During the first hour, Dr. Marc Siegel(1) provided an update and his commentary on the bird flu scare. Siegel said the current strain is several mutations away from being able to harm people. Humans are protected from the virus by a "species barrier," he explained, humorously suggesting that chickens are dangerous to us only if they are not cooked properly. According to Siegel, the real epidemic is fear, not the flu.
Most people have nothing to worry about and do not need to get flu shots, he said, pointing out that flu vaccines are meant to protect high risk groups, such as the elderly, from infection. Siegel said flu shots are "valuable but not a life saving issue" since people don't actually die of the flu -- they die of secondary infections. He recommended that people in high risk groups consider getting a pneumonia shot instead.