Bird Flu Alarm

Understanding Avian Influenza

Many warnings from WHO

Many warnings from WHO

The World Health Organisation has warned repeatedly of significant risks to global health from new mutant viruses - of which HIV, SARS virus and Bird Flu virus are three of many examples we have seen. I have also warned about these risks since 1987, in most presentations to corporations and also in the books Futurewise (1998/2003) and The Truth about AIDS (1987/2004).

Just one of these is the form of Bird Flu caused by virus H5N1. In mid April 2005 the Viet Nam Ministry of Health reported to WHO that 41 cases from 18 cities and provinces had been detected in since mid-December 2004. Of these cases, 16 had died and six remained under treatment. By October 17th 2005 there had been 117 human cases of which 60 had died. By mid December 2005 the numbers reported had risen to around 150 of which half had died, with growing concerns about the possibility of many other missed cases.

Human bird flu is usually only suspected when someone has a severe, unexplained flu-like illness, in an area where birds are dying rapidly. Mild cases are inevitably going to be missed, unless we start testing groups of other people for antibodies to bird flu. And outbreaks among birds can also be missed or go unreported, as was the case for more than 8 weeks in parts of Ukraine through the Autumn.