As Councillor Bob observes, these are worrying times for the Parrot household. The bird flu has landed in the shape of a parrot that died in quarantine having been shipped here from Surinam in South America.
And as we know, if this avian flu mutates into a version that can pass from human to human we’ll be in dead lumber and millions will certainly die. (It says so in the Daily Mail, so it must be true.)
The thing is, Mrs Parrot has been sneezing and snuffling all day, in fact I’ve just got back from Morrison’s armed with Lemsip Max and Sinex Micromist. They didn’t have any Tamiflu, but I guess that is because a panicked population has bought it all up online.
“We are currently out of stock of Tamiflu, due to extreme demand. We expect our next order in at the end of November. Please register your interest now by filling in the form on the right. We will contact you as soon as we receive our supplies. Orders will be despatched on a first come, first served basis.”
What I can’t figure is this: we can’t produce a vaccine until H5N1 mutates into a human to human strain, but we could produce one for the strain that is knocking the birds off their perches. So why don’t we?
Okay, so vaccinating all the birds is a non-starter, but we could do so for the people who have close contact with them. And maybe pigs as well since any mutated strain will come from the viral melting pots that we and our porcine friends are.
Hey ho, time to tend to Mrs P, but if I suddenly go quiet, don’t be worried. Be very, very frightened.