The world is unprepared for a massive virus outbreak, the deputy chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned Tuesday, amid fears that H7N9 bird flu striking China could morph into a form that spreads easily among people.
"Even though work has been done since that time, the world is not ready for a large, severe outbreak," Fukuda said. Rapid-reaction systems were crucial, given that health authorities' efforts are already hampered by lack of knowledge about such diseases, he insisted.
"When people get hit with an emerging disease, you can't just go to a book and know what to do," he said.
According to the latest official data, H7N9 avian influenza has infected 130 people in China, and killed 35, since it was found in humans for the first time in March.
"This is a puzzling virus, surrounded by mystery,"
H7N9 struck in China around the same time as fears mounted elsewhere over the SARS-like novel coronavirus, of which there have been 40 laboratory confirmed cases, including 20 deaths. While the virus has been deadliest in Saudi Arabia, which now counts 30 infections, half of them fatal, cases have also been reported in Jordan, Qatar, Germany, Britain and France.
"This is an unusual global situation," Fukuda said, underlining that the two viruses were unrelated. "We have not seen a comparable situation since 2003, when we had both the SARS virus emerge and then later the H5N1 virus reemerge," he said.
Fukuda said that novel coronavirus was "more complex" to deal with than H7N9.
"There is even less information, even less understanding about what is the reservoir," he said.
"We do not know which one is going to evolve and gain the characteristics that we don't want it to gain," he added.
The Galveston National Laboratory lost one of five vials containing a deadly Venezuelan virus, according to the University of Texas Medical Branch, which owns the $174 million facility designed with the strictest security measures to hold the deadliest viruses in the country. Like Ebola, the missing Guanarito virus causes hemorrhagic fever, an illness named for "bleeding under the skin, in internal organs or from body orifices like the mouth, eyes, or ears," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The VHF agents are all highly infectious via the aerosol route, and most are quite stable as respirable aerosols. This means that they satisfy at least one criterion for being weaponized, and some clearly have the potential to be biological warfare threats. Most of these agents replicate in cell culture to concentrations sufficiently high to produce a small terrorist weapon, one suitable for introducing lethal doses of virus into the air intake of an airplane or office building. Some replicate to even higher concentrations, with obvious potential ramifications. Since the VHF agents cause serious diseases with high morbidity and mortality, their existence as endemic disease threats and as potential biological warfare weapons suggests a formidable potential impact on unit readiness. Further, returning troops may well be carrying exotic viral diseases to which the civilian population is not immune, a major public health concern
This comes just 10 years after a global SARS scare put the entire world on high alert. In 2003, the virus that started in Asia, spread to Hong-Kong, and eventually the world. Killing about 800 people worldwide. SARS-CoV was spread from animal hosts to human hosts, and eventually became transmissible between people.
According to the Medilexicon´s medical dictionary a pandemic is "Denoting a disease affecting or attacking the population of an extensive region, country, continent, global; extensively epidemic." A pandemic is an outbreak of global proportions. It happens when a novel virus emerges among humans - it causes serious illness and is easily human transmissible (spreads easily from person-to-person).
Originally posted by WhiteHat
Let me correct you: it was not the SARS that put the entire world on high alert, but the lies and the fear spread by media.
GENEVA: Saudi Arabia said Friday it would send samples taken from animals possibly infected with a deadly SARS-like virus to the United States (US) for testing in a bid to find the source of disease.
The Saudi health ministry has “collected large samples from bats and other animals, including camels, sheep and cats,” said Saudi Deputy Health Minister Ziad Memish.
So far, there have been 44 lab-confirmed cases worldwide of the virus, which until now has been known as the novel coronavirus, or nCoV-EMC, but was this week redubbed the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, or MERS.
Saudi Arabia counts by far the most cases, with 30 confirmed infections and 17 fatalities, while cases have also been detected in Jordan, Qatar, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Britain and France.
The virus is a cousin of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which triggered a scare 10 years ago when it erupted in east Asia, leaping to humans from animal hosts and eventually killing some 800 people.
Scientists at the Erasmus medical center in Rotterdam have determined that the virus appears to infect the body via a docking point in lung cells, suggesting bats may be a natural reservoir for it.
Bats were also pinpointed as a likely natural reservoir for SARS in a 2005 study, and are known carriers of the deadly hemorrhagic fever Ebola.
Originally posted by Elliot
reply to post by iunlimited491
At solar max we have pandemics. Viruses seem to mutate rapidly during the solar max period. Several viruses mutating.........well....let's hope they don't get together and start a 'party'.
edit on 25-5-2013 by Elliot because: (no reason given)
Reported by Deutsche Press Agentur (DPA), August, 1988. In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, in order to contribute something to solve overpopulation. Prince Philip, in his Foreward to If I Were an Animal; United Kingdom, Robin Clark Ltd., 1986.
Originally posted by Happy1
It would be interesting to see the "incubation" time lines of these "viruses"?
an incubation period from three to five days could potentially be consistent with the incubation period of human coronaviruses.