Bird Flu Threat

Bird Flu cases have been reported in few parts of India. There is global concern over the bird flu. New Scientist carries a special report on the bird flu threat in its January’s edition. The reason for the alarm that is being raised globally is based on the fear that the virus H5N1 once inside a human may mutate and become capable of using humans as the carriers. As of now, even though the bird flu kills a third of people, whom it infects, it cannot spread from person to person. A pandemic can occur if humans become the carriers, which would be devastating especially if it is in poorer countries. A vaccine can be developed only after finding the exact strain, which is causing the pandemic. Distributing it to the affected people would be a herculean task. Answering a myth, ‘It’s a 21st century, not dark age and death due to massive plague is not possible’, the article had this to say: “…. even though leaders know death and misery anywhere will have global consequences, we don’t have the capacity to produce antivirals or vaccine fast enough to protect everyone. We have 21st-century technology. But when it comes to getting it to people, we are still in the dark ages”. Very true. Its high time the rich countries get together and go all out in stopping the pandemic from occurring.

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