posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 06:21 PM
The man who was on he front-line of the battle against SARS, Dr Hitoshi O#ani, has painted a grim picture for the prospects of another flu pandemic.
He cautions that while the initial outbreak will kill but a few, the world will have only a few weeks to contain the virus otherwise its spread could
kill millions. He further points out the H5N1 virus may not even be the eventual source of the pandemic.
NOUMEA, New Caledonia (Reuters) - The initial outbreak of what could explode into a bird flu pandemic may affect only a few people, but the world
will have just weeks to contain the deadly virus before it spreads and kills millions.
Chances of containment are limited because the potentially catastrophic infection may not be detected until it has already spread to several
countries, like the SARS virus in 2003. Avian flu vaccines developed in advance will have little impact on the pandemic virus.
It will take scientists four to six months to develop a vaccine that protects against the pandemic virus, by which time thousands could have died.
There is little likelihood a vaccine will even reach the country where the pandemic starts.
That is the scenario outlined on Tuesday by Dr Hitoshi O#ani, the man who was on the frontline in the battle against SARS and now leads the fight
against avian flu in Asia.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Scary times indeed. The problem is that while so far we have not had an outbreak awareness needs to be high and responses need to be fast and
focused. As we head into winter, the likelihood of an outbreak grows. A vaccine would take 4-6 months to be developed and its doubtful they could make
it in the quantities needed. Also, the influenza virus according to recent studies is swapping genes much faster than previously though, thus it could
mutate to a more dangerous form or one that does nothing. Its a genetic game of Russian roulette.
[edit on 9/20/05 by FredT]