Bird flu not a public threat?

March 3, 2006
A health worker shows a rapid test (Antigen test) to check for bird flu infection, in Jakarta

As the bird flu spreads through Europe, the British government's chief scientist said the chance of British person getting bird flu is 1 in 100 million.

David King told the Times of London that while the spread of the H5N1 virus throughout parts of Europe is a serious issue for farming and wildlife, it does not pose a public health threat.

In Asian countries where bird flu has spread, King suggests that individuals there were about seven times more likely to win the national lottery than get the avian flu, which can be fatal.

King told the Times that in China 14 infections and eight deaths have been confirmed by the World Health Organization in a population of 1.3 billion people -- a rate King estimates is one case per 93 million and one death per 163 million.

"That's a back-of-the-envelope calculation based on China, but the real figure will not be much different," King said. "It may in fact be even lower than 1 in 100 million, because we don't live cheek-by-jowl with chickens in the same way -- simply put, this is not an issue we should worry about in terms of public health."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Tower of London ravens are moved indoors

Related Stories

Meet the dogs with OCD

June 26, 2017

Curiously, and perhaps eagerly, I am looking at a bull terrier named Sputnik, searching for a resemblance.

Recommended for you

Archaeologists find ancient necropolis in Egypt

February 24, 2018

Egypt's Antiquities Ministry announced on Saturday the discovery of an ancient necropolis near the Nile Valley city of Minya, south of Cairo, the latest discovery in an area known to house ancient catacombs from the Pharaonic ...

AI and 5G in focus at top mobile fair

February 24, 2018

Phone makers will seek to entice new buyers with better cameras and bigger screens at the world's biggest mobile fair starting Monday in Spain after a year of flat smartphone sales.

Walking crystals may lead to new field of crystal robotics

February 23, 2018

Researchers have demonstrated that tiny micrometer-sized crystals—just barely visible to the human eye—can "walk" inchworm-style across the slide of a microscope. Other crystals are capable of different modes of locomotion ...

Researchers turn light upside down

February 23, 2018

Researchers from CIC nanoGUNE (San Sebastian, Spain) and collaborators have reported in Science the development of a so-called hyperbolic metasurface on which light propagates with completely reshaped wafefronts. This scientific ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.