Bird flu vs. bird disease

OK, here in Germany there is this daily TV show called ‘TV Total’, its host is Stefan Raab. On Wednesday or Thursday this week there was the British pop group Coldplay in Raab’s show. Raab asked the band if bird disease had spread to the UK and they started laughing, explaining that in English this disease is called bird flu not bird disease. Then Raab asked why the Coldplay guys would be laughing and they told him that bird disease refers to a women’s venereal disease. I looked the term up on the Internet and found this definition:

a respiratory disease of chickens and turkeys, caused by bacteria.

I’ve also noticed that on CNN and BBC everyone talks about bird flu and not bird disease. So is there a difference between bird flu and bird disease and what were the Coldplay guys talking about in Raab’s TV show?

Thank you for shedding some light on this bird question.

I don’t think that ‘bird disease’ automatically means a female venereal disease, Frank. The Coldplay guys were just punning on the word bird, which is indeed BrE slang for ‘young woman’. Because the term ‘bird disease’ is not the usual one, it sprung to their minds that it could be the name of a social disease, so they made the joke.

CNN and BBC use ‘bird flu’, not ‘bird disease’, only because the former is the name for it and the latter is not.