February 26, 2006

Massive Outbreak of Bird Flu in China

The Chinese never, ever overreport health problems in that nation. It was a major factor in fact in the spread of SARS that the Chinese deliberately slowed the pace of dissemination of information. So when I read that "China today warned the public of a possible "massive" outbreak of bird flu, and said the country's agriculture officials were on high alert," I believe them.

Meanwhile the French are trying to save their poultry industry after news of an outbreak there. And McDonalds in the UK is taking the most drastic step of all - contingency planning just in case McNuggets go off the menu. Chirac was trés reassuring about the whole business: as long as you cook the chicken, he said in a speech, while grawing on a piece of chicken from the affected area, the virus will die. So cook the chicken!

Only Americans seem somewhat non-plussed about Avian flu; a majority here don't think it is coming anytime soon.

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