17 October 2005

Worrying about Bird Flu

You know, I'm having a hard time getting as worked up as apparently I should be about bird flu. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I don't watch the news and most of the news I read focuses on Central Asia. I imagine that most people here aren't even aware of it.

I prefer to worry about things that are real threats to my family. Crossing the street and riding in cars are far more dangerous to us right now and only a pandemic of the worst proportions will change that.

The virus hasn't even mutated yet into a form that is transmitted between people and no one knows if it will. Even if it does, that doesn't mean that it will necessarily be in an easily-transmittable form or as virulent a form.

If the worst happens, I have no doubt that Kyrgyzstan would not be a good place to live. The necessary antibiotics wouldn't be available and education would be sorely lacking. That is not the government's strong point. However, I've long thought that the scare tactics the US uses (don't put your baby on her stomach or she will die!) aren't very helpful. Certainly there are things we can do to lower the risk of bird flu or SIDS, but terror is not helpful. And we're straying into terror in bird flu.

So we're not going to worry right now. And we're not going to play with the pigeons.

1 comment:

MJ said...

Yeah, as a precaution, we're saving our tuppence for bread - for US - and not feeding it to the birds.

We have a neighbor boy (about 10 yo) who is tracking the spead of the disease on a map. The day he brought it over, he was VERY excited about the two Central Asian countries (Kyrgyzstan was one) he added that morning.

I haven't seen him since Turkey was added, but he must be ecstatic about how fast and extensive the spread is to date. He is also monitoring (albeit with not as much zeal) the types of pesticides used by different countries to spray birds. He's on his way to being a great epidemiologist.

Thanks also for the orphanage info.