Page 2 Bird Flu
I don't think the problem with bird flu is the risk you get of infection from birds. In Asian countries where safety standards and screening practices are poor it has infected humans. But this is quite rare and unlikely, even if you work with poultry. And if it can only be transmitted this way it can be managed.
What scientists fear is if the deadly avian influenza mutates into a form that can easily transmit from human to human. Then it can take on pandemic proportions.
There is are two antivirals that can be used to treat avian flu, tamiflu and relenza, but just recently it was revealed that tamiflu may not be as effective as first thought.
And people in western countries have been in a frenzy to stockpile this drug which means the supply will never be able to cope with demand in the event it does become a pandemic.
One of the major side effects of all pandemics is the damage it inflicts on the economy and to the medical system. If the avian flu does take hold it will also increase the risk of people dying from other curable diseases simply because the medical system will not be able to cope with the load.
There is an excellent website with information on the avian flu.Avian Flu FAQs