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Scientists Engineer Deadly Bird Flu (H5N1), Say It Could Cause a Global Pandemic

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[ Science]

The results of a controversial scientific study was published yesterday outlining the dangers of a potential H5N1 outbreak.

The virus in its current form cannot easily be spread amongst humans in its current form because it cannot travel through the air. So the reason for the study was to find out what changes in the H5N1 virus were necessary for it to become airborne and spread rapidly amongst humans. They genetically modified the virus to do just that, and found that it only required mutations in five locations for a contagious strain to emerge.

The scientific team that made the discovery was lead by Ron Fauchier at the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, who infected ferrets (ferrets can catch the same flu that humans do) with the virus that contained three engineered mutations. They found that once infected the virus underwent two additional mutations on its own and soon became airborne.

Only 600 humans are known to have caught H5N1 in the last decade, but more than half died from it.

Critics of this kind or research worry about inadvertent contamination or the possibility of a rogue scientist using it to create a biological weapon. Proponents believe genetic engineering is necessary to insure countermeasures are in place should an outbreak occur.

[source: New York Times]

Scientists Engineer Deadly Bird Flu (H5N1), Say It Could Cause a Global Pandemic
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  • http://www.thewif.org.uk Dr David Hill – World Innovation Foundation

    A Drug Cure will always come too late to save Humanity

    In 1997 the pandemic was stopped in its tracks in Hong Kong. The system adopted was not reliant upon a drug cure but that prevention was better than cure. It worked and Ken Shortridge who devised the strategy was given the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize in medicine, The Prince Mahidol Award. By doing this Prof. Shortridge stopped a bird flu pandemic starting and which had the propensity to kill millions (the only one ever to do so and prevent the deaths of incalculable numbers). The premise was, ‘don’t let it start in the first place’.

    Why has the establishment therefore forgotten the first dictum of medical health that ‘prevention is better than cure’?

    http://avian-influenza.cirad.fr/content/download/1931/11789/file/Kennedy-F-Shortridge.pdf

    And why have those who are advocating a drug cure not taken on-board this system that has worked? This question is postulated because the Swine Flu pandemic showed that with reference to the Spanish Flu in 1918 which took up to 100 million lives, that a cure would come too late. In this respect it was not until 7 months 1 week that a vaccine was created and then it had to be manufactured and thereafter distributed to the masses (a logistics nightmare). In the second wave of the Spanish Flu, after the virus had mutated again into a human-to-human killer, it did its worst between week 16 and week 26, some 1 month 1 week before a cure was found for the Swine Flu pandemic.
    Therefore whatever way we look at it a drug vaccine will come too late to save us, no matter who you are from the president of the United States downwards. Fact not fiction.

    Margaret Chan, Director-General of the WHO says that it is only a matter of time not when the killer virus will emerge – may be next week, next month, next year or whenever; but it will happen sometime and such a pandemic according to pandemic researchers is overdue. Therefore we are living on borrowed time and we have to adopt Prof. Shortridge’s strategy for the good of all humanity.

    Dr David Hill
    Chief Executive
    World Innovation Foundation

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