Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Uncommon Accord

Every leftie's favorite aggregator agrees with me on something! That hasn't happened since...I honestly don't remember when.

Now, I don't know what exactly he's thinking but there are many scenarios that surround the mutation of bird flu to a form transmissible directly from human-to-human and most of them aren't very encouraging, putting it mildly. However, officials seem to have backed away from any alarmism over the last day or so about the outbreak under study in Indonesia:

A family of eight was found infected with bird flu this week, prompting fears that the virus had mutated to allow human-to-human transmission leading to a pandemic.

However, experts told ABC News the event was not unequivocally a cause for alarm.

The Good News: -- Experts said this is not the start of a pandemic. If it were, there would be hundreds, maybe thousands of people sick by now.

"The first case(s) in this family cluster arose in late April, more than three weeks ago. If the virus that has affected this family had been a true pandemic virus, it would have spread throughout the neighborhood, into the community and into adjacent and even far-distant communities. The absence of such spread, together with the genetic sequencing data, clearly indicates that this virus is not the harbinger of the next pandemic," said David Fedson, infectious disease and vaccine expert, formerly of Sanofi-Pasteur.

-- The virus does NOT show signs of mutation. The World Health Organization has already tested samples from the 6 confirmed cases in the family and the virus looks like the same H5N1 virus that is circulating in birds. For the virus to become one that spreads to humans easily, it MUST mutate.

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