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Well, he's...he's, ah...probably pining for the fjords.
October 23, 2005 4:44 PM   Subscribe

You assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein' tired and shagged out following a prolonged squawk! The first case of the H5N1 strain of bird flu, which has already killed 61 people in the Far East, has been identified in Britain. Scientists confirmed last night that a parrot, imported from Surinam in South America, contracted and died from the disease while in a quarantine unit in southern England.
posted by Artifice_Eternity (34 comments total)

 
Sigh. That link title made me laugh -- but man. That's some seriously morbid humor there.

Oh, and [newsfilter].

Can we start [goodnewsfilter], please?
posted by spiderwire at 4:51 PM on October 23, 2005


Ominously, this also implies that bird flu is in South America, where it has not been confirmed so far.
posted by Asparagirl at 5:01 PM on October 23, 2005


The opportunity to reference the Dead Parrot Sketch was irresistible.

Also, whistling past the graveyard, etc.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 5:01 PM on October 23, 2005


Asparagirl - "Our working hypothesis is that any infection in the birds from Surinam is likely to have arisen in the quarantine system, most likely in the facility in Essex where the Surinam birds shared airspace with the birds from Taiwan."
posted by Jawn at 5:04 PM on October 23, 2005


Ah. Thanks.
posted by Asparagirl at 5:11 PM on October 23, 2005


Nothing like the smell of fearmongering in the morning...
posted by nightchrome at 5:15 PM on October 23, 2005


Run away!
posted by jaronson at 5:47 PM on October 23, 2005


...smells like... fear?
posted by dsword at 5:47 PM on October 23, 2005


Can we start [goodnewsfilter], please?

[derail][goodnewsfilter]The government of Qatar is donating some six million dollars for the construction of a soccer stadium in Sachnin, a town of Israeli Arabs launched into the spotlight recently for winning the Israeli national soccer cup with a mostly-Arab team and a Jewish coach. The Israeli government has also pledged to contribute money to the stadium, so it looks like (unofficially) Qatar and Israel will be collaborating on the improvement of the conditions of Arab citizens of Israel. [/goodnewsfilter][/derail]
posted by ori at 5:59 PM on October 23, 2005


They put all the quarantined birds in the same airspace?

That seems like a very good idea.
posted by delmoi at 6:17 PM on October 23, 2005


Funny, that Monty Python sketch was the first thing that popped into my head when I read that as well.

"No he's not, he's only sleeping!"
posted by salad spork at 6:30 PM on October 23, 2005


This is the strain that's already amantadine resistant thanks to the Chinese, right?
posted by NucleophilicAttack at 6:37 PM on October 23, 2005


"bring out your dead ..."
posted by pyramid termite at 7:12 PM on October 23, 2005


so much for quarantine. next move...
posted by brandz at 7:15 PM on October 23, 2005


thanks to the Chinese

Why is that? What did they do?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:30 PM on October 23, 2005


well, because the birdflu was killing all their birds, they decided to feed the only drug that could fight that flu to all their birds...

And now, to everyones surprise, it doesnt work anymore.
posted by Iax at 7:35 PM on October 23, 2005


well, because the birdflu was killing all their birds, they decided to feed the only drug that could fight that flu to all their birds.

More correctly: They fed the drugs to healthy birds, because the farmers knew if Avian Influenza was found in one of their birds, the entire flock would be slaughtered to try and control the spread. So, it became critical not to let a bird get sick.

But limited curative agents make lousy prophylaxis, and sure enough, the birds got sick and resistant. So, now the farmers have no flocks -- and we have one less drug in the arsenal.

Life goes on.
posted by eriko at 8:05 PM on October 23, 2005


I had 'the bird' flu and survived last winter, but nobody believed me I had it - particularly my girlfriend; so I, for one, welcome our knew H5N1 overlords.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 8:21 PM on October 23, 2005


"It's only pining for the fjords."

I love how some people act like fear is some sort of disease rather than an emotion that can cause one to take effective action that might prolong one's life. There are some things in this world that one should fear, and I would think that a virulent pandemic might well be one of them.
posted by spock at 8:38 PM on October 23, 2005


Wouldn't it be funny if Larry Bird caught it.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:49 PM on October 23, 2005


First thing I'm going to do during the pandemic is call in sick.

Seriously though, if the pandemic does take off, should I get it over with and infect myself? I'm a pretty young healthy person. I figure, get it over with.
posted by kuatto at 8:50 PM on October 23, 2005


kuatto: The so-called Spanish flu of 1918 killed people most often in the 18-49 "prime of life" demographic; the theory is that it provoked such a strong immune reaction that body killed itself. H5N1 and the Spanish Flu share many molecular similarities.

So, uh, no.
posted by docgonzo at 9:08 PM on October 23, 2005


docgonzo - the threat to anything other than birds from the bird flu is media hype only.

I can guarantee you that ending.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 9:25 PM on October 23, 2005


docgonzo, I've read once, I think in an issue of the Fortean Times, that supposedly an awful lot of those 18-49 "prime of life" victims in 1918 had previously suffered from tuberculosis. I've never heard this again so I've never known how much credence to give it.
posted by kimota at 9:36 PM on October 23, 2005


Was the bird a Norwegian Blue? Beautiful plumage!
posted by clevershark at 10:18 PM on October 23, 2005


From the article: China said it will seal its borders, whatever the economic cost, if it finds a single case of human-to-human transmission of bird flu, the South China Morning Post newspaper quoted an official as saying.

Isn't that just encouragement to do what they've been doing for years and just pretend it's not happening? I have a sneaking suspicion that the newly-enabled internet rules in China are actually designed not so much to stop talk of democracy, as to enable the authorities to keep a lid on people telling the world about medical emergencies happening in the PRC.
posted by clevershark at 10:21 PM on October 23, 2005


I've had a headache all day, and I coughed up a few feathers earlier... is that a bad thing?
posted by stenseng at 10:25 PM on October 23, 2005


Only if you're pining for the fjords.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:47 PM on October 23, 2005


I can't help but feel that this whole bird flu scare is the opportunity for the government to inject us with whatever the fuck they like.

And by perfect opportunity, I mean a little too perfect.

So I'll hold out on getting any jabs until I see what it does to the rest of the country.

And if I die, it'll be of paranoia.

Or perhaps parrot-noia.
posted by armoured-ant at 11:32 PM on October 23, 2005


parrot-noir.

/me imagines a parrot in 1930s detective get-up, with smoky jazz playing in the background.
posted by Lotto at 12:38 AM on October 24, 2005


This is the strain that's already amantadine resistant thanks to the Chinese, right?

So we can't just send in Wolverine?
posted by biffa at 1:25 AM on October 24, 2005


The Channel 4 daily pre-newscast mailshot (called the "SnowMail" after the anchor, Jon Snow - highly recommended) arrived in my inbox Saturday evening with the subject: Dead parrot no laughing matter. Which I must take issue with, as I was pissing myself.
posted by LondonYank at 2:37 AM on October 24, 2005


The BBC News is reporting that the bird contracted the virus after it had entered quarantine. "The UK's chief vet, Debby Reynolds, said the parrot probably contracted the virus from other birds in quarantine - perhaps a group from Taiwan."
posted by DrDoberman at 4:54 AM on October 24, 2005


So we can't just send in Wolverine?
posted by biffa at 4:25 AM EST on October 24 [!]


No, we have to up the ante. We need to send in Vin Diesel.
posted by unreason at 7:46 AM on October 24, 2005


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