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Why there will be a Pandemic

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posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 09:33 AM
Again, I have to thank Dr. Henry Niman for his willingness to share his knowledge of viral eveloution with the rest of us. The following infomation is his very easy to understand (for laypeople like me) statement of how H5N1 is evolving....

Since wild bird flu is front and center now, it is worth briefly reviewing why they are central.

Wild birds have always been key in influenza evolution.

Flu evolves via dual infections, which happens when one organism is infected by two viruses. The two viruses can exchange genetic information. In the case of flu, its 8 genes are a separate pieces of genetic information. The genetic exchange can be with whole genes (a new viruses take some genes from one parent and some from another) or pieces of genes (the new gene is a chimera with some input from each parent).

Swapping whole genes is pretty easy to see, and that is one thing that influenza analysts look for. Some think that H5N1 needs to get a whole human/pig gene to go pandemic. They have been watching and waiting, and helping WHO write its press releases announcing the latest H5N1 has no human genes, but that is not how H5N1 will go pandemic. It has never been reported to have gone that route, and there is no logical reason to think that reassortment is a requirement.

Swapping pieces of genes is harder to see. This happens via recombination, and although such a process is not new, its widespread role in evolution, especially from rapidly evolving viruses like avian flu, is not understood, and in fact is denied by those advising WHO and controlling information flow.

Thus, WHO doesn't talk about recombination because its advisors don't know how to recognize it, and if they do see it, the try to explain it by random mutation. However, the changes are far from random, and in fact can be traced back to genes of parental viruses.

Flu doesn't have time for random changes. To survive, it needs to change its genetic composition each year, and it does so via recombination, which requires dual infections.

Nature reserves offer an ideal environment for such an exchange and Qinghai Lake in China is a good example. Many species arrive at the same time from several geographically distinct region carrying distinct viruses. At the reserves, there are dual infections and the virus evolves. The birds then fly the virus back to areas where other indigenous viruses are and the virus evolves some more.

Most of these exchanges in the past where not easily seen, because there was not a good database of wild bird sequences, and much of the exchange involved wild bird sequences from serotypes like H9N2 mixing with H5N1, which were read as random mutations.

In May that changed because the H5N1 ar Qinghai Lake left a trail of dead bodies because it was killing wild waterfowl. The H5N1 was a clear recombinant, with parts of its genes from Europe, and parts from Asia. The HA cleavage site, which makes it pathogenic, was the characteristic KKKRRK, which was only found in H5N1 in Asia since 1996.

This signaled the beginning of a geographical expansion of H5N1. It was now in long range migratory birds, and can travel 1000 miles in a day. The H5N1 moved from Qinghai Lake to Chany Lake in Russia and also spread to neighboring Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Prior to July, Asian H5N1 had never been reported in any of the three countries.

Now H5N1 is entering Europe as the birds from Siberia migrate in. They have the same Asian H5N1 and signal the start of a global expansion outside of Asia. This will spread worldwide in the next 12 months.

This geographical expansion will allow the H5N1 to dually infect new organisms with new viruses, including mammalian ones in swine and humans. H5N1 will become more human like and achieve efficient transmission.

That is the problem. It is driven by recombination and will accelerate in the upcoming months. That's why the pandemic is a when, not an if, and why the when is measured in months, not years.

The pandemic is not dependent on random mutations or reassortment. It is driven by recombination, and H5N1 is collecting a lot of new toys to play with as it goes global.

Again, thank you Dr. Niman.

[edit on 14-10-2005 by gman55]

posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 09:53 AM
Excellent post, gman. I am not an epidemiologist and have absolutely no expertise in such things, but my wife's workplace (a large medical center in Mesa) is beginning to take the possibility of an H5N1 epidemic eriously.

Although I'm heartened to hear Niman saying that we can 'predict' the way a flu virus evolves and stay ahead of it in vaccine development, it's certainly scary. I guess if we have good proof that human-to-human transmission is happening and doing so in increasing numbers, we're all likely to be in a world of hurt.

I hope, given the advancement in medicines, that the death toll will be substantially less than that of the 'Spanish Flu' in 1918 -- during which, incidentally, my late parents (b. 1906 and 1911) each lost a sibling.

