Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Two major events in Ouaga this week: one is lovely and the other is not so nice. The lovely event was the arrival today of our pal Mary Lynn. She is an intrepid world traveller and has just blown in from an exciting camping adventure in the mountainous desert of northern Niger. She'll no doubt be the subject of a few blogs during her week here with us.
Now- the not so nice event is revealed: H5N1 (the Bird Flu) has officially arrived in Burkina Faso, 6 miles outside of Ouagadougou.
Actually, I call it "Mad Chicken disease" to get my kids to laugh.
There are 32 million chickens in this country and I feel sorry for them. They already have a hard life- just check out the photo up on top there. Those are live chickens catching a ride to market. Also check out the fellow clinging to the back of the van. The people here don't have it so good, either.
I don't know how it's going to be handled. The resources here are already so stretched. The meningitis epidemic this year has already killed 750 people- that's twice as many as died at this time last year.
The US Embassy is doing a Town Hall Meeting for all US citizens on the 11th. It should be interesting to hear what they have to say. We had already been warned by email to keep a one to two month supply of food and water on hand in case of a complete quarantine. It seems very unlikely it would ever come to that here. The only African human fatalties have been up in Egypt. But I have to admit I have laid in a months' supply of non-perishables..........