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Just a matter of time before swineflu becomes a supervirus

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posted on Apr, 27 2009 @ 08:17 AM
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Just a matter of time before H1N1 A - swineflu, will "merge" with H5N1 A - birdflu, for then to become a new supervirus.

A worst case scenario for human kind within pandemics...




posted on Apr, 27 2009 @ 08:58 AM
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I saw on the news that this swine flu is already merged with a bird flu--a human one too. On CNN International, they reported that the wHO already is calling this a supervirus because there is no vaccine for this particular bug and it will take months for one to be made.



posted on Apr, 27 2009 @ 09:33 AM
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Yup, now we have manbirdflu to deal with.. not good!



posted on Apr, 27 2009 @ 12:14 PM
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If this becomes a man-bear-pig virus WE ARE ALL DOOMED!!!!

No, seriously. My wife works CVICU at a magnet hospital, the docs, infection control folks, and the nurses are all buzzing. Some of my old EMS/Fire buddies are real nervous too.

Me, I am more concerned about what sociological and economic impacts will be rather than the disease itself.



posted on Apr, 27 2009 @ 12:35 PM
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reply to post by traderjack
 


Dead-on trader. I did my undergraduate work in epidemiology. There are so many 'pseudo-microbiologists' pontificating it would be funny if it wasn't so serious. The likelihood is that this will fizzle-out in a week or two. But overreaction could make it worse than it needs to be. Yes, we need to take precautions but we don't need to freak-out over this.

The larger problem is that we have yet another combinant floating about. And unlike H5N1 this one was both the proven virulence and the human-to-human capability that makes it a real threat. Now that it is in the population it runs the risk of coming back at us later on even more virulent and with a higher mortality rate. This is serious. Or in the least, a scary potential precursor.

And as for the OP topic. What exactly is a 'super-virus'? Is that a new made-for-TV term?



[edit on 27-4-2009 by jtma508]



posted on Apr, 27 2009 @ 12:59 PM
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reply to post by noroman
 


Look, viruses don't "merge." They may exchange genetics in hosts conducive to such a crossover, but it would appear that the current H1N1 strain (AKA Swine Flu) has already done so with respect to the H5N1 strain (AKA Avian Flu) since it already has genetic markers associated with that strain. In other words, the current strain does not require further genetic exchange with the bird flu to increase its human transmissibilty.

A new hybridization between H1N1 and H5N1 could happen, but we wouldn't realize it until a new outbreak occurred, likely with different symptomology and pathology. In other words, to the extent that these two strains could form a "supervirus," it would happen sometime in the future, not now.

This is because it would take some time for the current H1N1 strain to interact with another H5N1 strain, exchange genetics, create a new hybrid strain, and then propagate that strain through infectious outbreak. One hopes that general awareness and containment efforts will help mitigate such a possibility (though obviously I have my doubts, particularly if this thing seems to go away).

What we do need to be worried about, however, is the current strain's potential for mutation, which would not require hybridization with another strain, but which nevertheless could be devastating.

At the same time, it's worth noting that genetic mutations are random in nature. That means that probabilistically, any given mutation has at least as much of a chance of decreasing human virulence and lethality as it does increasing those characteristics.

Cold comfort, I agree. After all, viruses are prolific replicators, and every generation of new virus that is created has the chance to mutate, which means that the question of when a super-lethal mutation crops up is really just a numbers game.



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