Monday, May 22, 2006

One Swallow Does Not Make a Summer-Aristotle

Thanks once again to the National Vaccine Information Center email notice for rooting out a telling article, which really is a commentary on another article. What am I talking about?

Remember the business a couple of weeks ago about the government plopping $1 billion on 5 big pharma companies for r & d on a possible bird flu vaccine? The potential of developing a vaccine to match a virus which mutates all the time makes this a study in successful lobbying and waste at taxpayer expense. The scare and media blitz about the coming flu epidemic were enough to make the powers that be at least seem as if they were moving on this issue.

Now there is hard evidence that there won’t be any bird flu, at least not the way scientists thought it would spread.

Migrating Birds Didn't Carry Flu


ROME, May 10 — Defying the dire predictions of health officials, the flocks of migratory birds that flew south to Africa last fall, then back over Europe in recent weeks did not carry the deadly bird flu virus or spread it during their annual journey, scientists have concluded.

International health officials had feared that the disease was likely to spread to Africa during the southward migration and return to Europe with a vengeance during the reverse migration this spring. That has not happened — a significant finding for Europe, because it is far easier to monitor a virus that exists domestically on farms but not in the wild.

The article sited by the NVIC was a larger commentary on the issue of who’s to gain and who’s to blame from all this bird-flu hype.

...But the tiny devil of cynicism that constantly whispers in one's ear makes one hope this bird flu thing wasn't all a concoction of the greed hounds who run huge pharmaceutical firms -- cloaked in the altruistic garments of public service and medical vision -- yet angle for research windfalls.--MOUNTAIN VIEWS: BIRD FLU FEAR BLOWN OUT OF PROPORTION, By John Hanchette Niagara Falls Reporter

But Mr. Hanchette, with all due respect to your hopes—of course it was!

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