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November 18, 2006

Bird Flu Still A Threat

-- by Dave Johnson

Luckily we made it through last year's flu season without bird flu mutating into a form that can spread easily among humans. This bought us a year to study the disease. But it's still out there and the season is beginning, and people are still catching it from direct contact with infected birds. More than half of the people who are reported with this disease are dying. So if it does mutate into a human-contagious it will be a disaster.

Indonesia reports two more human bird flu cases,

Indonesia has confirmed two new human cases of bird flu, with both victims alive and being treated in a Jakarta hospital, a health ministry official said on Monday.

Confirmation came from two tests, Dr. Muhammad Nadhirin, from the ministry's national bird flu centre, told Reuters.

"The position is 74 cases, 55 of whom have died," he said.

The boy died, Indonesia: Bird flu kills 2-year-old

There are vaccines in testing now. Let's hope they are effective.

Posted by Dave Johnson at November 18, 2006 4:57 PM

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Comments

We're lucky so far. I've heard that they're well on the way to having an effective vaccine. That could not only prevent a pandemic, but could be used by all those people who live where there are infected birds, too.

This would not necessarily be a disaster, anyway. That would depend on whether the virus mutates into a form which spreads easily from person to person, the way the forms of flu for which we now have vaccines do. It's just as likely, if not more likely, to mutate into a form that can sometimes be spread between humans but isn't all that likely to. You have to keep in mind that there's a tendency these days to scare the shit out of us about everything. Do you remember the swine flu? That was supposed to become a pandemic, that, too, was all over the news, and it never happened. There's still a vaccine for it stashed away somewhere. Fred Davenport developed it, and I worked down the hall from him.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 18, 2006 5:48 PM

There's too many fuckin' people in the world anyway.

Posted by: The Cosmic Fluke [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 19, 2006 5:04 AM

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