I am happy to see that our country is adequately concerned about the threats of bird flu and government and nongovernmental sectors are joining hands in at least pretending to be prepared for bird flu.
Definitely Bird flu is the smart thing to talk about now a day. All of the developed world is drenched in bird flu horror paranoia. People of all sort of life are waiting in deep fear, when the bad guy called h5N1 will go through the necessary genetic shifting and drifting to be able to attack mankind.
Apparently this Asian bird flu virus and the fear is being spread for at least 8-10 years. Here is 1998 Time magazine cover story picture on bird flu.
If you ask me, I am not so sure about the potential of bird flu to be the next big catastrophe. As you just saw the 1998 Time cover picture, the bird flu virus and the associated fear is wandering around for quite a long time. What happened? Isn’t 10 year enough long a window to complete the cycle?
Per May 8 estimate by WHO, so far there are 115 confirmed worldwide casualty of bird flu. Yes that is worldwide.
And do you know how many people die each year in USA alone by flu, not by bird flu, but the Human influenza, the real flu? In USA alone, in conservative estimate, about 36,000 people die each year of flu, the human flu. And this number is 36,000 after USA being the country which has the most elaborate, effective and extensive annual flu vaccination program and most advanced critical care system in the world. The annual human influenza epidemics are thought to result in between three and five million cases of severe illness and between 250 000 and 500 000 deaths every year around the world..
And Bangladesh!!! Nobody knows how many hundreds of thousands of children, elderly, adult die of flu related complication each year. Who cares? This is not bird flu! While flu shot supply crisis may cause a government to fall in USA, Bangladesh does not have any clue of the Influenza vaccination thing. Even the elderly or the sick won’t be able to get the life saving vaccine.
Will it be an attack against humanity if I ask the government and non government agencies to divert some of their attention on bird flu to help develop some human flu vaccine , at least for the sick?