Editorial: What is Avian Flu?
“A pound of prevention is better than an ounce of cure”
Learn what that pandemic identified as the Avian Flu is and avoid a “Baguio meningo scare” scenario.
Some years ago, the hospitality business was too quick to point the blame at members of the local journalist profession for a debilitating economic slump that hit the Baguio community when business for them was supposed to be at its peak.
Somebody blurted out that there was a deadly and highly contagious disease loose in the city. Naturally, media picked it up and it blew the (un)popularity scales to heights that only stars and politicians could dream of.
Avian flu is a bird disease caused by the influenza A virus that can be mild to a fatal infection. It can be deadly to a whole fowl farm like that we ordinarily know as poultry farms. It can be chickens, ducks, geese or ostrich.
It has, since 2003 caused havoc as it wiped-out poultry farms in Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Cambodia. In 2005 its suspected existence scared Bulacan so bad that it almost killed the poultry export industry of the province. Like Baguio and meningococcemia, the incident in Bulacan was another false alarm. Bulacan, like Baguio, is now recovering.
This particular Bird Flu virus identified as H5N1, by the number of its spikes and protein in its nucleus, has been established as being able to infect human beings and can be deadly as well as it is to birds if not detected early enough.
Both the Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture have assured us that this H5N1 virus has not yet hit the Philippines but it is a pandemic (an existing threat capable of a world-wide infection) that may be dormant in some areas and active in others. Also, there is no vaccine available yet against it because its nature has not yet been established enough to enable laboratories to design one.
So because and as it has every time been proven that “A pound of prevention is better than an ounce of cure” let us learn more about this H5N1 virus. Knowing about it can very well prevent panic, it will prepare everyone to work for the prevention of infection coming into the country and into our homes. #