The conspiracy theorists will surely have a field day with it and the media are in full-flow bullshit mode on the subject, having smelled the fumes of an overheated public in danger of panic. It’s the bird-flu, coming to a chicken near you and waiting to kill your kids.
What is the truth about the subject is impossible in some senses to say. There are some things we can be reasonably certain of. Pandemics happen – they are a natural part of biological evolotion on both a microscopic level and amongst populations of large animals (including people). Aids is a pandemic in Africa right now killing millions and ruining the lives of millions more and the economic prospects of many nations.
The bird flu cannot be caught by humans directly, as far as anyone knows. Generally pigs have to get invloved as a vector. The pig, unfortunate beast, is susceptible to both human and avian flu’s. In the pig the viruses have a chance to mix genes in a bit of random microbial hanky panky. In the mix, sometimes, a new variant is born. This might infect birds or humans. If it infects humans it might contain some of the features that make the bird variant so deadly or it might not.
Over the past hundred and fifty years or so that man developed chemistry and the chemical war on microbes and viruses, we have won some temporary respite over natures ravages. We have also created frankensteins bacteria by making chemical-soup of the environment. These things make the viruses and stuff that survive even stronger. Thus we get stuff like MRSA where the r stands for resistant and the m for the name of an antibiotic.
For the entire future of life on this planet new diseases will emerge. The more man tries to wage war by chemistry the stronger they will get. Most of the benefits of healthy living come from careful diet and basic hygiene. Basic hygiene accounts for more improvements in health than all our chemistry and medicine.
30,000 children will die of starvation today.