Whatever happened to the bird flu panic?

Well, don’t fill your yard with chickens again yet. Our old friend, the bird flu painic is back, albeit in an apparently less virulent form (i.e. An article in Scientific American rather than monster tabloid spreads, but maybe I haven’t spotte dthem.)

According to Scientific American, Welsh school kids have been treated with antivirals after an outbreak of a mild form of bird flu.

Teachers and children at the school, which is close to a farm in Corwen, North Wales, where the H7N2 strain of bird flu was discovered last week, were being treated with antiviral medication as a precaution, the National Public Health Service (NPHS) said in a statement.

A total of 12 people have been identified as suffering from the flu, reporting “symptoms of a flu like illness or conjunctivitis” it said, but stressed no one was seriously ill.

The article says it may spread from person to person but isn’t a killer virus. However,

The presence of an H7 virus in poultry is treated seriously by animal health officials because scientists believe that, when allowed to circulate in poultry populations, a low pathogenic virus can mutate into the highly pathogenic form

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