Tuesday, May 23, 2006

More bird flu over reaction

The usual suspects were clucking today about this story about the bird flu. It seems that there was a string of human to human transmissions in Indonesia:

All seven people infected with bird flu in a cluster of Indonesian cases can be linked to other patients, according to disease trackers investigating possible human-to-human transmission of the H5N1 virus.

The story goes on to say that the seven had been in very close contact. I'd like to take a moment to remind everyone that it is not impossible to pass the bird flu from human to human, it just isn't easy. The virus, in its current incarnation, must infect deep into the lung tissue to infect a human. That is not possible from normal, casual contact, but it is from prolonged, close contact. It is the spread of the virus from casual contact that we need to be concerned with, not the spread from close contact like in this case.

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