11/17/2005

Bird Flu

Since late in 2003 the number of people infected by the Bird Flu is now 130 while 67 have died. I find it scary that this disease is spreading across the world so quickly. The first human case of this disease was announced in China just a few days ago and it makes me wonder...who's next? China is the fifith country to announce deaths from the flu, and there is a rising suspicion that this may cause a human influenza pandemic. Which in the long run may result in as many as seven and a half million deaths. I guess maybe I'm weird, but I just want to know what the deal is? First we have Mad Cow Disease and now the Bird Flu. What's wrong with all the animals?

2 comments:

Tyler said...

As stated on the nightly news, more and more people are going out to their local clinics and hospitals requesting the antibody. Many doctors are refusing to give out the medication based in the fact the patients are showing no signs of the bird flu. The simple ease of knowing that if an epidemic broke out in your area and you would have the drugs to cure it makes me want to get hold of the antibody.

Dr. Tufte said...

Nothing is wrong with the animals. Birds have always gotten the flu. Flu evolves by moving from pigs to duck to humans and back again. Also, the latest evidence on Mad Cow is that the cows were fed human bone meal - so we are being infected with a human disease through our beef.

Having said that, the economic costs of an avian flu pandemic have been estimated at $700 billion in the U.S. alone - that is 2 to 3 times the size of Katrina.

There is no antibody yet Tyler. This is dangerous because our bodies don't currently have antibodies to fight this infection. You can't buy them or ask for them because they don't exist yet.