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Top Flu Expert Warns of Swine Flu-Bird Flu Mix

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posted on May, 9 2009 @ 09:32 PM

Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
Kind of gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "when pigs fly."


(Mods please penalize me for one liner...thanx)

posted on May, 9 2009 @ 09:56 PM
reply to post by rattan1

It looks like what we fear (or know) might happen, is already a topic at CDC and WHO- and being discussed as a fait accompli- if this happens, we are in even bigger trouble.
Another death- Costa Rica. When are people going to open their eyes and see what's really happening? Cases are sky-rocketing in the S. Hemisphere (as predicted), but also in the north, against all prior models of seasonal outbreaks of flu. Put on your seatbelts.....

posted on May, 9 2009 @ 10:37 PM
New name of H1N1

When pigs fly flu!

Seriously, why is the MSM not following this anymore? It is super important!

People will get lacksidaisal and then we are sunk!


posted on May, 9 2009 @ 11:01 PM

I hope this may ease your fears a little, it did mine. The CDC and the W.H.O. have been very aware of the lethality of the H5N1 virus since 2006. In fact the entire reason we have pandemic planning in place is because of Avian flu.

Now I like you, have been extremely fearful of this. Late one night while looking for something on the "new" flu, I stumbled across an interview by a brilliant scientist, who was responsible for tracking the exact point of origin, and eradicating SARS. He has been studying Influenza virus's for 20 years.

Exclusive: SARS Sleuth Tracks Swine Flu, Attacks WHO

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.

Q: If the nightmare comes true?

Y.G.: If that happens, I will retire immediately and lock myself in the P3 lab. H5N1 kills half the people it infects. Even if you inject yourself with a vaccine, it may be too late. Maybe in just a couple hours it takes your life.
Q: What have you learned from your work on H1N1 so far?

Y.G.: We almost figured out how H1N1 virus was generated—its evolutionary pathway. The virus has all the genetic markers that allow us to trace how and where it comes from. We have a huge tree [a family tree of influenza variants], a long history. My former supervisor here at HKU, Ken Shortridge, started flu surveillance in 1976. At each point where influenza virus changes, we made a record.

Q: Any truth to the speculation [in Chinese media] that the virus originated in China?

Y.G.: Actually, in this case, we cannot blame China. What’s interesting, the virus reassorted four or five times

Q: Is it surprising that you can have so much reassortment and still have a viable organism?

Y.G.: Yes, that’s right! Basically, we figured out where the virus originated, and we are writing a paper. But where and how this jumped into humans—that needs to be worked out in the U.S.

Q: What are some other major knowledge gaps?

Y.G.: Every year we meet many reassorted viruses, we don’t know which can jump to humans. Which one could become a pandemic? Nobody knows. We lack the knowledge to distinguish which virus has pandemic potential. This is a big limitation.

Many of us influenza researchers, we blame ourselves; if we have this knowledge, then we can get rid of pandemics in human beings. Life becomes very meaningful if you do something like that. SARS has been averted for 6 years. But I’ve been working 20 years on flu. I still don’t know which variant will cause a pandemic. I feel frustrated by this. In my lifetime, I won’t be able to solve this. Hopefully, my students will.

Q: Are you surprised there hasn’t been a SARS outbreak since 2003?

Y.G.: The ecosystem was disrupted. No more large amounts of wild animals in the market, just next to your door. It was like a big mixing vessel. Like a PCR [polymerase chain reaction] machine. Put the virus in and amplify it. That’s why my group has worked so hard to study the H5N1 ecosystem. We sample around 50,000 to 60,000 birds per year, about 200 per day. Like a factory. It’s very mechanical work, very dangerous work.

Q: Somebody has to do it.

Y.G.: Yes! How else can you compare an outbreak with peaceful times? This information will be vital to understand H1N1.


posted on May, 9 2009 @ 11:24 PM
Thank you. That interview was fascinating and informative. At least it is good to know that people are working on this!


posted on May, 9 2009 @ 11:38 PM
reply to post by FlyersFan

Flyers- The Coming Plague is one of the most important books I've read as an adult. If anyone reads Newsweek, the author of The Coming Plague, Laurie Garrett, wrote an insightful article in the 18 May edition.

The book clearly identifies all of the ecologies in which bugs can exploit us- everything from war to deforestation, encroaching on vector polulations, etc. Should be required reading for anyone above 12, IMHO.

posted on May, 9 2009 @ 11:46 PM
reply to post by soficrow

One of my closest friends is an anthropologist, specializing in certain indigenous cultures on Sulawesi (she spends more time there than here). She has told me that H5N1 is essentially endemic there, and there are deaths from it all the time, but they are unreported even to the Javanese government. For some reason (luck? god? who knows...) the strain kills only those in close contact with birds, and has not made the leap to H2H transmission- at least in the remote area of the island in which she works.
The point of my reply is that, like the current H1N1 (if that's what it actually is..), H5N1 is under-reported, and highly fatal when contracted. If, as the articles you and I both cited are correct, and someone with the current strain spends time in an area like Sulawesi, we won't need the PTB to make a cocktail of strains- nature will do it for us. My fear is that the original intent of all this (if it was done deliberately) is that there has been complete awareness of this risk all along, and we'll reap this fall what we have sown this spring.

posted on May, 9 2009 @ 11:51 PM
reply to post by MimiG

Mimi- the missing vials were reported to have contained VEE- Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis- I don't have a direct link but I think you can find it easily with a quick Google search. Reuters, AP, BBC and CNN all carried the story (briefly). If you can't find it, message me and I'll see if I have it cached. (Also, the VEE might have been a cover-up for influenza- we have no way of knowing the truth on that one- but VEE is terrible enough...)

