While some anti-meat activists like the Humane Society of the U.S.’s Michael Greger are connecting our current concerns about bird flu with the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, it’s simply not true that we are more vulnerable to an outbreak now than we were then (“Could next outbreak rival 1918 flu?” Nov. 26).

We’ve seen tremendous improvements in our ability to control disease over the last century. We have more effective quarantines, excellent long-distance communication, and safe and affordable international transportation. The field of virology ­ an area of scientific inquiry that teaches how and why such outbreaks happen ­ was virtually nonexistent in the early 20th century.

And British researchers recently discovered that a widely available hand spray can kill the bird flu bug in less than 30 seconds. Anyone claiming that the current bird flu strain is anywhere near as dangerous as the 1918 outbreak is unnecessarily panicking the American people.