After warning Americans about the imminent bird flu pandemic, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt has gone one step further and warned of a mercury poisoning epidemic that is expected to follow shortly thereafter.
Mr Leavitt, correctly recognizing that Americans needed to be educated about safety precautions to follow while battling out a full fledged onslaught of the dreaded bird flu virus, recently encouraged Americans to store extra cans of tuna under their beds that would act as emergency rations. Mr Leavitt's advice was, "When you go to the store and buy three cans of tuna fish, buy a fourth and put it under the bed." Tuna, which is a food high in protein, omega 3 fatty acids and toxic mercury, is expected to cause a widespread epidemic of mercury poisoning after its indiscriminate consumption during the bird flu pandemic.
Seafood has recently been discovered to contain increasingly deleterious levels of mercury, tunafish, which the EPA has warned not to consume more than twice a week, being one of the worst offenders. Mercury that is belched into the atmosphere due to coal power plants then returns to the oceans through precipitation and dry deposit, where it is devoured greedily by irresponsible residents of the deep. Although the Bush administration has done more to reduce the amount of mercury being emitted into the atmosphere by removing all governmental regulations that would require power plant companies to do so, consumption of seafood more than twice a week still poses significant health risks, especially for pregnant women.
Mercury poisoning symptoms include increasingly nervous and irrational behavior, ultimately leading to dementia and zombification where the desire to feed on human brains overcomes every other natural urge. However, in spite of the health risks associated with its consumption, tuna would still remain Americans' only food source in case of a bird flu pandemic, chicken and beef being contaminated with the virus and vegetables not being delicious enough for an emergency.
HHS Secretary Leavitt has advised Americans to ride out the imminent mercury poisoned zombie epidemic in their own basements by keeping an extra shotgun under their beds close to the cans of tuna. In an emergency, the shotgun could also be used on one's own self in case the advent of self-zombification were to be detected in time.
In other news, the hugely publicized Operation "Swat Iraqi Farmer", or as it was known in the mainstream media, Operation Swarmer, was a complete success after American soldiers managed to get over their disappointment at failing to catch a single insurgent leader or having to fire a single shot by sampling native Iraqi delicacies such as freshly baked bread.