The Avian Flu (AF) thing that is making Chicken a dirty word throughout South East Asia has recently killed a Lion... the first confirmed cat death.
The worry about the AF is not in it's ability to jump in a kill a human, but in evolving a strain that can jump to humans then from human to human.
The likely scenario is one in which the AF infects a human who already has a human/human flu variant... and the AF "learns" new shit from this host... and moves along.
Given that the AF learns in this way - the World Health Organizations biggest AF related fear - it would only take six weeks to get to Canada. When it arrived it would infect and kill fifty thousand Canadians.
Pretty terrible stuff eh.
So... Canada recently made announcements about a National Policy to develop and maintain a flu vaccine for every man, woman and child in the country.
I don't know the chemistry or the medicine but the story includes things like; we can't make the final vaccine yet because the desease does not exist. So we're making and stockpiling enough of an "omni vaccine" a broad spectrum thing to use on every man, woman and child to slow things down while we develop the full-on-vaccine as part of a national "action/response" plan. Then again, every man, woman and child would get this new one.
Now here's where I'm left agog.
First, they want to develop the disease so they can make the vaccine... They never get this right... hence the flu vaccines they push on people are sometimes more or less affective. And... AND!!! they're making the very disease we fear...
Second... what if they make a mistake? What if they make some tiny, imperceptible, one-in-a-billion mistake... and they inject this mistake into every man, woman and child in Canada. So ten years down the road... we all grow an extra head and die. I mean, ok, not... but some weird ass shit like that.
Fifty Thousand dead and the flu has run it's course and our autoimmune systems kick in and we develop natural immunities or whatever. Versus... the nightmare scenario of every human in Canada dying... from that mistake.
Yeah... I know... why worry but ... I can't help but wonder if our final destruction will be something as simple as this... or if American Idol will become a nightly show forever... and get us all that way.