I sat in briefly on these lectures and gave some xeroxes of my articles on flu to them. These people all seemed so very professional I felt like a total outsider. Their invitational blurb read:
The conference objective is to develop integrated models on the spread, control, and impact of avian flu, and to use it as part of an effort to develop sustainable solutions for endemic avian flu in developing countries. The conference will emphasize interdisciplinary dialogue among economists, veterinarians, and epidemiologists as well as learning from past experiences. Since poultry production is dominated by smallholder farmers in many of the countries where avian flu is endemic, the conference will also emphasize developing public policy and modeling solutions that consider how smallholders can be part of the solution to the avian flu problem.
So, during a break, I just gave them the printout of my blogs. It was an over the transom style of gift which I felt rather ashamed of even though I believe the basic ideas presented in them are sound. Funny times in the bathtub with the common cold, and A cure for the bird flu ! ?
I copied the phrase, When you are sick avoid sick birds!!! to the top and bottom of the document to emphasize what my paper was about. The conference was discussing ways to control bird flu in remote villages throughout the world and in training people to destroy their sick birds. That is a truly desperate thing for these very poor people in backward places to do because they use the birds themselves as an insurance policy against short term personal disasters. They can sell the chicken for more food calories in the form of grains than the chicken’s caloric worth if eaten directly. For them to destroy a chicken puts their own health at serious risk.
Actually, my suggestion was more doable by these remote people because they could probably avoid most contact with their birds without losing them. When you are sick avoid sick birds!!! may be the most valuable advice to give to these people because it would be more likely to be acted upon. It was emphasized that other diseases such as Newcastle disease were visibly killing their birds and the avian flu was quite rare by comparison and difficult to diagnose.