Trafalgar Flu


[Image: Daniel Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year, another cover of which pleads: Lord, have mercy on London...].

Is Trafalgar Square doomed to become an avian flu hotspot? New Scientist implies as much in a short piece published last week: "Pigeons could carry H5N1 bird flu into city centres," we read, "increasing the chances of humans being exposed to the virus."
But does this tiny factoid mean anything at all – let alone that public squares all over the world will soon act as disease vectors for bird flu's apparently impending sweep through the human genome?
If it does mean something, and if pigeons are a major risk for spreading influenza, will we first hear reports of human-human infection coming from hospitals in central London? Again, if so, will the pigeons of Trafalgar Square be to blame? And do infected pigeons mean that Venice's Piazza San Marco is also a European vector for the disease?
Or am I just giving away the plot for BLDGBLOG's first feature film...?

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Blogger Timo Tolonen said...

I wonder what Brian (of Pigeon Blog fame) has to say about all of this...

April 03, 2006 7:35 AM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Who knew pigeons could blog so well...?

April 03, 2006 11:15 AM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Just get out of the room if he starts coughing.

April 03, 2006 11:16 AM  
Blogger Geist said...

Oh this is adorable! Just adorable. I mean, isn't the plague just the cutest thing you've EVER seen?!

April 03, 2006 7:53 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Why, yes!

April 03, 2006 8:55 PM  
Anonymous john Devlin said...

avian influenza: the story that just won't come...

April 04, 2006 12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Avian Flu affects tissue deep in the respiratory tract, and would require several significant mutations to spread between humans. This is also why it does not spread from bird to human as easily as some media would have you believe.

April 04, 2006 12:59 PM  
Anonymous Brian Pigeon said...

Came up with my own solution to this whole Bird Flu thing ages ago. You might want to check it out:
https://pigeonblog.wordpress.com/2006/02/26/bird-flu-a-simple-solution/
Makes sense, cheap to run - still no-one's picked up on it yet... can't believe it.
Your pal
Brian P

April 04, 2006 3:19 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Hey Brian Pigeon - Love the mask. Just don't strain your beak...

April 04, 2006 3:40 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

H5 virus hits Scotland.

April 05, 2006 10:02 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Wild birds are a key vector for bird flu's routing of the British from England.

April 06, 2006 10:39 PM  

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