Friday, June 16, 2006

Bird Flu Dance Sweeps through African Nation: Might Reach Epidemic Proportions

A local deejay is attempting to lighten the mood after the arrival of the deadly H5N1 strain of avian influenza in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in early May. Twenty-one-year-old DJ Lewis has invented a wacky bird flu dance that is sweeping nightclubs in the West African country's major city of Abidjan.

The infectious craze has hundreds of people shaking, flapping their arms, and clucking on the dance floor—an imitation of chickens' death throes when they are culled to stop the virus from spreading.

"I created the dance to bring happiness to the hearts of Africans and to chase away fear—the fear of eating chicken," Lewis told the BBC. "If we kill all our chickens and poultry, our cousins in the village will become poor. So I created the bird flu dance to put joy back into our hearts."


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