posted on Feb, 27 2004 @ 11:26 AM
While some scientists are trying to figure out how to make a vaccine for the H5N1 bird flu virus, others are attempting to make a strain of the virus
that can be spread from human to human.
If they succeed they will have created a virus that could kill tens of millions if it got out of the lab. Does this potential risk justify
experimenting with this virus?
We already know that the H5N1 bird flu virus ravaging poultry farms in Asia can be lethal on the rare occasions when it infects people. Now a team
is tinkering with its genes to see if it can turn into a strain capable of spreading from human to human. If they manage this, they will have created
a virus that could kill tens of millions if it got out of the lab.
Many researchers say experiments like this are needed to answer crucial questions. Why can a few animal flu viruses infect humans? What makes the
viruses deadly? And what changes, if any, would enable them to spread from person to person and cause pandemics that might prove far worse than that
of 1918? Once we know this, they argue, we will be better prepared for whatever nature throws at us.
Others disagree. It is not clear how much we can learn from such work, they argue. And they point out that it is already possible to create a vaccine
by other means. The work is simply too dangerous, they say.
It has been pointed out recently in another Above Top
Secret News Article
, that these facilities are often times poorly guarded. Also it is suspect that the West Nile Virus and Lyme disease were
introduced to America through laboratories doing investigation on the diseases. What control measures do these laboratories use to make sure the
viruses do not make it to the public? Even if terrorist do not gain access to these facilities, if a virus was to be accidentally released, it would
be impossible to recover and no amount of investigation could repair the damage done. Look at the
damage that small pox caused to the Americas when the Spanish were exploring the new
. Millions of Incas were reported to have died. Now, the CDC considers this disease extinct, and yet we keep stockpiles of it in
laboratories. The U.S. quit vaccinating for small pox in the early 1970s, and an accidental release and outbreak would be terrible, despite the amount
of vaccine available. How terrible would it be to release a manmade mutation of a disease that no one has a vaccination for?
[Edited on 27-2-2004 by Kano]
[Edited on 28-2-2004 by Zion Mainframe]