[edit on 14-10-2005 by Off_The_Street]

posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 10:17 AM

i've got surgical masks on my shopping list

i don't care how the folks point at me,
heck the Japaneese been wearing masks for years.

see, i'm allergic to eggs,
so i can't get the flu vaccine
even if i trusted it was not contaminated, like a few others suggest it is.

i derive from the topic, that one cannot do much to totally prevent getting
infected...all one can do is lessen the risk of getting infected
ergo, microbe masks, copious hand cleaning, et cetera

posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 10:35 AM

Originally posted by St Udio
see, i'm allergic to eggs,
so i can't get the flu vaccine

So far as I know, they can not make a vaccine against H5N1 in the normal way anyways since H5N1 is 100% lethal to chickens AND their eggs!

posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 08:58 PM
The Question was Will there be a pandemic? Probably!

Will we see it in the US? Maybe not.

Are you willing to take that chance?

posted on Oct, 15 2005 @ 02:33 PM
I read Niman's interview. Sounds like a guy that sells medicine to me. Frankly I like your laymans view of things. Dr Sherri Tenpenny has some excellent material on pandemics and her analysis is a little less commercially incentivized. A lot of what we are experiencing in this great flu expectation we're involved in is a fascination with a technological giant's battle with a mythic onocoming beasty mutagenic miasma that's been around the proverbial block for centuries. Let me reveal a great secret about life to all of us (I'm sure most of us already know this) - You are born to die. Sorry I didn't make it up - blame it on God if you're mad - I can't change it and I wish I could. What we all could be doing is stengthening our immune system such as by not drinking dairy products loaded with antibiotics, teatwash, and bovine growth hormone. We could stop eating tomatoes crossed with tarantulas, because the same idiots trying to scare us into more Bushonomics are the same boobs who dreamt up the wonder of a tomato you could barely cut through so Walmart can keep it on the shelf a day or two longer. I'd suggest stop eating irradiated onions that might have had a terrorist bacteria slipped on to them - you know the kind you can look at in your pantry six months latter and they still aren't even moldy and the still taste like cardboard. A new puppy is very much like a brand new piece of PVC pipe when they come into this world inasmuch as the life in its colon is concerned. If it weren't for beneficial bacteria called colostrum from his mother (which fades away as he grows to 5-18 weeks) he wouldn't be able to digest her milk and when that fades a trip to the feed store for beneficial bacteria might do a lot to strenghten his immune system against the onslaughts of such diseases as parvo, corona, distemper etc. Yes - some won't make it and that may have to do with genetic dispositiion, but you can do the best you can by them and a greater proportion will survive. If we thought: integral, sustainable and organic FIRST before we dosed ourselves with mercury to get 4 out of 4,000 yearly strains of flu snot injected into our bloodstream ( which is like shooting a moving train with a BB gun from 500 yards) we might just get better results. The flu strains mutate so quickly that as soon as a anti=viral is rolled of the assembly line it is almost sure to be obsolete for the bulk of the target population. Furthermore - what Niman and his business buddies aren't telling you is that the CDC is not releasing many of the viral strains it has identified to other biotech researchers such as Sandia Labs here in New Mexico and Los Alamos et al. They are also not telling you of bunko projects like their Hunta Virus projects south of me here in NM out in the Sevilleta, where suppossedly as much as 5 years ago a million mice with the virus thay were farming escaped into the countryside. They were over by the RV park on my friend's property testing to see if they could find evidence of it's spread in the cow ponds full of dung water and mouse droppings and when he asked them who they were and they explained he had a hatful and sent them packing. But did we read it in the papers - not a word, except there has been a small crop of deaths each year since from hunta - nobody even got to find out about it! The other day in the super market I heard them pitching the flu vaccine for seniors on the megaphone and I went and told the Rx I thought it was pretty lame to be injecting mercury into the doddering old folks and contributing to the skyrocketing incendence of autism nationwide in schoolkids ( an increase of 6,000 percent in ten years). He started turning differnt colors and stuttering that "it was important to stop that flu..." and I left realizing I wasn't going to get past his wallet with that one. Hysteria doesn't do anything but empower half-wits and criminal conspirators over the rest of us so they can waltz off having accomplished their crummy business. I am not a doctor or medical person - just a layman like you, although I prefer "regular guy" as it sounds less diminished by "professionals". I just think that the vehicle the Great Spirit gave us is the vessel we are meant to strengthen and that these med-crooks have done everything in the professional power to weaken us to profit on us later and therein lies the lesson of all of this. Keep up the good insight and keen eye on those bug-pushers and their wunder pills.

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