The first person thought to have developed the H5N1 avian flu - patient zero - was a young boy named Captain who lived in a small village in northern Thailand where he helped his grandfather care for their family's chickens. That year, a number of chickens had died and Captain wanted to help out with the tasks and he carried some of the sick chickens during the outbreak that they had. A few days later, he came down with quite a severe mysterious illness and sadly died. He was the first death the world had from H5N1.
Air traffic maps are demonstrating incredible connections — airlines and boats are moving humans and animals around the globe ever increasing numbers and complexity. The features of globalization have huge consequences on pandemics. As a consequence, every one of these viruses that passes from animals to humans has the capacity to infect mankind quite rapidly. Like in the case of HIV, which jumped from chimpanzees to humans. In Central Africa, where Wolfe has worked for over a decade, hundreds of thousands people still hunt and consume tropical wild game, called bush meat. The practice has allowed viruses like HIV to leap from wild animals to humans — and then spread rapidly across populations. There's no reason why other viruses in that same class won't have the capacity to leap to humans.