Pig Flu Pandemic?
Mexico City is in the grip of an influenza epidemic that the World Health Organization says has pandemic potential. [See pandemic updates below.]
Like the bird flu virus H5N1, the deadly strain of the H1N1 virus now sickening (and killing) people in Mexico and Kansas is a virulent “mixture of swine, human and avian flu viruses.” Like the strain of avian influenza that killed millions in 1918, the new swine flu targets healthy adults rather than infants and the elderly.
If you don’t know why this should be cause for concern, check out my past post on bird flu and you. And, um, if you haven’t already, quit being the market for the animal agriculture industries responsible for the mutation of these viruses. (In other words, quit eating meat.) Like climate change, zoonoses like these arise because of our hubristic abuse of nature and other species. And, as with climate change, the least privileged of people are likely to pay the highest price. It’s up to those of us with the wherewithal to make different choices to do so, giving up gluttony in favor of solidarity.
27 APR UPDATES: U.S. declares public health emergency, swine flu confirmed in Spain, stocks fall due to fears of pandemic. Tip to veg/AR organizations: Now might be a very good time to seize the day by making and taking “Pig Flu, Bacon, and You” handouts to the grocery store. Be sure to give good and reliable information about flu along with your go veg message.
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