posted on Apr, 10 2007 @ 09:02 PM
Check this out:
Bird Flu Mutation Risk
The deadly H5N1 form of the bird flu virus is rapidly mutating and the world must be on guard even though the disease has yet to be transmitted
between humans, experts told a meeting in Beijing, Chinese media said on Tuesday.
The closed door conference, attended by experts from the Chinese and U.S. centers for disease control and the World Health Organization among others,
opened on Monday, the official newspaper of the Chinese Health Ministry reported.
“The experts said that despite there being no evidence yet of human-to-human transmission of bird flu, the highly pathogenic H5N1 form of the virus
is continuing to rapidly mutate, and human infections keep happening,“ the Health News reported.
“H5N1 is a virus that has the potential for mass transmission, and people cannot slacken off in their control efforts,“ it added in a front-page
According to Reuters, the report provided no other details, except that the meeting will discuss bird flu vaccines.
The virus has killed 164 people since 2003, according to the WHO.
“These might not be large numbers but we cannot let that lull us into a false security,“ Henk Bekedam, the WHO’s representative in China, said
in a speech at the meeting, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters on Tuesday.
“Right now, a growing public health challenge is overcoming effects of ’bird flu fatigue’,“ he said.
“Just because an avian influenza pandemic has not hit, or because there is lower media coverage at times, does not mean the very real and ongoing
threat of one has gone away,“ Bekedam added.
“Right now, the H5N1 virus does not transfer easily from animals to humans or from humans to humans. But that could change at any moment and we must
prepare for that possibility.“
The H5N1 virus remains mainly a virus of birds, but experts fear it could change into a form easily transmitted from person to person and sweep the
world, killing millions within weeks or months.
So far, most human cases can be traced to direct or indirect contact with infected birds.
China has not reported a poultry outbreak since September 20 last year, though earlier this month the health ministry confirmed a man in the eastern
province of Anhui had contracted bird flu but subsequently recovered.
I'll get the link soon, i 4got to copy it lol