By Salama A Salama
Bird flu hit us a few years ago and to this day the government doesn’t know what to do with it. Bird flu has already spread in our villages, farms and cities and many have contracted it. Yet, we’re still at a loss about it. We’re still wondering what vaccine to use, and whether people and birds can co-exist. To this day, we don’t know the extent of the threat bird flu poses to the country. One day the prime minister or the agriculture minister says that bird flu is over. Another day, experts tell us that they just found a vaccine that would rid the country from it. So roughly speaking, we’re still at risk, but shouldn’t worry too much. This alone makes me worry.
Recently another strain of flu, just as potentially deadly, hit the country. Swine flu, which appeared in Mexico and spread fast across the globe, was billed by the World Health Organisation as a major international health peril. Initially, our government went into denial, telling us it has everything under control. A few days later, it reversed its position, telling us that the country has a swine population of 350,000 that is a menace to all humans in this country.
Then the swine hunt began. Death squads, with and without masks, were detailed to annihilate the swine population in a hurry. Small details, as the proper disposal of animal carcasses, were left for later. Tens of thousands of pigs were rounded up and executed. Only a few were properly slaughtered for storage and later sale. No differentiation was made between healthy and infected animals — as far as we know none of the swine population was found infected with that particular virus.