Wednesday, March 01, 2006

To Say Nothing of the Cat...

Effect Measure has a sobering entry on spread of avian 'flu to domestic cats.

The possibility of a triangle of infection between birds, cats and humans is intrinsically of concern.
The potential for cats to be either vectors or reservoirs for infection of humans, and birds, is of concern.
The transmission modes for the virus in confined cats is shit scary. Strong circumstantial evidence for infection through respiratory tract.

The death of cats is tragic in and of itself.

The The order to kill cats within 200m (1/8 mile) is problematic - it is a prudent public health measure, but one that will resonate poorly. If you think people are likely to shelter their pet birds rather than surrender them for culling, then you ain't seen nothing when the authorities come for pet cats...

Cats are quite well evolved to maximise parenting reflexes in humans, which arouses very strong emotions. There will be strong rationalisation by individuals as to why their cats are not at risk or a risk.

The immediately preceding entry on Effect Measure on firefighters and bird rescue is also interesting.

There was a story in an Icelandic newspaper earlier this week that kids now refuse to feed birds because of avian 'flu concerns. Björk sings of the essentialness of duck feeding on Gling-Gló's "Börnin við Tjörnina", we're seeing destruction of great traditions, already.

This is going to be a problem.

Time to go back and re-read Connie Willis's "...To Say Nothing of the Dog", and "The Last of the Winnebagos".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you keep your cat from getting to your free roaming bird?

12:13 PM  

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