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Bird flu news will be following us wherever we go.            

In the beginnings of the current century, news about bird flu strain H5N1 have been spread or even exploded worldwide and the news about this disease hit the headlines. Everybody fears the reoccurrence of what took place in Europe one century ago when the bird flu virus has been muted to affect humans and has been widely spread to affect and kill millions of people. 

We did not forget yet that nightmare we experienced ten years ago when thousands of people got infected with bird flu strain H5N1 that has started in Asia and the Far East to reach our countries. This has led to the death of hundreds of people.            

However today we got some updates about bird flu, in fact this disease has transferred from birds to humans and affected hundreds of people during the few recent years and resulted in the death of more than one hundred people between 2013 and 2014.            

This news did not attract too much attention. People got immunized against this globalized news that has not been scientifically proven in spite of the countless studies on the flu strain H5N1 which still warn us that this threat does really exist and we shall not ignore it at all.            

In fact, during the last years we successfully restrained the spread of this disease maybe because it is too easy to be diagnosed in chickens through its acute and severe symptoms and the high mortality rate that included the death of the entire infected herd in some cases.            

But today, the news is completely different from what it has been in the last decade. Actually, hundreds of people got infected with bird flu especially in China due to the flu with the strain H7N9 spread in chickens. that type does not affect the chickens severely and farmers as well as the farm’s supervisors would not detect its symptoms despite the fact that it is spread worldwide.            

That goes to ask: where is the problem? What is the difference between the past and the present?             The answer is simply that the difference is quite significant and the threat of this light strain is way higher for humans.            

In case the herd got infected with the acute form of the disease, people would notice that and minimize their contact with the chickens; but in case the alleviated H7N9 flu spreads in the farm, people will not find it out and would keep contact with the infected chickens until the disease is transmitted to them. Since the human body has no resistance to that kind of diseases, we get back to the same threat: i.e. The disease is muted to be spread among humans and would lead to a global disaster…            

Then what?

To raise full awareness… to warn all those who coexist with their birds.            

To ban the sale of live birds and plucking them in public.            

To ban raising them in houses with the residents… to…to…            

Maybe I’m still dreaming… even if we were able to achieve that, how can we ban billions of people in the Far East from doing so?           

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step, so why don’t we make that very first step?          And why can’t we be pioneers instead of always being followers?


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