Here's one modest proposal: Let's sound the alarm this week. If you're reading this and you have a blog, make a point of posting something about bird flu this week.(From WorldChanging, via Kottke.)
Okay, I'm supposed to be a professional technical communicator. Let's see whether I can get some complex points across, briefly, simply and effectively, before I've had much coffee.
- Bird flu ("avian influenza H5N1") which has making domestic and wild birds sick in Asia for years, is spreading rapidly, reaching epidemic levels in Russia and extending its reach towards Europe. (Source: Times of London.)
If you are a bird, this sucks.
- In its current form, bird flu can also make people and other animals sick (more than 50 people have died from it already in Asia since 2003) but it is relatively hard to transmit. (Source: USA Today, quoting WHO statistics.)
- The great fear is that the virus might mutate in such a way that it could jump between birds and human beings, and pass from human to human, much more easily.
- This is an especially nasty flu virus, in that it has killed (so far) over 50% of the people who are known to have gotten sick with it.
- If you are a bird, or a person, or any of the animals that can get the flu, this sucks.