The H5N1 Influenza

Is a pandemic brewing now from H5N1 flu?
We’ve watched what it’s been doing many years; it isn’t new.
It’s jumped from birds to cattle, so could humankind be next?
To understand this battle, let’s consult Charles Darwin’s text.

Mutation and selection are laws of biology,
No foreordained direction, so forget theology.
We’re watching evolution, in the H5N1 genes.
The host range distribution will show us what each change means.

Could Darwin’s variation give the bug a new food source?
Could any new mutation? Sadly, we must say, “Of course.”
To help immune resistance, we can make a new vaccine,
But viral gene resistance, in response, will soon be seen.

H5N1’s endemic in bird flocks and bovine herds.
Could a new flu pandemic jump to humans from the birds?
Researchers still are working; they predict the risk is low,
But anti-vaxxers, lurking, always make risks worse, we know.

So, read your morning papers; pay attention to the news.
Keep track of viral capers; new mutations bring the blues.
Then pray the vaccinators can make us a good vaccine.
And don’t let science haters tell you: “You should drink chlorine.”

The H5N1 virus is mutating day by day.
Which means it might acquire us as a new host, I daresay.
Rely on information published by our scientists,
Not on misinformation from the Trumpist fabulists.