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Thursday, March 13th 2008

We've Already Forgotten About The Next Great Fear

I haven’t posted on avian flu in a while. That’s probably because as far as the main stream media is concerned that story is dead.

This Movie About An Avian Flu Pandemic Was Aired As A Network MOW

While it pains me to link to a website which calls itself, “The world’s most popular natural health newsletter,” I think it is pretty clear that the threat from bird flu was overstated.

I used to get these weird comments from avian flu alarmists sites, telling me how real the threat was. But the further we pull away from coverage of avian flu, the more convinced I am that it wasn’t really difficult to predict that this made for media crisis would pander out.

True, the lack of fruition of the most dire predictions hasn’t stopped some experts for shouting for further worry,

But avian flu has not gone away. Nor has it become less lethal or less widespread in birds. Experts argue that preparations against it have to continue, even if the virus’s failure to mutate into a pandemic strain has given the world more breathing room.

There were 86 confirmed human cases last year compared with 115 in 2006, according to the World Health Organization, and 59 deaths compared with 79. Experts assume that the real numbers are several times larger, because many cases are missed, but that is still a far cry from a pandemic.

Dr. David Nabarro, the senior United Nations coordinator for human and avian flu, recently conceded that he worried somewhat less than he did three years ago. “Not because I think the threat has changed,” he quickly added, but because the response to it has gotten so much better.”

No doubt it remains a disease to be addressed and not ignored. But as the next 1918 flu? How can you make a prediction like that with a straight face?

Just Glad We Never Had To Call On Howie Mandel

Kind’ve just shows you the power of fear.