Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Here's an (awful) idea . . .

If you were going to pick a place to quarantine human avian influenza cases, what would be the worst place to pick? This is a hard question because there are probably a lot of really dumb places, so maybe there's no One Right Answer.

At least a plausible candidate would have to be one suggested by Wellington New Zealand's Health Authority:
“Kapiti Island is famous as a bird sanctuary, and is the last place to use as a quarantine station for humans infected with Asian bird Flu strains” says Dr Hugh Barr, president of Kapiti Island Watching Interest (KIWI). KIWI is a citizen group set up to help protect Kapiti Island. He was responding to a front page article in the Dominion Post today, proposing Kapiti Island as a quarantine island for victims of the human strain of Asian Bird Flu.

“Kapiti Island dates back over a century as a bird sanctuary, and, because it is an island protected by water, is home to some of our most endangered native bird species”, Dr Barr says. “It is astounding that Wellington’s Health authorities should be considering quarantining bird flu sufferers in the same place as our endangered kiwi, kaka, takahe, kokako, stitchbirds, saddlebacks and weka. These rare birds are likely to be susceptible to bird flu too.” (via Scoop)
What will be the fallback choice? Day care centers?