WHO and Media Collude to Dial Up “Bird Flu” Fears to Maximum Level

2024-04-19 16:00:08

It is becoming quite clear that the World Health Organization (WHO) is longing to return to the days when its band of bureaucrats wielded enormous powers due to fears about the COVID pandemic and the elite media peddled misinformation produced by “experts” to a captive audience.

Legal Insurrection has followed the severe bird flu pandemic since reports of its initial outbreaks on American poultry farms, including its spread to mammals.  We noted that highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is now being reported in cattle in six states, and a Texas man had a case.

But we have also stressed that the disease has been mild in cows, and the Texas man essentially had a bad case of “pink eye.”

Yet it seems the global health bureaucracy’s new motto is “never let a good virus go to waste.” WHO is now expressing “enormous concern” about the spread of the new bird flu.

On April 18, Dr. Jeremy Farrar — WHO’s chief scientist — said the current outbreak, which began in 2020 and reached the United States in 2022, is a “significant public health concern” as infections are spreading among mammals, stressing that there is an “extremely high” mortality rate in humans.

“H5N1 is (an) influenza infection, predominantly started in poultry and ducks and has spread effectively over the course of the last one or two years to become a global zoonotic – animal – pandemic,” he said, according to a United Nations report.

“The great concern, of course, is that in doing so and infecting ducks and chickens — but now increasingly mammals — that virus now evolves and develops the ability to infect humans,” he added. “And then critically, the ability to go from human-to-human transmission.”

I would like to stress that human-to-human transmission of this virus has not been documented and the cases reported in humans in this country have been mild. Part of the scare-reporting associated with the news of WHO’s “enormous concern” is related to the fatalities associated with human infections when they do occur:

In the hundreds of cases where humans have been infected through contact with animals, ‘the mortality rate is extraordinarily high’, Sir Jeremy said.

Official data shows between 2003 and April 1, 2024, there have been 463 deaths recorded from 889 human cases across 23 countries. This puts the case fatality rate at 52 per cent.

But what was the background associated with those who were infected and died? Were they very old or young? Were they in good health, or did they have co-morbidities and pre-existing conditions?

I did some looking around, and here is some critical information:

Since 2003, 868 confirmed infections in people and 457 deaths have been reported to the World Health Organisation, from 21 countries. This includes 57 infections and 37 fatalities in Cambodia – before this week, the most recent detection in the southeast Asian country was in 2014.

Cambodia’s healthcare system may not be up to the task of providing robust care to influenza patients. What were the other 20 countries where infections occurred? The list of countries from our own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) includes the following: Egypt, China, Pakistan, Lao, Djibouti, Nigeria and Mynmar.  Many of these countries also lack significant medical infrastructure.

Looking into the information a bit more, here is the background on Cambodia’s bird flu experience:

In the past decade, children accounted for nearly 80 percent of bird flu fatalities in Cambodia. In 2014, 100 percent of recorded cases were in the under-14 age group; nine contracted the virus, and four died. Data gathered by the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge shows that the median age of a bird flu patient is six years.

The girl who died in this most recently reported case came from a village, which she likely caught from picking up dead birds around her home:

The young girl who died of the virus in Cambodia lived in a village in Prey Veng province, a region 60 miles southeast of the capital Phnom Penh, and close to the border with Vietnam.

Case after case involves children from poor, rural areas cleaning and eating infected birds.

In 2013, the year of the worst outbreak, Cambodian papers carried numerous reports of young victims sickened by dead fowl that they had either handled or cooked. One H5N1 case involved a nine-year-old boy from Battambang province who helped his father prepare a meal with an infected bird. He fell sick soon after and died in a Siem Reap hospital. “We don’t have money so we didn’t want to waste the dead chicken,” said the boy’s father.

In conclusion, The human fatalities WHO is worried about come from areas in which medical support is limited and where people are directly interacting with and/or consuming dead birds and getting a high viral dose.

But the WHO’s pandemic treaty is floundering, as countries are no longer keen to commit themselves to an organization that failed so spectacularly during the last pandemic.

A huge global effort to draw up rules around who does what in the event of another pandemic is floundering as memories of COVID-19 fade, raising a real possibility that talks will break down and leave the world as unprepared as it was in 2020.

…[T]wo years since countries began brokering the rules, and with less than six months until the deadline for agreement, political attention has shifted to other issues and the usual compromises and concessions of international negotiations are nowhere to be seen, according to diplomats involved in the talks.

“If the countries … really want to have a treaty, they actually need to start really negotiating, not restating their initial positions,” said a diplomat from a developing country, who, like the other diplomats in this article, POLITICO granted anonymity to speak about confidential talks. “Many countries … just say, ‘we don’t want that,’ but they’re not really engaging with the text.”

When I began writing about bird flu, I worried most about our nation’s farms. I am glad I have followed the developments, as it appears WHO’s agenda has nothing to do with the real risks associated with this particular virus.


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WHO and Media Collude to Dial Up “Bird Flu” Fears to Maximum Level


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