[Image: Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year, another cover of which pleads: Lord, have mercy on London…].
Is Trafalgar Square doomed to become an avian flu hotspot? New Scientist implies as much in a short piece published last week: “Pigeons could carry H5N1 bird flu into city centres,” we read, “increasing the chances of humans being exposed to the virus.”
But does this tiny factoid mean anything at all – let alone that public squares all over the world will soon act as disease vectors for bird flu’s apparently impending sweep through the human genome?
If it does mean something, and if pigeons are a major risk for spreading influenza, will we first hear reports of human-human infection coming from hospitals in central London? Again, if so, will the pigeons of Trafalgar Square be to blame? And do infected pigeons mean that Venice’s Piazza San Marco is also a European vector for the disease?
Or am I just giving away the plot for BLDGBLOG’s first feature film…?