Influx of Influenza Flew In

Influx of Influenza Flew In

Union Grill Pigeon Pies Still a Menu Highlight

The Emergency Department at Dunedin Hospital has seen a number of people admitted who present symptoms of Bird Flu, which comes on the heels of a recent visit to Dunedin by a group of Chinese bioterrorists.

Bird flu is caused by an influenza virus that originally occurs in animals and can spread to humans. The bioterrorists appear to have smuggled a number of contaminated birds and lizards into the country, subsequently released into the city.

Critic spoke with Albatross Colony staff member Robin Swallows, who has been particularly affected because of the outbreak. She has been encouraged, along with her colleagues, by the Dunedin Centre for Bird Control to cease work until the threat is contained. “It’s just a terrible situation. Until the outbreak is contained it’s too dangerous for me to go to work. And even worse, if the albatross are found to be contaminated, they will all be slaughtered.”

The Dunedin Centre for Bird Control has warned the virus can be transmitted to people who have close contact with birds or bird droppings. They have issued a limited edition range of reflective wide brim shields to protect from falling bird droppings. The Centre said special caution should be taken under power lines and near leftover or abandoned food.

A press release from support group Aviary International warned that birds should not be approached under any circumstances. Critic attempted to contact a number of the affected birds who refused to make a comment, but they did send us a Tweet later on.
This article first appeared in Issue 6, 2014.
Posted 7:01pm Sunday 30th March 2014 by Mass Cralk.