posted on Jan, 25 2005 @ 10:03 PM
The highly pathogenic Avian Flu is now able to be passed from human to human as documented in the case of a Thai family. This development gives rise
to the concern that the flu, originally only present in birds, may become widespread and threaten many human populations.
Scientists have reported the first case of avian flu passing from person to person and causing severe illness, though not through casual contact. The
case, reported yesterday by the New England Journal of Medicine, occurred last fall in Thailand, where an 11-year-old girl who caught the virus from
infected chickens apparently transmitted the disease to her mother and an aunt who was caring for the girl. The girl and her mother died, while the
aunt survived a severe bout of the illness.
Investigators say the cases demonstrate that the flu may be developing the ability to threaten human populations. "What this tells us, clearly, is
that we are likely to see additional fatal human cases and additional clusters because the [avian flu] virus remains actively circulating in Asia,"
said Nancy J. Cox of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Avian flu, so named because it travels among chickens and other
birds, is a particularly worrisome strain because it kills about three-quarters of the people it infects, compared to the human version, which has a
mortality rate of less than 1 percent.
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I'm worried that this might become the next Spanish Flu, which killed between 30 to 40 million people in 1918. Taking into consideration the fact
that it's very pathogenic and kills 75% of those infected, it seems plausible that it will wreak havoc on large populations of people living in areas
with inadequate medical facilities, much like those places in Asia in which it originated.
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[edit on 26-1-2005 by TrickmastertricK]