Bird Flu Pandemic, Behavior Analysis and Complacency

Even though I am a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, I always like to pay attention to the latest info on scientific and medical issues.  I probably have this interest since I have a Masters degree in Health Science too.

There has been some buzz about the upcoming bird flu pandemic. 

Some facts -

- H5N1 bird flu has infected 300 humans and 200 of them had medical intervention but died. (this statistic is what we know of, I am sure that the scientists  and medical professionals have not been able to count every single H5N1 case  in every single geographic area throughout the world. Also, do you really think that foreign countries would be honest about reporting human bird flu deaths? I think not.)

- Billions of poultry fowl have either been culled or given the proactive inoculation against H5N1. These interventions have not been successful since the H5N1 virus keeps infecting and spreading.

- The actual numbers are impossible to calculate- but lots and lots of birds from various species have died from the H5N1 virus- including here in the US.

- 2 poultry farms in the United States had birds infected with H5N1 and H7N9 viruses. Virginia and Nebraska

- Recently, in Canada, 2 farms with poultry flocks have been infected with the H7N3 avian flu which is a cousin of H5N1 bird flu virus.

People forget or are not fully aware that our human flu viruses have to of come from somewhere. Actually, some of these viruses come from birds! 

Sadly, not many people are aware of this bird flu and its potential to become a devastating pandemic. I’ve even personally inquired with various individuals, some of their remarks are, “Oh, that bird flu thing is just in Asia” or “I did not know there was such a thing, I’ll just go and get the stuff I need when it comes to my area.” These are not very good responses of being informed and prepared. Many websites are now reporting news and warnings about the next bird flu pandemic ; 

www.BirdFluBreakingNews.com

World Health Organization site  
http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/en/

Our own US government must have major concerns about this bird flu and dedicated a specific site to list info and Public Service Announcements:
http://www.pandemicflu.gov/index.html 

So if all of this is happening and all these sites are providing info and warnings- why do we not see this bird flu topic being featured in our media? Why aren’t we hearing more statements from our United States government about this upcoming bird flu pandemic? Why can’t they take a few moments away from covering the Iraq war or the latest Hollywood celebrity scandal to cover something that is affecting and infecting the whole world? 

Behaviorally, what do I think has been happening?  I think that people, the government and the media have become complacent. 

Complacency- http://www.mw.com/dictionary/complacency 

1: self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies 

When this possible bird flu pandemic becomes very concrete, very real and immediately in front of our faces- that is when more attention will be provided and actions will be taken. But by then, that will probably be too late. 

I really hope that this potentially dangerous bird flu pandemic will not occur. However, the scientists and medical professionals have all been saying that it is not a matter of IF it is going to happen, it is a matter of WHEN.  

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Suggestions:  keep aware of this topic, research the internet, monitor the patterns and work on being prepared just in case.

 

 

Update from the News:

Scientists: Bird Flu Mutation Sets Stage for Flu Pandemic

Friday, October 05, 2007

The deadly bird flu virus has mutated andmay infect people more easily if it begins spreading from human to human, according to a new study…
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,299561,00.html

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