Annandale Md -- Scientists at Tyson Foods, Butterball, and the Food and Drug Administration swear the rumor's not true: That one can contract the H5N1 bird flu pandemic from Thanksgiving turkey. Even well cooked, flu virus spread by ingesting a dead bird is "Next to Impossible" according to scientists. Even so ham, leg of lamb, and roast beef are winning at the dinnertable this Thanksgiving.
Turkey, which contains large amounts of the chemical tryptophane, is the prime ingredient in sandwiches made the day after Thanksgiving, which perhaps explains why falling asleep during yet another footbal playoff game occurs so frequently. But nodding off isn't an indication of bird flu, say researchers. "It's mostly overeating, when blood rushes to the stomach to aid digestion. The brain is left with little more than life support."
A pandemic, codeword for a "bad epidemic" of bird flu spread by infected turkeys is highly improbable says the Department of Agriculture. The bird flu must jump species, from birds, to swine, typically, before it can become infectious to humans. "You can eat all the crow you need to, humbling yourself both metaphorically and in reality, and not get infected. What we're worried about is if the bug mutates so that it can be spread from human to human by coughing, and hand contact."
Most cases of the bird flu have been among animal handlers in developing nations, where piggies and waterfowl are raised in close proximity. A human-to-human transmissible virus is a serious worry, but apparently hasn't happened yet. But the H5N1 strain gets stronger every year it strikes, and the mutation is "all but inevitable" according to Sesame Street Character "Big Bird," who now fears for his life.
Grocers contacted confirmed that frozen turkeys aren't moving, and huge tractor-trailer loads may have to be unloaded on the victims of Hurricane Wilma, and anyone else too poor to choose not to eat them. According to United Grocery Workers spokesperson Stephen Flock, "Grocery workers hate handling those frozen things. Even with gloves you get frostbite. This year's going to provide a little relief, we hope."
The US government, by way of the FDA and DoA, have refused to deny that "half the nation could get infected with the bird flu pandemic by eating Thanksgiving Turkey," following the Bond advice of "Never Say Never." It's amzainglyl improbably, they admit, but not impossible, just like getting hit by lightning or pigs learning to fly.
Meanwhile, frozen turkey prices continue to fall in the runup to this uniquely American over-eating contest.