Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Here is a note from a bird flu newsletter that touches in an interesting way on my other interest.

It's been awhile since you've heard from us ...things have
been relatively quiet. But not so quiet that we should
become complacent. While H5N1 still hasn't hit North
America, at least in its most virolent form, it is still
ravaging some countries, most notably Indonesia and now
Egypt where 2 new cases yesterday bring the total number of
human cases in the most populous Arab country to 29. The
virus is known to have infected nearly 300 people in 12
countries since 2003, killing more than half of them.

A trip to Las Vegas in February emphasized to us the
critical necessity to avoid human contact during a
pandemic. After spending a week amongst throngs of tourists
from all over the world, rubbing shoulders, breathing the
same air, handling the same casino chips, pulling the same
slot machine handles, exchanging currency, spending hours
inside aircraft, etc., we both returned home sick as dogs.
One could scarcely imagine a more condusive atmosphere for
the spread of viruses. We took plenty of ViraBlock with us,
and used it often, but of course they won't allow you to
take it into the cabin of the airplane. We should have been
wearing our respirators I guess, but this is a practice that
isn't common in the West like it is in the Orient. You can
bet that we won't be so reticent if H5N1 starts to spread.