Its all caused by wild birds

‘Its all causes by wild birds’. Some reflections on avian flu and swine flu and the role of birds as scapegoats, Susan Atkinson, Agriculture and Theology Project, 2012.

IT’S ALL CAUSED BY WILD BIRDS’- SOME REFLECTIONS ON AVIAN FLU AND SWINE FLU AND THE ROLE OF BIRDS AS SCAPEGOATS by Susan Atkinson (ATP Briefing Paper No 2).

For all of the great advances made in medical science over recent decades, there is little or no progress made on the eradication of one of the most common causes of illness, namely influenza, usually known as flu. It is an infectious disease that affects both mammals and birds and one which is constantly changing to new strains. While for most humans the symptoms of fever, sore throat, headaches etc. are very unpleasant but thankfully short lived, in more serious cases flu can lead to potentially fatal pneumonia. Often those particularly at risk of flu becoming a life threatening illness are the elderly, young children and those with serious underlying health problems. It is now routine for the elderly, in the UK, to be vaccinated against flu every year, which reduces the risk, but does not eradicate it. The risk to all is increased if a new strain of the flu virus becomes a global pandemic; that is an epidemic that spreads on a worldwide scale and infects a large proportion of the human population.

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