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Swine Flu Virus Mild So Far—Death May Have To Wait

Hold on Grim Reaper!!!—The Swine Flu virus so far is relatively mild. 


From The Wall Street Journal—

“There is more evidence that a serious pandemic is not imminent. In 1976 there was an outbreak of an H1N1 swine virus in Fort Dix, N.J., which showed human-to-human transmission but did not go on to become a highly virulent strain. This virus was very similar to regular swine influenza viruses and did not show a high affinity for the human host. Although the swine virus currently circulating in humans is different from the 1976 virus, it is most likely not more virulent than the other seasonal strains we have experienced over the last several years. It lacks an important molecular signature (the protein PB1-F2) which was present in the 1918 virus and in the highly lethal H5N1 chicken viruses. If this virulence marker is necessary for an influenza virus to become highly pathogenic in humans or in chickens — and some research suggests this is the case — then the current swine virus, like the 1976 virus, doesn’t have what it takes to become a major killer….Since people have been exposed to H1N1 viruses over many decades, we likely have some cross-reactive immunity against the swine virus. While it may not be sufficient to prevent illness, it may very well dampen the impact of the virus on mortality. I would postulate that by virtue of this “herd immunity,” even a 1918-like H1N1 virus could never have the horrific effect it had in the past. The most likely outcome is that the current swine virus will become another (fourth) strain of regular seasonal influenza.”

We’ll see how long all this is the case, but for now there is hope that the Swine Flu is not as bad a threat as many have feared.

So close the coffin door, for the time being,  and go have a beer or whatever makes you happy.

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May 2, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment