Experts Say Bird Flu Pandemic Could be Unfolding in Slow Motion, Call for Mass Surveillance


We really doing this?

Please be tell me we ain’t.


Scientists tracking the spread of bird flu are increasingly concerned that gaps in surveillance may keep them several steps behind a new pandemic, according to Reuters interviews with more than a dozen leading disease experts.

Many of them have been monitoring the new subtype of H5N1 avian flu in migratory birds since 2020. But the spread of the virus to 129 dairy herds in 12 U.S. states signals a change that could bring it closer to becoming transmissible between humans. Infections also have been found in other mammals, from alpacas to house cats.

It almost seems like a pandemic unfolding in slow motion,” said Scott Hensley, a professor of microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania. “Right now, the threat is pretty low … but that could change in a heartbeat.”

The earlier the warning of a jump to humans, the sooner global health officials can take steps to protect people by launching vaccine development, wide-scale testing and containment measures.

Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said surveillance for humans is “very, very limited.”

Marrazzo described the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s human flu surveillance network as “really a passive reporting, passive presentation mechanism.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture is more proactive in testing cows, but does not make public which farms are affected, she said.

Several experts said differing approaches from animal and human health agencies could hamper a quicker response.

“If you were designing the system from scratch, you would have one agency,” said Gigi Gronvall, a biosecurity expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “This is not the only example where we have environmental or animal problems that cause human problems.”

A USDA spokesperson said the agency is working “around the clock” with CDC and other partners in a “whole-of-government response,” adding that ongoing research shows “America’s food supply remains safe, sick cows generally recover after a few weeks, and the risk to human health remains low.”

The CDC in a statement said it, “USDA, and state and local health departments across the country have been preparing for the emergence of a novel influenza virus for nearly 2 decades and continually monitor for even the smallest changes in the virus.”

Some pandemics, including COVID-19, arrive with little warning. In the last flu pandemic, caused by H1N1 in 2009, the virus and its predecessors had first spread among animals for several years, Hensley said, but more surveillance would have helped health authorities prepare.

Since most flu vaccines are made using virus grown in eggs, it could take up to six months to produce pandemic shots. The U.S. is in talks with Moderna to use their faster mRNA technology for pandemic flu shots.

I’ll say again: I don’t think we be doing this.

I think it’s too close to the last virus hoax and too many people would just refuse to comply and then you would have to use police brutality on a pretty large scale, and I’m not sure how far the government really wants to push that.

I’ve said a lot: peasant uprisings don’t work. But it’s really “they don’t work how they should.” Angry peasants can create chaos.

And there is always the possibility that some non-peasants will back a peasant uprising.

Those people in Silicon Valley sure do appear to think they should be running the government. They’ve become a competing elite to the Washington elite, which is why they are constantly getting called into Congress to explain why some teenage girl killed herself after getting called ugly on the internet. Or whatever.

But they are very clearly now testing the waters on another virus hoax.

Elvis Dunderhoff contributed to this article.