Bird Flu

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Bird Flu
From: "Tony Keene" <>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2012 09:51:15 +0100
Personally, I would worry much more about H5N1 making the jump between birds 
and mammals in China of its own accord. It's a fairly common practise there to 
keep pigs and chickens in the same farm. Pigs are often receptive to avian flu, 
but are also close enough to us that it allows any mutation in pigs to have a 
high chance of being able to infect humans too.
 Thankfully, we have considerably better healthcare systems in place than were 
about in the 1918-19 epidemic, both in terms of containment and treatment. 
Something also worth noting is that while a high percentage of cases of H5N1 in 
people have resulted in mortality, the majority of those who contracted it were 
immune-deficient in the first place, not only making it easier for them to 
become infected, but also to succumb to it.
 As for the risible claim that 'terrorists' can use this information (which the 
US have been bandying around), they often tend to struggle in obtaining the 
level of competitive funding needed to be able to do that level of lab work. 
I'd say the US are more worried about a state player getting their hands on the 


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