There was an interesting article in the Standard today about how a particularly virulent form of bird flu could cause a global pandemic that could make, in the words of Health Secretayr York Chow, "the world collapse."
This blog is normally a space for heritage discussions, but given that SARS was indelibly seared into the consciousness of every Hong Kong resident, it seems a fair forum for taking a look at this issue.
All of the measures discussed thus far have involved preventing the rapid spread of this disease, and quarantining those infected effectively. Where proactive prevention is concerned, it seems the only solution mooted thus far is the innoculation of chickens at risk. To me, this is madness.
Why do you or I get sick? When do we get the flu? It is almost always when we are stressed and when our resistance is low. It is of course the same case with chickens.
Now does it not occur to anyone in the Health Department here that if we humans were stuffed in cages with 20 more of us, the cages stacked 5 or 6 high, with no room to move, and everyone defecating and urinating on each other, that that might possibly constitute a 'stressful' situation?
No, of course not. Chickens are all the same, aren't they? Chickens have been crapping and peeing on each other since the Jurassic Era. They like it, in fact. Don't you? I'm told some humans pay for services like that sometimes.
What rubbish. Of course chickens are going to get sick and give germs to each other if we keep them in filthy, completely insalubrious conditions. If the "world will end" upon the outbreak of a virulent strain of bird flu, isn't it time we stopped the chicken sellers and farmers from keeping them in such a shockingly unhealthy way? It won't cost much for the government to at least conduct an experiment to see whether free-range chickens are healthier and less prone to disease than ones stuffed in cages.
I guess this is Hong Kong though, where the chicken cages in the markets remind locals of their own 400 square foot apartments.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
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