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January 28, 2006

Eastern European avian flu similar to 1918 strain

Topics: Health Issues

More similarities have been found between the bird flu making it's way into Eastern Europe and the 1918 Spanish flu that decimated populations worldwide, including the discovery of an entirely new way bird flu may kill human cells. And it was only a couple of weeks ago that we posted of the H5N1 virus (bird flu) possibly becoming more effective at infecting humans, and that the World Health Organisation believes that it is "spiralling out of control among poultry in Turkey" and is posing "a serious threat" to neighbouring countries.""

Regular Hyscience readers may recall that in an earlier post on bird flu we wrote of Dr. Henry I. Miller's piece in TCS Daily that "to prepare for a possible catastrophe, we need to be aggressive, innovative and, above all, resilient. In society, as in biology, survival requires nothing less." It looks like we ought to be hurrying up our aggressiveness and innovation.

I wrote in the post referring the TCS Daily piece that although I have no crystal ball, one need only look at the trends and the pattern, along with the nature of the virus taken within a historical perspective, to "guesstimate" that we need to look quickly toward developing an effective vaccine against the H5N1 virus, because the available antivirals aren't going to be much help. (And just think about how fast the common cold spreads throughout a community - multiply that a few times, and then add the fact that H5N1 can kill you, not just give you the sniffles). The same line of thought applies even more so today, only a couple of weeks later.

Posted by Richard at January 28, 2006 10:19 AM

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