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QUESTION: What if H5N1 Avian Flu mixes with H1N1?

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posted on May, 5 2009 @ 07:57 PM
Virologist: If that happens, I will retire immediately and lock myself in the in the P3 lab.

Fear is not what I want you to feel. I want you to see the possibilities of a world that may not be paying attention, the right amount of care to this issue.

HONG KONG—Yi Guan has plenty of experience at ground zero of an epidemic. In spring 2003, the virologist at Hong Kong University (HKU) isolated the SARS virus from masked palm civets in a wild animal market in China’s Guangdong Province. When the virus flared up again in late 2003, his team’s recommendation to slaughter all captive civets in the area may have been the key to stopping SARS in its tracks: The virus has not reemerged since.

Although SARS is his claim to fame, Guan has spent most of his career studying influenza after earning a Ph.D. in swine flu under eminent flu expert Robert Webster of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. He is currently collaborating with Webster’s group.

Guan has been highly critical of what he sees as WHO’s slow response to the H1N1 emergency. He took a break from marathon hours in the lab and 3 a.m. conference calls with U.S. colleagues to speak with ScienceInsider.

—Richard Stone
Q: Where did WHO go wrong?

Y.G.: Friday night [24 April], I was in Bombay airport, waiting for a flight back to Hong Kong. They [WHO and CDC] already knew the situation in Mexico. Mexico said they had human-to-human transmission, and MMWR [Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report] reported three cases in America—these cases were community cases. Already it was an outbreak in the U.S., although it wasn’t severe, it didn’t kill people. I was still optimistic we could contain H1N1. Then nothing happened all weekend.

Q: So WHO should have raised the alert level sooner?

Y.G.: Yes! WHO should have gone to level 4 or even level 5 on Friday.

We missed the golden period to contain the virus. Several hours could be another couple hundred cases. Every second was valuable at that time. We made a huge mistake. From then on it was countdown to the pandemic.

Q: Why have there been dozens of deaths in Mexico but mostly mild cases in other countries?

Y.G.: We still do not have the clues why this virus seems to be milder outside Mexico.

At the initial stage of reassortment, most influenza viruses have low fitness. Their genomes are composed of eight gene segments. The reassortment event forms a new family with eight members. You can say they can have a family conflict. This kind of conflict makes reassorted viruses behavior very weird.

Q: Is it surprising how quickly H1N1 adapted?

Y.G.: All viruses, after interspecies transmission, will evolve fast. But why this H1N1 could become successful at efficient human-to-human transmission is still unknown. We have a knowledge gap about how influenza A viruses build up their pandemicity in humans. As swine H1N1 has being circulating in pigs since 1918, it has accumulated [many] differences from human H1N1 virus. So, for human beings, it looks like a novel subtype, as most human individuals lack immunity to this swine-like H1N1. This is one of the most important conditions for pandemic emergence. Whether the novel virus will develop into a more virulent strain—just like the Spanish flu did in the fall of 1918 to kill more people—we still don't have any idea.

Q: It depends on further mutations?

Y.G.: It depends on mutations and whether the virus further reassorts with other viruses—like H5N1. That could be a super nightmare for the whole world.

Q: You’re talking about the Armageddon virus?

Y.G.: The chance is very, very low that these two viruses will mix together, but we cannot rule out the possibility. Now, H5N1 is in more than 60 countries. It’s a panzootic, present everywhere except North America.

For the complete interview go to:

[edit on 5/5/2009 by Mexican against NAU]

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 08:22 PM
I hope you all read this important information since nobody is being tested for the strain of flu, anymore, when they have symptoms.

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 08:27 PM
I don't know but, maybe the cure to cancer? your guess is as good as mine.

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 08:34 PM
I thought the H1N1 did have dna from avian flu. It is said to be a mix of swine, avian and human virus.

posted on May, 7 2009 @ 02:56 PM
Well this may shock a few people, but while the media and WHO are pushing H1N1 in our faces H5N1 has struck again in the background and it seems WHO are not giving many updates.