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 12:39 AM
Could the VEE have been the one that killed all the horses in Florida (supposedly an overdose of minerals and vitamins)?

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 02:11 AM
reply to post by MimiG

I don't know, Mimi, but from everything I've read it seems they were on steroids and supplements that were contaminated- I could be very wrong, of course. I don't know if you're aware, but there also was an outbreak of meningitis in Florida recently (many have discussed it here- on other threads) that killed within something like 8 hours- that sounds like more of a direct link, if there is one. All of this is pure speculation on my part, of course.

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 05:11 AM
"The WHO still has found no evidence of community transmission of the swine flu virus outside North America, which would trigger the move from a pandemic phase 5 to phase 6, Sylvie Briand, a WHO influenza expert, told reporters today. Most new cases outside North America represent imported infections linked to travel or infections in travelers' close contacts. "-- from CIDRAP (still learning how to post external content- my apologies)

From the 8 May 2009 CIDRAP influenza update page:

I expect the next update will confirm transmission from Canadian infections to Japanese infections.

"A leading flu expert is worried that the swine flu virus could combine with the H5N1 avian flu virus to produce a new, highly contagious and lethal strain, the Associated Press (AP) reported today. "My great worry is that when this H1N1 virus gets into the epicenters for H5N1 in Indonesia, Egypt and China, we may have real problems," virologist Robert Webster told the AP. Malik Peiris, a flu expert at Hong Kong University, said the more immediate concern is that the swine flu virus could mix with regular flu viruses. [AP report] "--- again from the CIDRAP link. I will ask for help in inserting outside source material properly- thanks for your patience with me as I learn how to use the tools of the forum.--C
--again, from the same CIDRAP page, discussing the almost forgone conclusion of an H5N1 and H1N1 combination.

[edit on 10-5-2009 by CultureD]

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 11:27 PM

This is a very important topic. Thanks to all for your great contributions here.

posted on May, 11 2009 @ 06:01 AM
reply to post by soficrow

Soficrow- thank YOU for your research, input and guidance. I would like to make the most of my posts- correctly- and could use some advice. I've been to the tutorial aspects of the forum, but you obviously have this down pat- any advice for external quoting, etc., would be welcome, if you have the time or inclination.

Thank you for your supportive and informative comments and research.


posted on May, 13 2009 @ 10:10 PM
reply to post by CultureD

You're welcome - and thank you too.

As a background piece, check out this thread:

The Perfect Microbial Storm

[Be sure and scroll thru - lots of good info.]

posted on May, 14 2009 @ 04:39 AM
I hope this is the correct thread on which to post this. It is an 80+ page .pdf from CDC, describing a Planned Pandemic Preparedness program (PPP) in the event of an H5N1 (avian) influenza outbreak. While it deals primarily with avian flu (without reassortment, as we see now), and as it was compiled in 2007, I felt it was critical to share.

Without boring people with a repition without analysis (I'm tired!) I decided to post it, allow people to read it, and then we can discuss it as a group, and as poeple show interest in the contents.

Briefly, the document describes world preparedness for a lethal flu outbreak; the measures that need to be taken at each level established by WHO; the possibility of containment of the microbe or infected people; demographics who should receive a "vaccine" first; the analysis of how morbidity and mortality rates would effect social structures both in the US and in other areas of the globe (i.e., economic responses) and a lot of executive control of populations if as many contract the flu as are excpected to do.
As well, it discuses the possibility of dealing with "refugees", "internment camps" and other events that uniformillay strip us of any civil liberties. It's informative, critically important, and I urge all to read it- to prepare themselves for the possibility of a very different world in the next 6-9 months. As well, it convinces me further that a flu outbreak has been planned for, scenarios studied, and a strategem made standard operating procedure in the event it occurs.
Again- apologies for the length of the .pdf, but it's worth a read- if for no other reason than forewarned is forarmed.

posted on May, 14 2009 @ 04:41 AM
reply to post by soficrow

I will look through everything over the next day or so. Thank you so much- and thanks for making me feel welcome on the forum. These conversations convince me that I am surrounded by educated, like-minded thinkers- I just didn't know where to find them until recently.

Cheers and be well

posted on May, 15 2009 @ 05:09 PM
reply to post by CultureD

I would have flagged and triple starred this post if I could have done.

You're right - it needs to be read.

posted on May, 15 2009 @ 05:15 PM

Originally posted by CultureD

These conversations convince me that I am surrounded by educated, like-minded thinkers- I just didn't know where to find them until recently.


Cheers to you too. ...and thanks.

Great work btw.

Meet you at a post about RNA.

[edit on 15-5-2009 by soficrow]

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