Atchoo!

(I do have a wee bit of a cold at the moment actually.)

I’ve been down the pub again, and I’m still as fresh as a daisy.

Anyway, this post is about the fact that BIRD FLU HAS HIT FIFE AND WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE.

Just before I left the house I saw that Sky News were saying that the Scottish Executive had announced that bird flu (H5 but not necessarily N1) had hit Scotland. I thought, “Hah, Scotland is massive, it’ll never be here.”

By the time I arrived at the pub they had Sky News on the television and there it was in the bold white-on-red lettering: bird flu is in Fife. I was forgetting that Fife kind of sticks out into the North Sea, right in the middle of the migration path.

I have to admit that I was thinking that England would be hit before Scotland. But there must be an element of chance you know. I suppose there could be some dead birds in England but they’ve just not been found. Or one ill bird just happened to choose Fife as a nice landing spot. Didn’t France have some cases of H5N1? That didn’t seem to come to much…

Still, this Cellardyke place. I’ve never heard of it, although my parents assure me that we’ve been through it. I thought it might have just been the name of a wee farm or something, but my parents say it’s a proper village. I know nearby Anstruther quite well though. It’s a lovely wee town.

Still, I think it’s far enough away from here in one sense. I mean, sitting here in Kirkcaldy I couldn’t catch bird flu off any bird in Cellardyke. But on the other hand, it is obviously a worry. As I said, there could be any number of birds that have caught bird flu and they just haven’t been checked out. There could be loads of birds further south that have the disease…

The thing about the cases of bird flu in eastern Europe and Asia was that humans were catching it because they sleep with birds under their bed, or play around with the birds, or whatever. That sort of thing doesn’t happen very much in western Europe.

I felt that the mood in the pub, though, was kind of ambivalent. “Have you seen the headline?”, one person said. I didn’t listen into the whole conversation but he was quite jokey. He certainly wasn’t acting as though he was in great danger; just that a notable event had happened. Maybe like if there was a big fire in the local area. Some people think there’s an awful lot of tabloidy scaremongering and they’re not sure if they should take this whole bird flu thing seriously.

A good friend of mine does keep chickens at her house. It’s kind of ironic. Originally my friend was offended because her mother bought them as a replacement for her when she moved out for university. Now my friend loves them. She was on the phone pleading to her mother not to kill the chickens… Apparently they’re going to get some sort of cover instead. I’ve been invited to a house party at her place next week. Should I accept the invitation??!

Still, personally I will feel as though it’s nothing much to worry about — until human-to-human infection becomes possible. But then, a human-to-human transmission in deepest south-east Asia will be of greater concern to me than one dead bird in Fife. Because once the human-to-human transmission is set in motion, that’s it. On the other hand they managed to keep Sars under control, didn’t they?

I don’t think I’ll lose too much sleep tonight…

Update: Digbeth says DON’T PANIC.

Devil’s Kitchen:

This is the excuse that we’ve been waiting for; there is now no option but to build a massive wall around Fife and then firebomb everything inside. Nothing and no one must be allowed to leave…

Update: Comment by The Hoopiest Frood on a post by Zootm called FLUPOCALYPSE:

We have radioactive beaches, that’ll kill the bird flu. 😛

3 comments

  1. coming through that tests on a dead swan have tested positive for bird-flu (tho not confirmed yet as the H5N1 strain) and it’s in Fife. They’ll only say it’s in Sir Menzies Campbell’s consituency so far (the complete opposite end of Fife from me).DoctorVee (in Kirkcaldy) has a philosophical view on this Update 1409 BST 6 April 06: H5N1 now confirmed on BBC News 24 as the media scrum descends on Cellardyke. However, while Tony Blair fielded questions on this from Irish journos at a press conference on the future of the NI Assembly

  2. I wondered if there was justification for taking chickens in Cornwall indoors, given that that’s probably closer geographically to the outbreak in France than the one case in Fife…

  3. I think it is not wowrth getting too worried about until we have a case here in a human. However it really concerns me that H5N1 seems to give justification to keeping battery hens as free range are the ones more at risk?