As you can see on that page it says

Of the 111 cases confirmed to date in Viet Nam, 56 have been fatal.

Now I see that as a very bad rate nearly half of them have died.....

posted on May, 7 2009 @ 06:48 PM
Known this for awhile, known this could be a major problem. People will just think its fear mongering because they have to much invested in everyday life. Its not convenient for them right now. Gotta love you some natural selection.

BTW h1n1 made it to Vietnam and is now spreading. That place might make for a good bioreactor. I think this has the real possibility of becoming a hybrid of h5n1 and h1n1 and coming back in the fall to do serious damage to the population.

But then again thats just fear mongering. Let people cover their ears and hum lalalala as long as they like. Suits me just fine.

[edit on 7-5-2009 by Memysabu]

posted on May, 7 2009 @ 09:43 PM
reply to post by Mexican against NAU

It all depends on the type of recombination. In the case of H1N1 & H5N1 = H15N11, I think you need to look at the emd to figure out the density value.

In the case of H5N1 & H1N1 = H51N11 recombination, you apply 5111 V (V for Virus) antidote.

posted on Sep, 4 2009 @ 03:58 AM
Im sure if the two combined then it would be very devistating for all of us, the effects of both are very bad!

posted on Sep, 4 2009 @ 08:45 AM
some information on potential interaction

posted on Sep, 4 2009 @ 09:30 AM

Audio: May 4 Jul13 Jul29 Aug20 twitter


Co-transmission of H5N1 with Pandemic H1N1 in Egypt? Recombinomics Commentary 18:16
September 2, 2009

A 35 year-old Italian tourist is one of three people believed to have been infected with A(H1N1) virus, or swine flu, as well as the H5N1 virus, known as avian flu. The patients are recovering in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada, said Mohammed Rifai, director general of preventive medicine.

Rifai also spoke of a 28-year-old man who tested positive for both viruses, after arriving at the port of Safaga after a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

"We are waiting the results of the tests that have already been carried out in some patients suspected of having been infected by the H5N1 and the A(H1N1)," said World Health Organisation spokesman Gregory Hartl in an interview with Adnkronos Salute.

The above comments raise concerns of co-infections of pandemic H1N1 and H5N1, as well as human to human co-transmission. This development would create serious pandemic concerns.

The ability of the pandemic H1N1 to infected multiple species has been demonstrated by the widespread outbreaks in swine. Outbreaks in Canada have been reported in three provinces (Alberta, Quebec, and Manitoba) as well as two locations in Argentina near Buenos Aires, as well as three locations in Australia, These swine infections demonstrate the ease of transmission from humans to swine, as well as swine to swine. Recent results in Chile also demonstrated transmission to turkeys, raising concerns that H1N1 could be silently transmitting to multiple mammalian and avian species.

The jump to avian raised concerns that the H1N1 could interact with H5N1, which is predominantly found in birds, including long range migratory birds. Recent data also demonstrated H5N1 in pikas at Qinghai Lake, which is a mammalian reservoir.

Results from Egypt also raised concerns of co-infections because of the large number of mild H5N1 cases and the concentration in children. The heavy concentration in children raised concerns of silent spread of H5N1 in adults, providing opportunities for co-infection, which could lead to the H1N1 "rescuing" H5N1 leading to co-transmissions.

The presence of both viruses in multiple individuals identified over a brief time period suggests the viruses are efficiently co-transmitting, which creates serious concerns due to co-infections, or exchanges of genetic information via reassortment or recombination. Mammalian polymorphisms have been noted in prior H5N1 isolates, and pandemic H1N1 has H5N1 polymorphisms, indicating exchanges via recombination have happened previously.

However- co-infection and co-transmission would significantly increase the frequency and efficiency of recombination, which would be serious cause for concerns.

Confirmation that these three patients have co-infections of H5N1 and H1N1 (or swine and seasonal H1N1) would be useful.

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