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Bad News On The Flu Front

Avian flu has spread to pigs in China. This is a common step on the way for it to become a human strain.

Posted by Rand Simberg at November 12, 2005 06:12 AM
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The Bird Flu has leaped to Pigs - Time to Get Ready
Excerpt: In a move typical of a disease mutating to one that will be transmittable by humans, the avian bird flu has now been found infecting pigs in China.  Thanks to Hugh Hewitt for linking to Transterrestrial Musings, who links to this story at The Epo...
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Tracked: November 12, 2005 10:31 PM

Rand, I saw this at Hugh Hewitt, and I respond here:

The evidence for the danger of A)H5N1 is far less than those looking for funding would have everyone believe.

Posted by Chuck Simmins at November 12, 2005 08:40 PM

From a post on my blog back in August, a commentor Judith Anne who is a frequent contributor to the Avian Flu Surveillance Project on Free Republic [ ] made a related observation ,

"Avian flu originated in birds, in Hong Kong chickens, first seen in 1997. At that time, 18 people were infected, six died. Every chicken in Hong Kong was killed, in an attempt to wipe out the virus. But it survived. Now it is in pigs, and pigs are usually the last step a flu virus takes before being readily transmitted from human to human. This is due to remarkable pig-human similarities. (After all, porcine grafts are used to repair mitral valve prolapses within the human heart.)"

On the same post there is this additional observation...

"The quarantine may be related to the avian flu from the Quinha aviary outbreak and migrating birds, or could be a Streptococcus suis (pig) bacteria as the Chinese allege or could be a weapons lab accident with ebola or a weaponized avian flu, or some recombined avian flu ebola virus. A virus that spreads like flu but kills like ebola! Or a recombined bird and pig flu virus. If an animal or person is infected with two different viruses, it is possible for genetic jumps form one virus to another to form a sort of new "hybrid" virus that can be very lethal."

Posted by Mr.Atos at November 12, 2005 09:17 PM

Uhm, one of the stories about this that I read linked off of google news had pictures from 2004 of pigs who were slaughtered en masse after they became ill of a 'mystery illness'. The symptoms were the same as the ones that they just killed with H5N1, so it could have jumped to pigs over a year and a half ago.

Posted by David Mercer at November 14, 2005 01:01 AM

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