meanwhile, the vast majority of Westerners don’t
raise birds and therefore doesn’t need to hear
another f*cking peep about a disease that’s killed
on the order of 100 people in the entire world and
requires intimate contact with birds. Here, I’ll give
you all of the information you need to know: don’t
get intimate with birds. There. Done.
So there may be some few of us who will need lifestyle changes. You know who you are.
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