Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Optimism about avian flu

The optimistic alternative to this apocalyptic viewpoint is that the appearance of a modified avian virus capable of triggering a human pandemic is unlikely: there have been more than 3300 flu outbreaks in birds with 150 million killed and only 118 human cases, and the disease in birds is proving containable with good surveillance and prompt action.

Of course past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Nonetheless, this might mean we have some time before the pandemic comes. From BMJ but no free, full text. Glad to see the British Medical Association, which spares no opportunity to lambast pharmaceutical companies for their greed, thinks getting people to subscribe is more important than disseminating iformation on avian flu.


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