So I got into a discussion last night about bird flu. The topic was sparked by yesterday’s conference about island pandemic preparedness that featured the Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Richard Carmona.
The basic gist of it was how Guam is a migratory stop off for Asiatic birds. The transiting birds, infected with avian flu, pass it along to the myriad feral chickens on the island. Those chickens in turn pass it to the scores of fighting gamecocks ensconced around the island. The rooster handlers live in close proximity to the birds and the jump to humans will occur there, with 100% fatality.
Huh. That’s an interesting chain of events. Can’t say I’ve ever seen flocks of migratory birds on Guam though.
PS – I know what the H5N1 in H5N1 avian flu stands for. Do you? Here’s a hint; the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918 was H1N1 influenza virus.