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March 9, 2005

Avian flu candidate for terror weapon?

Topics: Health Issues

Let's see if you're paying attention:

Experts say it is no longer a case of if but when a pandemic of bird flu hits the human population. Some countries have already started stockpiling drugs and testing vaccines to beat the virus. The UK government has been criticised for being slow on the uptake, but announced its full pandemic plan on Tuesday.   We have to make up our minds now before it arrives on our doorstep

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently urged all countries to develop or update their influenza "pandemic preparedness plans" after experts estimated anywhere between two and 50 million people could die if a pandemic hits and the world is not prepared. Good health care will play a central role in reducing the impact, yet the pandemic itself could disrupt the supply of essential medicines and health care workers could fall ill.

Now that we've got your attention ...

It looks as though there is a very good chance that the world could have an H5N1 virus pandemic  without bioterrorism, so imagine how big a problem the world could have if the virus gets and assist from terrorists! If the ultimate goal of terrorists is social disruption, panic and severe economic losses, the H5N1 virus would be a good choice. The following GlobeandMail.com article says the same thing, that an avian influenza pandemic just might be inevitable anyway. It would be a very good idea for all governments to prepare for it now as we've previously stressed here, here, here, and here.

- Toronto

The military's intelligence arm has warned the federal government that avian influenza could be used as a weapon of bioterrorism, a heavily censored report suggests.  

It also reveals that military planners believe a naturally occurring flu pandemic may be imminent. 

The report, entitled Recent Human Outbreaks of Avian Influenza and Potential Biological Warfare Implications, was obtained under the Access to Information Act by The Canadian Press. 

It was prepared by the J2 Directorate of Strategic Intelligence, a secretive branch of National Defence charged with producing intelligence for the government(Canadian).

Even under the very best conditions(for the world) which would be to have the genetic mutations necessary for the avian influenza virus to passage to an aggressive human to human transmissible form naturally - That's scary enough. But to have a bioterrorist purposefully create a highly aggressive human-to-human transmissible strain - that's very bad new for the world. It's letting a genie out of the bottle that might never be put back in.

Posted by Hyscience at March 9, 2005 5:57 PM



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