The Bird Flu Bloggers
Everyone’s talking about bird flu, and some excellent blogs have emerged specifically to cover the topic. Here’s a rundown of the best of them.
Essentially, they break down into two broad types. Firstly, there are those run by specialists, such as doctors or public health officials. These tend to be heavy on commentary, and are often excellent places to learn the implications of what’s happening.
The other kind, like my own website, tend to be run by writers or other keen bloggers, and usually have a focus on presenting the news as it happens (and there’s lots of it) with brief commentary on what it means.
Among the specialists, my favorite is Effect Measure, written by “senior public health scientists and practitioners. Their names would be immediately recognizable to many in the public health community. They prefer to keep their online and public lives separate to allow maximum freedom of expression.”
Yes, they do enjoy freedom of expression. This is a punchy blog (note that it covers more than bird flu, but recent posts have been mainly on this topic), with lengthy (by blog standards) and highly opinionated commentary on bird flu trends. A brief example:
China says it will shut its borders to keep human bird flu in, while most other countries are making plans to keep bird flu out. Nice ideas. Neither will likely work.
Leland Teng is a Seattle doctor. He has started his excellent website, Pharmaviews.com, as a public service, to alert the public to bird flu trends. The blog – breaking news and highly pertinent comment - is just one part of it. For example, there is also a Quackery page, with “Bird Flu Products of No Use: (don't buy these!).”
Another interesting specialist blog is Biopeer, which describes itself as “a bold new experiment to create the world’s largest independent life sciences community of discovery.”
Among the non-specialists, my favorite is H5N1, written by writer and teacher Crawford Kilian (who runs nine other blogs). He’s a linker and a thinker. He presents the latest news, and has the knowledge to put it into perspective. He also provides commentary, sometimes amusing.
Avian Flu – What We Need to Know also does a good job of keeping readers up-to-date with bird flu developments.
A “complete” list (as complete as I can make it) of bird flu blogs is here.
October 27th, 2005