Bird Flu (Over the Cuckoo’s Nest)

A friend of mine at SHS is terrified of the avian influenza (more commonly known as “bird flu”). I understand why he’s so concerned, it could easily, and quickly, become a pandemic. Even though it’s possible an outbreak could occur, what is there that we, the common folk – the ones NOT doing any medicinal work – can do?

Yesterday, while running, I had to step over two dead birds on the sidewalk (it’s not at all uncommon to see dead birds while on one of my runs, for whatever reason). Then, today, while playing at Loose Park, I saw another dead bird. Aaron and I made jokes about “BF” (short for Bird Flu) not catching the Aerobie when it landed in his/her area.

But should we really be making jokes about it? How would my horrified co-worker feel about the fact that I’ve come in close contact with three dead birds over the past few days?

Part of me feels that this whole bird flu thing is a media ploy to keep our heads out of the real issues. But a larger part of me knows it’s real and probably a serious issue.

So what can we do? Well, for starters, don’t pick the bird up and lick it. Instead, call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hotline at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636).

Or don’t, and just hope the bird had its flu shots.

+ original post date: April 16, 2006 08:07 PM
+ categories: KC, Pop Culture


(comments rss feed)

Tyson has lots of info here. Rumor has it, Big Bird got infected last week but is pretending nothing is wrong. Lame.

+ author: Crasymaker
+ posted: April 16, 2006 10:09 PM

Until this year we were supposed to avoid dead birds because of West Nile. Now it's bird flu. How about this idea -- just don't play with dead birds?

Birds die all the time, and there's a ginormous population of birds. I don't think there isn't a day that I don't come across at least a couple of dead birds while I'm out. Treat 'em like you would any other dead animal. Which means don't touch it. (Unless you are an 8 to 13 year old boy, in which case you should poke it with a stick and then fling it at your sister or little brother.)

I don't buy into the bird flu terror. Sure, it could happen. But the fearmongers are banking on the exact right mutations happening in the exact right order. Sure it could happen, but how likely is that out of the millions of potential mutations?

So far the only people who have caught it are those who work on poultry farms. Just like cow farmers sometimes get anthrax, coal miners catch black lung, and firefighters catch fire. If you breathe in a massive amount of ANY microbe you're gonna get sick. Secondly, the people who have caught it have been unable to spread it to other people because the nature of the infection prevents the virus from being discharged in coughs or sneezes. The virus would have to mutate to overcome both of these factors in order to become dangerous.

I'm more worried about the recent increase in solar activity cooking us all than I am about the latest trendy disease. This will prove to be just as effective as West Nile or SARS at wiping humanity off the face of the Earth.

+ author: ScooterJ
+ posted: April 17, 2006 01:59 PM

Im with everybody else.....keeping the public afraid has extreme benefits for those who need the masses to be afraid. So if bird flu proves to be nothing, which it no doubt will, stay tuned for the next thing we all need to be worried about. Besides terrorism that is. I hope its not dead bird related.

+ author: stephen
+ posted: April 18, 2006 01:16 AM

I've seen a couple of dead birds recently, too. A year ago it wasn't worth a thought, but now it makes me wonder if I should report it. I read a story about how Kansas issued some type of doom and gloom press release about how migrating birds were going to kill us all this Fall. They estimate up to 2,500 deaths!

Good CDC phone number, by the way. I'm putting it in my phone. Yikes.

+ author: Sean
+ posted: April 28, 2006 09:40 AM


your killing tweety??

+ author: meris
+ posted: May 5, 2006 03:21 PM

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