Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bird Flu: now please wash your hands

Since I the type of bird flu found in the Suffolk farm, H5N1, is the sort that has proved to be fatal in humans I thought I would refer back to my post of a month or so ago which contains recommendations on precautions to take in the event of an outbreak. One easy thing we should do, apparently, is simply to keep washing our hands.

However, according to what I've read there is no cause for alarm because so far the only humans that have contracted the virus have had an intimate connection with their poultry (e.g. been spattered with blood when slaughtering them); nevertheless I do find it a little worrying because this virus is so toxic and if it did mutate into a form that is easily transferred between humans there could be a pandemic. Also, unlike the outbreak that occurred earlier in the year, these flocks were kept in the open air and so could well have contracted the virus from a migratory bird. Rather sadly I guess this might mean the end of the popularity of free-range poultry and eggs.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you hear the report on the radio this morning about the other farm the same company have nearby with 30000 free-range geese? As they said, try keeping them indoors! They were talking about mass culling being the only option there.

Wed Nov 14, 09:51:00 am  
Blogger Susanna said...

that just freaks my shit out!

my grandfather had a sister to die in the Influenza epidice in 1918.

Wed Nov 14, 11:35:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, this is sad, Ann! For the farmers and for the rest of us...and for the birds too, of course!

Susangalique - it brings it all much closer to home when a relative dies, doesn't it? One of the saddest things I heard was how all those soldiers at the end of the first world war survived the terrible conditions of the trenches only to be killed by flu.

Thu Nov 15, 07:07:00 am  

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