The cull of 160,000 turkeys infected with H5N1 in Norfolk has raised, again, the spectre of bird flu. Turkey is being left on shelves, and we worry about whether we’re all going to die. For a rational people, we act very irrationally at times.
There is, of course, a danger of bird flu. One day it will strike and we will face a pandemic. But it is unlikely to come from migratory birds, as this case seems to suggest. After all, the infected birds were enclosed.
The government doesn’t like to admit it, but bird flu is more likely to spread through our huge transport system. Carriers will be those who work closely with birds, passing it on to visitors, and those visitors to their various locations around the world. And before it can be spotted, it will be incubating worldwide.Governments don’t like telling the truth when it could affect the economy.
© Anthony North, Feb 2007