Friday, October 14, 2005

it's a virus, not a terrorist

Although I am glad that Health Secretary Leavitt is active on avian influenza, this quote from him on his trip to Vietnam made me laugh:
The world is a biological dangerous place right now. An enemy avian virus known as H5N1 is establishing a presence in nations all over the world.
Yes, this virus is dangerous. No, it isn't an enemy, it's a bunch of protein strung together. I guess the comparisons to the Spanish Flu and death tolls in the tens of millions isn't scary enough, we need to make it sound like Al Qaeda or something!

But this story, about a drug-resistant (already!?!?) strain of the H5N1 virus being found in a Vietnamese girl, is really chilling.

The idea back in the 1950s and 1960s that we had defeated disease seems so quaint now.