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February 17, 2005

Bird flu cases may be underestimated

Topics: Health Issues

Some British scientists have said that the spread of the deadly bird flu virus may have been underestimated because of a misunderstanding of how it affects the body. I've been screaming about this in numerous previous posts and have warned of concerns of a possible pandemic.

In my one  of these posts, as in several previous posts(most linked to from that post), and also again here, I warned that the Avian influenza is continuing to increase in frequency of outbreaks. In that same post I wrote that WHO is concerned that it can become a global epidemic (pandemic), and that you should be aware that avian influenza(bird flu) kills people, and lots of them. I also provided comments from the CDC that warned:

"If these H5N1 viruses gain the ability for efficient and sustained transmission between humans, there is little preexisting natural immunity to H5N1 in the human population, and an influenza pandemic could result, with high rates of illness and death."

Now we're seeing a new report from the BBCNews on the dangers:

Oxford University experts studying deaths in Vietnam suggest the disease can attack all parts of the body, not just the lungs as had been thought.

They told the New England Journal of Medicine they also believe humans could pass the virus on to each other.

So far, there have been 42 bird flu deaths, all in Asian countries.

But the Oxford University scientists say their findings suggests the number of cases of human infection with the virus may have been under-estimated.

I have previously written that should we continue to experience these frequent new outbreaks with the virus spread both in poultry and people, the result could be a strain that could become a pandemic with a horrendous outcome," almost the exact words of Hans Troedsson, the WHO representative in Vietnam. Be forewarned, we are still headed in the same direction.

Posted by Hyscience at February 17, 2005 12:39 PM

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