Dan at Riehl World View is wondering if H5N1 (the Avian flu we’ve been hearing about) has begun transferring from human to human.
Dan’s also got an important update containing information from Hyscience.
Hyscience – I believe the report, and have actually reported of H to H transmission of H5N1 over a year ago – and not picked up on by media and agencies. here, here, and( here which sourced this research report that human to human transmission actually occured in July / early August 2004 – but not covered by media or agencies)
Hyscience is always a really good source of news for stuff like this. Richard has done a really nice job with the site. It’s been one of my long time favorites. You can’t find information like this at many other places:
Indonesia was in the news in November as a result of its decision to begin manufacturing (pirating) the anti-flu drug Tamiflu (oseltamavir), but they are likely to be disappointed in the results, should they elect to depend upon it for protection against the H5N1 virus (it’s already showing resistance to tamiflu). Previously, genetic sequencing of influenza A (H5N1) virus samples from human cases in Vietnam and Thailand showed resistance to the antiviral medications amantadine and rimantadine, 2 of the other medications commonly used for treatment of influenza. This would leave 1 remaining antiviral medication (zanamavir) that may still be effective against currently circulating strains of H5N1. This fact has not been sufficiently covered by cable and print media.
I usually wouldn’t write about this sort of topic, simply because it doesn’t really affect me at this exact point in time, call me selfish. And I’d be seriously pissed if I were to lose my life to a bird flu. I can’t imagine dying from a bird flu. If I did and it were possible, I’d be ashamed of my death. This does deserve attention though, especially if it’s confirmed human to human transmission has occured. I wonder exactly how much quicker it would spread, given human to human transmission is possible at this time.
Officials in at least two nations now suspect the avian flu bug has mutated into a virus that is being transmitted from human to human – a development world health authorities have estimated could result in the deaths of tens of millions.
Thai health officials have expressed concern that the country’s two latest confirmed victims may be the beginning of the much feared human-to-human transmission.
Go read Dan’s post at Riehl World View for a link to the full article above. I don’t think it’s all bad though. The sheer amount of people on Earth is getting a little out of hand, something like H5N1 could put a nice little dent in the number. We are due for another “cleansing” event, I can’t imagine a better time than now.