< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: What Spreads Bird Flu?

Friday, May 19, 2006

What Spreads Bird Flu?

First let's backtrack. Over a year ago the wildbirds at Qinghai Lake were devastated by birdflu. This scared the piss out of everyone cause once you get this in migratory bird populations, you have a major problem.

But so far, this isn't what happend. The spread of bird flu so far has not correlated to any known migratory pattern. Instead, the outbreaks are centered around poultry farms, and major transport routes. Continued study seems to confirm the theory that the vectors for bird flu are commercial poultry products.

According to a well placed source I know, the idea that bird flu was introduced by man is not at all absurd given the disease dispersion and rate of outbreak over the last 12 months. At any rate, even if its not designed by man, it is beginning to look like it is a by product of modern man and his food system. This makes the outbreak at Qinghai all the more puzzling. How'd this "domesticated" disease get wild all of a sudden?

Deeper research into the vector borne disease has yielded the new theory which so far is gaining the most traction: the outbreak of bird flu in migratory birds at Qinghai was caused by a widespread practice of feeding fish farms (hold your stomach) chicken dung from poultry farms. This practice is especially prevalent in Chinese poultry farms, and it is thought this was how bird flu entered into the migratory bird population. A similar occurrence somewhere in the world could spell disaster.

No shit... as the saying goes.