Despite reports that a father has died after contracting bird flu from his son, health authorities around the world are adamant that this is not the big break through which many had feared and was just “a rare occurrence”. Quite how rare and how it happened is not certain but many people in the Honk Kong area are very concerned about this latest outbreak.
Even though bird flu has been present in Asia for hundreds of years it is only of late that we have seen the transmission from bird to human, and while the number of deaths is still relatively low, people are dying from the illness. At present there is no known cure because nobody quite knows the makeup of the virus is it was to jump from human to human. There would need to be a substantial reorganisation of the genetic makeup of the virus, but this latest incident may mean that the doomsday scenario is coming ever closer.
Is it time to take drastic action? What do you do if you suspect bird flu? Is it still in the UK?
While there are comprehensive plans in place in the event of a UK outbreak, which we have seen over the last 12 months, can the same be said of medical backup in the event that the virus finds a way to jump from human to human? The latest case in Hong Kong is bound to spawn a number of potential cases around the world with people more edgy and likely to report bird flu like symptoms for themselves and birds they come across. The truth is that while the press give the impression of short burst of activity for the virus, it has never really gone away with confirmed cases and potential cases reported on an almost daily basis around the world.
Bird Flu is here to stay, but at this moment in time it does not look as though the threat of human to human infection is too great.