Thursday, October 13

It's a Bird! It's a Plague! No, its Avian Flu

UPDATED: October 14th
Bird Flu in Turkey - pun-ny.............but not. Nine people are under medical observation in Turkey after reports of 40 pigeons in their neighbourhood died in mysterious circumstances.

With bird flu at it's door, Europe is scared. Expect the EU to issue advice on the potential risk for humans who come into contact with migratory birds. In nearly all the roughly 120 cases of human infection, the victims caught the H5N1 virus from birds and authorities don't believe the virus has altered to allow efficient human-to-human contagion.

More serious, deadly serious perhaps is Charles Krauthammer's view on what may appear to be tangential at first glance but what is in fact enormously consequential;

It was announced last week that American scientists have just created a living, killing copy of the 1918 ``Spanish'' flu.

This is big. Very big.

First, it is a scientific achievement of staggering proportions. The Spanish flu has not been seen on this blue planet for 85 years. Its re-creation is a story of enterprise, ingenuity, serendipity, hard work and sheer Bird_flubrilliance. It involves finding deep in the bowels of a military hospital in Washington a couple of tissue samples from the lungs of soldiers who died in 1918 (in an autopsy collection first ordered into existence by Abraham Lincoln), and the disinterment of an Alaskan Eskimo who died of the flu and whose remains had been preserved by the permafrost. Then, using slicing and dicing techniques only Michael Crichton could imagine, they pulled off a microbiological Jurassic Park: the first ever resurrection of an ancient pathogen. And not just any ancient pathogen, explained virologist Eddie Holmes, but ``the agent of the most important disease pandemic in human history.''

Which brings us to the second element of this story: Beyond the brilliance lies the sheer terror. We have quite literally brought back to life an agent of near-biblical destruction. It killed more people in six months than were killed in the four years of the First World War. It killed more humans than any other disease of similar duration in the history of the world, says Alfred W. Crosby, who wrote a history of the 1918 pandemic. And, notes The New Scientist, when the re-created virus was given to mice in heavily quarantined laboratories in Atlanta, it killed the mice more quickly than any other flu virus ever tested.

What to do with this knowledge? Not only has the virus been physically re-created. But its entire genome has now been published for the whole world, good people and very bad, to see.

he gets scarier;

We are essentially in a life-and-death race with the bird flu. Can we figure out how to pre-empt it before it figures out how to evolve into a transmittable form with 1918 lethality that will decimate humanity? To run that race we need the genetic sequence universally known -- not just to inform and guide but to galvanize new research.

On the other hand, resurrection of the virus and publication of its structure opens the gates of hell. Anybody, bad guys included, can now create it. Biological knowledge is far easier to acquire for Osama and friends than nuclear knowledge. And if you can't make this stuff yourself, you can simply order up DNA sequences from commercial laboratories around the world that will make it and ship it to you on demand. Taubenberger himself admits that ``the technology is available.''

I can't be sure what your thoughts are on the impending bird flu plague but what is up with that? Clearly they are not telling us something. Of course I believe it was cooked up in some crazy lab in China. And don't tell me it's not possible because Asians are dying from it.
Everyone knows the Chinese don't give a rat's ass about their own people or their human rights. Forced abortion is the rule of law. That says it all about the government's value of human life.

On top of all this, the Left liberal lunatics are BLAMING BUSH for the impending epidemic. The more things change, the more they ...............

They're calling for a Bird Flu Czar...

Democrats in Congress on Wednesday stepped up their criticism of the Bush administration's’s preparation for a possible influenza pandemic and called for the creation of a White House czar to oversee the nation's’s readiness and response.

It's interesting to see the Democrats in full battle mode over a threat that "hasn't materialized in our country" yet. After all, why should we try to "preempt a potential threat" when it hasn't attacked us at all? Wouldn't this just be a diversion from our real enemy, the common flu, which has already admitted to killing 36,000 Americans a year?If the Democrats are so determined that this threat is imminent, we should prepare our troops to take on the fight... and I can think of nobody more experienced than a Colonel....
Jason Smith Generation Why?

Bouncing to Krauthammer again (I couldn't tear myself away)

One batch of 1918 flu has the capacity for mass destruction that no Bond villain could ever dream of.

Why try to steal loose nukes in Russia? A nuke can only destroy a city.

The flu virus, properly evolved, is potentially a destroyer of civilizations. We might have just given it to our enemies.

Have a nice day.

Hey guys, Danny, Fastac..........thanks for the invite. It's a privilege. Truly.

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