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Avian Flu Fears May be Exaggerated

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posted on Mar, 25 2006 @ 09:06 PM
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Recent studies have shown that unlike other forms of flu that readily infect humans, H5N1 likes to nestle in the lower part of the lungs, making infection more unlikely except in those who have long-term exposure to infected birds.


An international team of researchers, led by University of Wisconsin-Madison flu expert Yoshihiro Kawaoka, has identified the biological roadblock that prevents the avian influenza virus, H5N1, from transmitting easily between people.

Researchers familiar with the study, published today in the journal Nature, say the findings are "comforting" because they indicate that it may be difficult for the disease to become the deadly human pandemic many have feared.

[Researchers] discovered that only cells located in the deep, dark recesses of the human lower respiratory tract could bind to avian flu. Those in the upper respiratory tract, where human flus are carried, could not. He added that if people start to see H5N1 disease in wild North American birds, we should not only keep all domestic fowl indoors, but also pet cats, "because cats are easily infected and could pose a risk to humans."

www.msnbc.msn.com

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


I hope this is true and that the risk of human infection remains very low. Of course, as someone else has posted, TB may become what many have feared H5N1 would be.






[edit on 2006/3/26 by GradyPhilpott]




posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 01:42 PM
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Unlike other flu, H5N1 bird flu can enter via the gut - it is spread in water and infected meat from fish, and the animals that drink the water.

Also, if you review the WHO's figures on H5N1 cases and fatalities, you will see that the fatality rate jumped from 50% in the past to 91% this month with the new variant.

Looks like the current focus on "respiratory transmission" is misleading - just damage control.



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 01:49 PM
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As i stated in a similar thread about bird flu.. i still believe the virus may be fatal in the early stages but will generally fizzle out and become something similar to normal flu.

For a virus to survive (which is what most things intentionally do!) the virus will want to spread as much as possible. A dead 'carrier' wil also kill the virus.. something which contradicts the virus living in the first place. To actually survive the virus will have to become 'nicer' and be less harmful and thus keep the carrier alive and spread to other people far easier.

I will try and find a link from somewhere!!



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 01:53 PM
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Originally posted by Knights

i still believe the virus may be fatal in the early stages but will generally fizzle out and become something similar to normal flu. For a virus to survive (which is what most things intentionally do!) the virus will want to spread as much as possible. A dead 'carrier' wil also kill the virus.. something which contradicts the virus living in the first place. To actually survive the virus will have to become 'nicer' and be less harmful and thus keep the carrier alive and spread to other people far easier.




You're right - over the long term that's true.

BUT

The long term may be a while comin. H5N1 already has evolved from "low pathogenic" to "high pathogenic." ...It likely won't go back the other way until it runs out of hosts.

As I pointed out above - H5N1's fatality rate just jumped to 91% this month with the latest variant, from 50% in the past.




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