Written by John Butler
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Topics: Birds, Virus

Thursday, 31 March 2005

image for Thousands Of Birds Infected With Nasty Strain Of "Human Flu"
One of the many Thai birds in danger of catching "human flu"

The international veterninary council has been placed on red alert after it was revealed thousands of birds in South East Asia have recently been infected with a virus known as Homo Sapian or "Human" flu. The flu has spread rapidly throughout Northern Thailand across the region between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai close to the border of Laos and has also reached parts of Vietnam. Concerned bird experts are predicting the flu could spread much further possibly even spanning into the heartland of China. The flu has so far brought about no fatalities but has left thousands of birds at home sick in their nests, complaining irately about heavy bouts of sneezing, weak wings, fever, shivering, runny beaks and a heavy discharge of phlegm.

"hundreds of birds sneezing sporadically"

Veterenarians believe that the virus originated somewhere in North Vietnam when a careless human accidently sneezed on his pet budgie. Ironically at that very moment the careless human remarked humourously, "ho ho I hope you don't catch a cold too, now Molly (the name of his budgie). Little did he know how grimly prophetic those jokey words would turn out to be as a day later Molly somehow escaped and within two hours, the sound of hundreds of birds sneezing sporadically began to echo around the region. The careless human was unavailable for comment.

Zhong Li, an internationally acclaimed bird vet with a funny moustache, explained, "Once the bird escaped the situation became hopeless. All birds have an intrinsic migratory and collective nature so the germ-ridden budgie was bound to join a flock of hapless wandering birds. Proximity to the infected budgie would have accelerated the spreading of germs, and, of course, once this occurs, the virus was bound to spread exponentially. If you can picture it, just imagine a group of forty humans jammed together on a small little plane where one or two have very contagious flu-like symptoms. Before too long everybody on the small little plane will also display those symtoms".

He then revealed that the funny moustache he was wearing was a fake and peeled it right off much to the amusement of journalists who had attended the press conference. One journalist laughed so hard he dropped his dictaphone.

Another journalist then inquired what had possessed him to wear a fake moustache to which Zhong Li replied, "I believe there is comedy behind every tragedy and this human flu that has struck birds is truly a tragedy".

Avian medical authorities in the region have been bemoaning the lack of facilities to prevent the spread of the nasty albeit undeadly virus.

"Many if not all nests lack the basic facilities to combat human flu", Indian bird biologist, Hangman Zhucasia lamented.

"The stuff we take for granted… … most birds can only dream of"

He added, "The stuff we humans take for granted such as electric blankets, comfortable mattresses, Lemsip, Actifed, Benylin, heck, even the odd antibiotic, most if not all birds can only dream of. As we humans all know, sleep is a vital and essential ingredient in both curtailing and overcoming homo sapian flu. How are these birds expected to sleep and keep warm in these tiny little nests with no rooves? I mean for the love of God, have you ever seen one of these nests?! They're pathetic little twiggy things with zero insulation- they might as well try sleep on a branch, you'd get the same amount of shelter and it'd save them the hassle of building those crummy little pieces of crap they call their home. And to make matters worse, if a bird actually does manage to get to sleep it's constantly disturbed by the insensitive cooing of cuckoos and pecking of woodpeckers. They're fighting a losing battle".


"I'd wager that right now, hundreds if not thousands of birds are at home shivering in their nests trying their best to recuperate, futilely rubbing their frail wings together in a rather pathetic attempt to create a nice warming friction".

On a brighter note, yesterday wildlife authorities happily confirmed that a small community of circus Ostriches in Vietnam had escaped unharmed cleverly opting to bury their head in the sand and hence avoiding infection as the endemic birds flew about above them machine gunning germs with reckless abandon through their irrepressible surges of sneezing.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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