Skip to comments.Nature’s Bioterrorist Agents (H7N9 Bird Flu Virus)
Posted on 04/11/2013 2:45:32 PM PDT by Sir Napsalot
.... With billions of birds hosting an uncountable number of permutations of influenza strains, its inevitable that once in a while, one of these combinations will evolve the ability to replicate in humans. This has happened with an influenza type known as H5N1, the bird flu that the world has been watching since it was first isolated from human infections in Hong Kong in 1997. In the past 16 years, H5N1 has caused more than 600 infections in humans and almost 400 deathskilling approximately 60 percent of those who are known to have been infected with this virus. Luckily, H5N1 hasnt evolved the one thing that is critical for kick-starting an influenza pandemicefficient transmission between humans. Instead, most patients probably acquired the virus from domesticated poultry, such as chickens and farmed ducks.
While we were carefully watching H5N1 in Asia and Europe, another influenza virus2009 H1N1appeared seemingly out of nowhere. Ultimately traced back to swine, this virus was easily spread between people, but unlike H5N1, it wasnt any more deadly than our normal yearly influenza viruses (which, it should be noted, still kill on the order of 36,000 Americans each year). And now, while were still working on understanding how H5N1 and H1N1 have jumped between species, yet another influenza type has surfaced: H7N9.
Like H5N1, H7N9 appears to be an avian virus. First identified in humans last month near Shanghai, its now infected at least 24 people in four of Chinas provinces; seven of them have died, according to official World Health Organization numbers. (Other sites are reporting as many as 33 cases and 9 fatalities). So far, we havent seen any evidence of sharing among humans, which is a good sign, though some possible family clusters are being investigated.
(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...
Just leave it to Mother Nature, the most prolific mass murderer planet earth has ever seen. The morbidity vs mortality rates in the two examples you cited aren’t quite up to her standards yet, but I am reasonably sure they will get there with time and transportation.
Every one is basically waiting for the next ‘big’ thing, for the right mutation(s) and jump to a different host/speices.
It is only a matter of time.
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