Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Colds and bugs etc...

(Associated Press)

For the last five days I have been fighting a tough war against a bad cold and I now appear to be winning. The worst point being on Monday, when I needed a two-hour nap at one stage, to recharge my batteries.
But colds are a part of winter and shouldn't be sniffed at! Providing one is armed with plenty of warm liquids and a packet of lockets, as well as using one's common sense, it is usually dealt with quickly.
That said however, I have been following the recent bird-flu scare stories and it is cause for concern.
Especially the thought of it reaching the UK and it being the end of the road for the half dozen hens or so that my parents keep!
But, even more disturbing, according to the BBC:

Scientists have warned that a strain of the disease deadly to humans could cause a lethal pandemic if it mutates into a form that can be spread from person to person.

The H5N1 strain has killed more than 60 people in South East Asia since 2003. However, of those only one is suspected to have died after catching the virus from another human, and experts stress the risk is low.

I imagine the Daily Mail will have spun that into a 'We are all going to die and this will affect house-prices for aspiring middle-class buyers' story (as per usual), but it is cause for concern.
The last time there was a pandemic was in 1918. Up to forty million people died, over 250,000 in the UK. One of the 250,000 being a Great-Uncle of mine. He would have been eighty-nine if he were alive today.
As I have mentioned, the chances of it mutating into a lethal pandemic are fairly slim, but this is definetly a story we should be keeping an eye on.

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