By IAN SCOONES, STEPS Centre co-director
Scientists in Egypt are examining the possibility that the H5N1 Avian flu virus could be changing into a deadlier strain. There is a fear the virus will cross the species barrier causing a pandemic which will disrupt world economies and claim lives on an unprecedented scale.
Dr Zuhair Hallaj, director of the World Health Organization’s communicable disease programme says there is particular concern that previous victims in Egypt have suffered from respiratory problems.
BBC Radio 4’s File on 4 broadcast a very interesting programme on avian flu and the situation in Egypt. It covers most of the STEPS issues we will be exploring as part of our work on epidemics. The programme has some good commentary on science, politics, and how local conditions may not match up to global plans. Well worth a listen via this link.