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Bird Flu Expert - 'We're screwed.'

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posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 07:42 AM

Originally posted by jtma508

Originally posted by gman55
Unfortunately, the flu vaccine they are working on was from samples taken and cultured from the 2003-2004 outbreak. Althought it will help somewhat, the variant of H5N1 now circulating is different than the older one and will in all probability undergo futher antigenic drift.

Not true anymore, GMan. They recently received H5N1 samples.

True, but what variant? Northern Vietnam, Southern? Both of these have different cleavable hemagglutinin sites, which allow for more changes to occure. H5N1 is VERY rich in these cleavage sites which make it very hard to predict new novel subtypes. Then there is the Chinese variant and maybe another novel subtype in Cambodia etc... It also takes months to develop vaccines and then produce and distribute it. Which version would we produce?

We really don't have much info on H5N1 because very few autopsies have been performed. Of the one done on the 6 year old from Thailand we found out (suprise) that viral replication was taking place deep in the lungs and lower GI tract. He presented with non-flu like symptoms!

So...we need more info!

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