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Fragments from Floyd

Unspinning the NewFlu

Some of you will remember that I was teaching at RU when the “bird flu” just began to reach public attention. I followed it and still do as a potential public health issue.

I mentioned early on that the pig to human issue would probably be an important ingredient in a potential pandemic as pigs are genetically and antigenically more like humans than birds, and if bird flu genetic material and human genetic material combined with swine viral elements, that would make for a new ball game. And here we are.

But at present, the actual mortality threat is not a great concern for me, personally, and I don’t feel we are at great risk on our flights home today. However….

My greatest concern about this latest episode of multi-genetic flu (bird, human and pig) is that, with the wide spread into the human population, there will now be abundant human incubators in which recombination and mutation of this novel and previously unseen viral entity can take place, leading possibly to increased virulence and resistance to antivirals.

Such a change could cause this relatively serious “swine flu” to go from bruising the global economy to worse than that.

2 thoughts on “Unspinning the NewFlu”

  1. Hi-density pig farm (Smithfield) in Mexico at epicenter of this new flu (back in February.)

    Mexican Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova said tests now show that a 4-year-old boy contracted swine flu in Veracruz state, where a community has been protesting pollution from a large pig farm, at least two weeks before the first death confirmed by the Mexican government. The farm is run by Granjas Carroll de Mexico.

  2. It’s my opinion that all the various swine and bird flu’s are just waiting to combine with the virulent and antibiotic-resistant strep viruses floating around hospitals into an all-but-unstoppable pandemic.

    I know that’s biologically improbable if not impossible, but my nightmares are not logical.

    Bad joke: combine swine and bird flu and you get flying pig flu!

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