Friday, October 14, 2005

Bird flu: please remain calm. Panicking will only make things worse.

The number of articles on Google News pertaining to the Asian Bird Flu has suddenly shot up to over 1700--much higher than the 300 or 400 in recent days. A sampling of the headlines indicates enough inconsistency and disagreement to suggest a panic is beginning. Needless to say, panicking over the potential spread of a potentially deadly disease could very well lead to some serious problems, particularly if it turns out to be a false alarm this time, but the real deal next time.

Examples, from this Google News Search:
Turkey tests 9 for bird flu as experts meet, UK - 59 minutes ago
By Gareth Jones. ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish medical staff on Friday tested nine people for possible bird flu a day after European ...

Asia losing battle against bird flu
Newindpress, India - 2 hours ago
MANILA: Asia is failing to contain the deadly bird flu virus and must be supported by wealthy countries to head off a devastating global pandemic, the World ...

Turkish officials rule out bird flu
Scotsman, United Kingdom - 2 hours ago
Turkish officials carried out medical tests on nine people living in a neighbourhood where 40 pigeons reportedly died, but released the nine from medical ...

Germans snapping up Tamiflu in bird flu panic
Expatica, Netherlands - 2 hours ago
BRUSSELS - The demand for the anti-influenza drug Tamiflu has boomed in Germany as a result of widespread concern over bird flu, pharmacies report. ...

WHO calls for strengthened surveillance as bird flu spreads
Xinhua, China - 3 hours ago
GENEVA, Oct. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- The spread of bird flu virus to poultry in new areas increases the opportunities of further human ...

Bird flu virus found in second Romanian village
Forbes - 3 hours ago
BUCHAREST (AFX) - Bird flu has been detected in a second Romanian village near to where a first outbreak was reported, the agriculture ministry said Friday ...

EU to aid Romania, Turkey on bird flu
Bangkok Post, Thailand - 3 hours ago
Brussels (dpa) - European Union governments remained on full alert on Friday following the discovery of bird flu in neighbouring Turkey and Romania. ...

Bird flu sparks EU crisis meeting
The Age (subscription), Australia - 3 hours ago
By James Button. EUROPEAN Union health officials were holding an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss measures to stop the spread of bird flu. ...

Romanian bird flu samples delayed
Scotsman, United Kingdom - 3 hours ago
Samples of Romanian bird flu en route to Britain to be tested for a deadly strain of the virus were held up in Romania and still have not arrived in the UK ...

EU acts as bird flu reaches Europe
Sydney Morning Herald (subscription), Australia - 4 hours ago
By James Button, Herald Correspondent in Copenhagen and agencies. Grim task … a Romanian vet collects chickens from a farm near ...

Don't panic over bird flu, UN says
Guardian Unlimited, UK - 4 hours ago
Vets collect birds after Romanian authorities called for all farm birds in one area to be kept indoors. Photograph: Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty. ...

WHO: Bird flu in Europe is "call to arms", UK - 5 hours ago
By Stephanie Nebehay. GENEVA (Reuters) - The spread of the deadly bird flu virus to poultry in areas on the fringes of Europe has ...

Experts May Endorse Bird Flu Steps
CBS News - 5 hours ago
(CBS/AP) European Union veterinary experts were expected to endorse new measures Friday aimed at preventing the deadly bird flu virus strain H5N1 from ...
Note the way some of the reports seem to conflict--have the results in Turkey and Romania been confirmed or not? Closer research of the stories would probably shed some light on the matter, but are American TV News wonks going to pay that close attention, or are they going to rush right in to stay ahead of the competition, on what appears to be a very quickly developing story, thereby inciting undue alarm in the public? Some calmness and cold rationality are very desperately needed on this issue.


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