Mar 13, 2006

HHS Secretary Tells Americans To Store Canned Tuna, Powdered Milk For Arrival Of Bird Flu

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Left: Image of avian influenza strain H5N1 courtesy of National Geographic

(Washington, DC) Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt advised that Americans start storing canned tuna and powdered milk as fears of a global bird flu epidemic begin to materialize.

The disease recently moved into Europe and Africa, and forced the slaughter of more than 140 million chickens and ducks across Asia since 2003. Scientists believe that the virus could become widespread in the US within 6 months from migrating wild birds.

A severe avian flu pandemic jeopardize the global financial system due to wild fluctuations in in commodity prices, supply shortages, and a rise in absenteeism rates, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said.

"Perhaps because an avian flu pandemic may appear to be a low-probability event, albeit one with potential high costs, many countries are only starting to develop a comprehensive approach to this threat," the IMF report said. "While enhancing preparedness will entail upfront cost, the benefits of mitigating the risks associated with a pandemic appear to outweigh these costs."

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

At first I thought this would be like the swine flu, but it seems a lot worse.

--Petrograde

Lisa Renee said...

I blogged about this before I saw you did too.

Which governmental department to believe...and what will be the end result if it is true.

Only those who can afford to stock up and hide in their homes for three months lives? Or is this another duct tape panic situation.

historymike said...

Great minds think alike, Lisa. :-}

I have little doubt that the US will get smacked hard with bird flu, and if you own any Tyson stock I would dump it.

The real question will be whether the disease mutates into a strain that easily infects humans, and if that strain is as deadly as H5N1.

Lisa Renee said...

Me own stock? (After Lisa gets done laughing at that ever being a possibility)

I guess my main concern that I went into at Toledo Talk is the responsibility factor in creating what could be a panic.

Along with what about those that can't afford to do this.

Hooda Thunkit said...

One has to wonder if Michael Leavitt has his spare change in the market, and, if so, what in?

I'm betting it is in tuna and powdered milk futures (as mine is).

:-)

Lisa Renee said...

I just checked Delmonte for the fun of it - their stock prices were up today, not beyond the 52 week high of 11.65 but at 11.00 per share.

:-)

historymike said...

Then there is this news on tuna prices:

"Tuna prices were at $1,050 per tonne, up from $880 at the end of 2005 due to tight supply, Thiraphong said."

Stephanie said...

You know, considering how much poultry is being slaughtered, if it hits that's what we'll be short on. Stock up on frozen chicken breasts and canned chicken seems like a better bet. If this reaches here and doesn't kill off a significant portion of the human population, then it's chicken we'll be missing, not tuna.

Lisa Renee said...

There you go being all logical and stuff Stephanie.

:-)

Stephanie said...

Hey, I like chicken! And, what'll happen to the eggs! I mean, I can get eighteen eggs for under a dollar; that's good, cheap protein!

Hooda Thunkit said...

I hear tha Bob Evans, among others, is reprinting their menues; where the prices for eggs used to be, they now say:

$ If you have to ask...