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Ian Bell
01/14/06 09:10
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United Kingdom

#107396 - More problems
Responding to: Rob Klein's previous message
Rob Klein said:
Ian Bell said:
They tend to mutate when humans get infected ...

Unfortunately, it's not just humans.

Pigs are (physiologically) so similar to us that they are succeptible to many infections that we can contract, including all kinds of influenza strains. They can also contract bird 'flu and inside their bodies this could very easily recombine with a human-to-human influenza virus.

Fingers crossed indeed.Rob.

The last brand new flu virus mutation was the one that killed 1% of the world's population in 1918 (40 million people). Once established in humans it tends to mutate into less virulant forms but successfull forms - a virus that always kills its host won't last long. The Asian flu and Hong Kong Flu epedimics were further mutations caused by a combination (in humans) of these less virulent strains with bird flu. So even when this pandemic is over we have a few smaller ones to look forward to in the decades to come.

There are some excelent articles on this topic in New Scientist:


List of 7 messages in thread
Bird Flu      Mahmood Elnasser      01/13/06 17:19      
   We do      Kai Klaas      01/13/06 17:52      
      spread between human      Farshid Jafari Harandi      01/13/06 18:52      
         Not yet.      Steve M. Taylor      01/14/06 02:46      
            The Problem      Ian Bell      01/14/06 05:12      
               Even bigger problem      Rob Klein      01/14/06 06:53      
                  More problems      Ian Bell      01/14/06 09:10      

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