Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Fuss over bird flu fears

By Aussiegirl

At last, Michael Fumento tells you everything you ever wanted to know about bird flu, the dangers, the hype, the propaganda. The definitive article to be completely up to date on this subject.

Fuss and Feathers

THE INDICATION IS THAT we will see a return of the 1918 flu virus that is the most virulent form of flu," warns America's top health official. "In 1918, half a million people died. The projections are that this virus will kill one million Americans . . . "

A quotation ripped from today's papers about an impending "bird flu" pandemic? No, the year was 1976 and the prediction of a deadly "swine flu" overshot the mark by 999,999 deaths (although dozens did die from the vaccine campaign). That's something to remember amid the current alarms. Another is that we've been here before with the identical virus over which the feathers are now flying, avian influenza type H5N1, which first hit poultry flocks in 1997. "Race to Prevent World Epidemic of Lethal 'Bird Flu,'" and "Hong Kong 'Bird Flu' Could be the Next Big Outbreak," blared the headlines then. The world death toll from that "wave"? Six. And let's not forget the outbreak of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) two years ago, which led to 750 stories in the New York Times and Washington Post--one per death worldwide, as it turned out. The 71 U.S. cases of SARS, which resulted in zero deaths, did not "Overwhelm U.S. Health System," as CNN had predicted.


At 6:58 PM, Anonymous Pindar said...

A fascinating article, and one that certainly should make us all feel a little safer. Now we can stop worrying so much about the bird flu, and start worrying about something else (after all, something somewhere needs worrying about).

At 7:16 PM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

There always has to be a crisis; birdflu, or sars, or chickenpox, or whatever. At least this one`s flown the coop!


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