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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

    Avian Bird Flu is not getting attention it deserves

    Our country is facing a very significant international threat. When reading this, most likely you would immediately jump to the constant fear of terrorism from the Middle East. While Americans are indeed on constant guard against the threat of terrorism, especially after the release of the latest Osama bin Laden tape, there is another threat that is coming from the Western countries that has the potential of creating just as much harm.

    I’m talking about the Avian Bird Flu, a deadly new influenza that has already caused some people to die after receiving the disease from infected birds in countries in both Europe and Asia. However, while the ever-alarming threat of terrorism is on constant guard against, the terrifying threat of the disease becoming a possible natural pandemic in the United States is not as focused on by members of the news media and society.

    Throughout the month of January, the news media made an attempt to keep society informed of what was going on around them. While the 24-hour news channels ran continuous updates regarding the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court justice nominee Samuel Alito as well as providing up-to-the-minute updates regarding the trapped miners in West Virginia, viewers were seldom being informed of the sheer horror of the Avian Bird Flu and its devastating affects.

    Before January 17, four people in Turkey died of the disease; and according to a news report on, 21 patients in the country have been diagnosed with the disease. According to, there have even been outbreaks of the spread of the Bird Flu in other countries besides Turkey such as South Korea, Japan, and Greece. This shows that the disease is spreading and there could be the possibility of it coming into our own.

    Once people contract the disease from coming in contact with infected wild birds, they would exhibit a series of various symptoms. says that symptoms can range from traditional flu-like symptoms such as muscle aches and sore coughs, to more dangerous in nature such as severe respiratory diseases and organ failure.

    Most people in the news media probably figure that the normal symptoms that are being exhibited by people are just merely the sign of a normal flu, but in reality, it is very important to take note of this serious disease before disaster can take place. And just to emphasize how serious the disease is, the Web site says there is a 50% death rate among those who contract the disease.

    And even though there are natural remedies available as well as a drug called Tamiflu, which is supposed to help your immune system, there is unfortunately no actual medication for the disease.

    But what is just as unfortunate is that we the public are not being properly informed about this horrible infection. People in the news media probably feel that the Avian Bird Flu will remain towards the west and not come into our country. They probably even feel that treatment for the Avian Bird Flu can consist of any regular over-the-counter or prescribed medicine.

    However, the Avian Bird Flu is no ordinary temporary illness. If not properly dealt with, our country could possibly be faced with a serious medical condition the likes of which we have never seen before. We as members of the public must be better informed about this disease. Otherwise, we will all be sorry instead of safe.

    And is that what we want? Just as we want to be a country safe from terrorism, we should be a country that wants to be safe from diseases. If we put as much emphasis on protecting ourselves from the Bird Flu as we do on protecting ourselves from terrorism, then we would be making more progress in protecting ourselves. We cannot ignore the Bird Flu just as much as we cannot ignore terrorism. Both terrorism and Bird Flu are harmful to us and we need to be safe from both. And if the media can keep us informed on the latest terrorist threats, then surely they can keep us informed on the latest information pertaining to the Avian Bird Flu so that our health and safety can be ensured. After all, a more informed country can lead to a safer future.

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