Anorak News | Turkey’s Birds

Turkey’s Birds

by | 6th, January 2006

‘“FLU’S next?” asks the Sun. But before your hand shoots into the air and you start screaming “me” know that the question should be heard in full. It goes something like: “Flu’s next for a dose of bird flu?”

The Sun notes that a 14-year-old farmer in Turkey has died after developing pneumonia-like symptoms. His sister has also died. And a third sibling is seriously ill with suspected bird flu.

As the paper says, these are the first reported cases of deaths caused by the H5N1 strain outside Asia. The birds are getting closer.

And to show just how close, the Sun produces a map of Asia and Europe. To illustrate how the disease is spreading, there are arrows bouncing out of and into Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, China and now Turkey.

And from Turkey there’s a long arrow that bounces all the way to somewhere in the Ringwood area of Hampshire.

This might be down to chance – the arrow has to end somewhere. But to be on the safe side we urge all residents of the town to remain vigilant. Be watchful for sickly sparrows. Check for pigeons with a fever. Ask your parrots how they’re feeling.

If the Sun’s map is right, we are all next. And don’t think about there being some kind of miracle vaccine to save us – as the Mail says in its headline: “We need 40 times as much bird flu vaccine says expert.”

This expert is one Professor Hugh Pennington. Billed as “Britain’s top microbiologist”, Pennington says that the Government should order £120million doses of vaccine – enough to give us all two jabs.

And it wouldn’t cost all that much. As Professor John Oxford, “Britain’s leading flu specialist”, tells the paper, it would cost about £6 a dose.

Forget the fact that the virus has yet to mutate to human-to-human infection, however hard it might be trying. Let’s get inoculated before it does for us all – like Variant CJD, MRSA, the MMR vaccine, Michael Barrymore…’

Posted: 6th, January 2006 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink