Avian Influenza Lottery

According to a former interviewee of mine, David King (the UK’s chief advisor on science), you’ve got far more chance of winning the lottery than catching H5N1, the most-talked about of the avian influenza viruses. King told The Times that the chances of someone in Britain catching bird flu is 1 in 100 million. Compare that with the 14 million to one chance of winning the lottery and you can see just how small the risk is.

It’s essentially what we’ve been saying all along, the media generally loves a health scare, and H5N1 is just the latest of those (along with benzene in soft drinks of course). It is nevertheless only a matter of time before someone in the UK does succumb to this virus (unlocky sod), but even when they do, that does not herald the global pandemic of killer flu that the scaremongers are hoping for. I say hoping, they really will have a field day once that little bundle of genetic material and protein finds a way to carry itself from human to human…good news never sold papers, after all.