Bird Flu: An Update

It’s been a while since we had a post mentioning bird flu, but in the past couple of days, folk’ve written in with avian influenza news. So it seems appropriate to acknowledge, first, that bird flu is alive and killing people – over 100 in Indonesia (out of 124 cases – those aren’t good odds). But it’s also spreading dangerously through India, in West Bengal. The Times of India quotes Mamata Banerjee even going so far as to say that it’s “man-made” and part of a concerted strategy to destroy the rural economy. If this weren’t coming from such a showboating and opportunistic politician, I’d be inclined to agree. The government in West Bengal has a clear agenda to industrialise, and bird flu has only been able to proliferate through industrial farming. Over a quarter of a million birds have already been culled, and the situation doesn’t look like it’ll come under control any time soon.