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16 March 2006 at 8:42 am #3311Martin WParticipant
Peter Sandman, a risk communications consultant based in Princeton, N.JQuote:has some advice for journalists covering the bird flu as well: stop focusing so much on birds and other animals that get infected. “The problem with people focusing on bird flu and not a pandemic among humans is that as long as there’s no bird flu in town, they think they’re safe. We really need people to understand that it’s not about the birds. You’re not at any greater risk after a bird is found to be infected and you’re not any safer before an infected bird is found.” The key moment will come if and when the bird flu mutates in such a way as to infect humans. Then it won’t matter where the infected birds are; the new strain will quickly circle the globe.
– Sadly, such info seems lost amidst the hysteria.
So too does evolutionary biology (see thread here), which predicts H5N1 will remain a problem for farm birds – whilst poultry farms can remain “disease factories” – but not evolve to dangerous human pandemic.
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