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1918 Flu Virus Recreated - Secrets Revealed

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posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 11:14 PM
American scientists have recreated the 1918 flu virus and infected mice with it. They discovered why the virus was so deadly. 50 million died from the virus in 1918. It turns out that the virus cause the immune system to overreact and provoked the body to start killing its own cells. They say the difference between the current bird flu virus and the 1918 virus is that the current virus haven't started yet to spread so quickly between humans.

BBC: 1918 flu virus's secrets revealed

28 September 2006

An experiment to reconstruct the deadly 1918 flu virus has given a new insight into how the infection took hold. Scientists discovered a severe immune system reaction was triggered when mice were infected with the recreated virus. The US team believes the extreme immune response could have provoked the body to begin killing its own cells, making the flu even deadlier. The study, published in Nature, may aid the hunt for new treatments. The 1918 pandemic took about 50 million lives.

Scientists in the US have reconstructed the H1N1 virus in a bid to better understand how it became such an effective killer - and to also bolster knowledge in the face of the current H5N1 bird flu threat. The researchers infected mice with the recreated influenza virus.

Paul Hunter, professor of health protection from the University of East Anglia, UK, said: "People who have died from the current form of bird flu have died in the same sort of fashion as the people who died during the 1918 pandemic. It is an extraordinarily unpleasant death. "Clearly, the difference between the virus now and the one around in 1918 is that the current one has yet to develop the ability to spread swiftly from person to person.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I'm sure it is important to recreate a deadly virus like this in order to understand things and stuff, but is it safe? How can they be sure that the virus doesn't come out of control and starts another pandemi? They better be careful with this recreated killer virus. And we better pray that the current bird flu virus doesn't start spreading between humans...

posted on Sep, 29 2006 @ 04:21 AM

Not attacking you but I'm not quite sure why the BBC think this is *news* because this information has been around for over a year - and the story doesn't even tell you what the mechanism is.

Just searching on Flu Wiki with the term Cytokine will take you to many, many more indepth pages on the subject. And as you can see many of them are dated from the early part of 2005.

Its interesting that the usual round of bird flu scare stories is starting to creep back onto the news agenda....

posted on Sep, 29 2006 @ 07:19 AM
The bird flu stories are creeping back into the news because we are coming up on flu season and birds will begin to migrate again along the same paths that were infected last year.

Although it's not a situation to promote panic, it is a real threat. Any flu has the potential to be a real threat. What I find interesting is that while recreating the Spanish flu to determine it's reaction in the body they have determined that it sets off the body's response and sends it into overload.
It has already been determined that the H5N1 will have the same effect.

Not to beat a dead horse because there are many many threads discussing the Avian Flu.
But it's still a virus to keep the eye on. Indonesia has been hard hit throughout the summer this year and the virus is mutating. There are more cluster cases which gives ample opportunity for this virus to pick up the proteins needed for easier tranmission.

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