Sunday, November 19, 2006

November 18 Flu Update

Believe it or not....Australia's Chief Medical Officer says that a bird flu epidemic might already have been averted.

ProMed on the recent report that a wild bird in Greece had bird flu.

Recombinomics says that use of chicken eggs to test for H5N1 may be contributing to false negatives.

People say Indonesia doesn't vaccinate they say they have vaccinated 100 million birds.

Serbia has begun its bird flu program.

Canada says that it is worried about "Crown Corporations" and whether they have continuity programs for bird flu.


At 11:21 AM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


As Australia's chief medical officer, John Horvath points out, the world may indeed have averted a pandemic by performing humongous poultry culls and containment through isolation. I generally agree with this, but only because we have bought time by doing this. The facts are still the same however and have not changed: new strains of influenza, like H5N1, get their start almost always in Asia, where chickens, pigs and human's and all kinds of other animals function as a gigantic mixing bowl. Because of the inate cleverness of all influenza viruses, they are constantly mutating through reassortment and recombination, which gives them the ability to swap genetic information and mutate on their own. While culling and vaccination of birds may slow down this process in asis, it will not stop it. This process speeds on daily and we are reminded of it by the reports in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The modern world has never seen a virus as deadly and pervasive as H5N1, only in 1918 was a similar deadly virus observed (50% mortality). Eventually the odds are that H5N1 virus will emerge H2H, through randomness, or by assimilation of material from a prevalent human flu virus. The result will a influenza contagion that our bodies will not recognize and it will have started. Simply history proves this.

How long we can dodge this bullet is anybody's guess. So far, luckily enough, the H5N1 has only been shooting blanks. Sooner or later though, our luck will run out and Crowns and utilities will be the least of our worries.


At 9:38 PM, Blogger Orange said...

I don't know if we really averted a pandemic. I don't know if you CAN avert a pandemic. The virus has not mutated yet, and that seems to me to be as much fortune as it is result.

At 10:03 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I know what you mean exactly. It simply might be a stroke of good fortune it hasn't occurred yet. My own opinion is - it is going to happen though, given the historical perspective of (1918), plus the predictable cycles of pandemics, and the mutative behavior of H5N1 to date. Birds seem to be the natural mobile conveyors of avian flu (natures best), and they are found in every continent on earth. The impossible thing to predict is where and when the one final critical gene mutation takes places. It could happen anyplace in the entire world.



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