What to do about Bird Flu

There have been additional developments and additional information coming out about Bird Flu. I have also been giving the subject some additional thought.

First, why even worry about Bird Flu in the first place? It is only the flu after all, right? Because it has such an outrageous mortality rate. The majority of those afflicted end up dead. The potential is there for the the Bird Flu to make the 1918 pandemic look like a minor event in comparison. This is not a certainty, only a possibility.

How would the pandemic start? By the virus mutating into something more communicable amongst humans then it already is. This could occur on its own, however the more likely way this would happen would be through DNA transfer. For DNA transfer to happen some unlucky human would have to be infected with both the Bird Flu and "ordinary" flu at the same time. Now if DNA transfer takes place, we can always hope for the best. It is possible that only enough of the correct portions of DNA will transfer so that it is not so deadly and allow the human population to develop natural immunity to the sucker. It is going to be a roll of the dice. But roll the dice often enough and eventually you end up rolling craps. Eventually the combination of "most contagious" and "most deadly" is going to emerge. It could emerge with the first roll of the dice and then we are going to have mayhem on our hands.

So what are we to do about it? Dubyah plans on spending over 7 billion getting ready for a possible outbreak. I hate to fault all the braniacs that helped Dubyah develop his plan, but they certainly are missing a step. Humanity only has two weapons to throw at an outbreak. Vaccination and the new drug called Tamaflu. While a vaccination probably can be developed the problem is that it takes time. Time to develop and then additional time to manufacture. By the time enough hits the streets to meaningfully have an impact society might already have been ravaged. The first line of defense will be the use of the drug Tamaflu to try and slow the spread of the disease. But there is a problem with this. Tamaflu is being used right now against "ordinary" flu. What is wrong with that? Eventually "ordinary" flu is going to develop resistance to the drug... and if this Tamaflu resistant strain is the one that combines with the Bird Flu we are going to be in a real pickle.

So once again what are we to do about it? My suggestion is that we keep our powder dry for the real battle that might be to come. We save Tamaflu for an outbreak of contagious Bird Flu and stop wasting it on "ordinary" flu. This might seem harsh as it will mean the suffering and deaths of some who will be afflicted with "ordinary" flu who could have been saved. But we have to think about the greater good. I am not exaggerating when I state half of mankind could be wiped out by Avian Bird Flu. In fact stating half of mankind might be at risk could be understating the potential. That disease has a frightening mortality rate. I have not seen the exact figures stated but it is not incorrect to say that "most" afflicted die. "Most" is better then half.

Of course if we don't want to get serious about the threat we can always just bide our time and hope and pray that the "God of the Dice" allows us a few lucky rolls before we roll craps. Sometimes the "God of the Dice" does smile at the gamblers at the craps table. Only problem is sometimes you hear groans from that section of the casino as well.


Post a Comment

<< Home