Letter Re: Asian Avian Flu

Thursday, Oct 6, 2005

Hello Jim,
Your readers and contributors include a fair number of medical professionals. With all the hype in the news regarding "the coming pandemic" of Avian Flu, I'd be curious to get their professional take on it. Specifically, do they see it as a real threat and if so, what advice they would have for laymen. Thanks, - Dutch in Wyoming

JWR Replies: I 'm hoping that some of our readers who are medical professionals chime in on this subject. In the interim, Dr. Geri Guidetti of The Ark Institute kindly provided this article on Asian Avian Flu on her web site. In essence, the great unanswered question is: What are the statistical chances of the Asian Avian Flu mutating to a different strain that could jump to humans? If that percentage chance is 5% or more within the span of a year, then I wouldn't want to be in the life insurance business. If that chance is 10% or more, then it might be wise to accelerate your plans to move to a farm or ranch in a lightly populated region where there is the opportunity to live in self-sufficient isolation. (Assuming of course that this bug will be spread by person to person contact rather than on the winds.)

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