Saturday, May 11, 2013

Why Am I Not Surprised: China Creates New Strain of Bird Flu That Is Deadly And Easily Transmitted

Source:  Fox News.

Just because you can do it doesn't mean that you should.  Kids are told that all the time.  We tell mad scientists and billionaires who wanted to create their own dinosaur resort.  Apparently, Chinese scientists didn't get the memo.


Specifically, scientists from the National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory at Harbin Veterinary Research Institute merged two strains together:  one is the H5N1 bird flu know for being lethal but not easily transmitted and the H1N1 virus which can easily be spread around.  We all know about the H1N1 from 2009.

Of course, Western scientists blast the study while the Chinese defended the unnatural creation as a means to study how hybrid viruses can be created in nature.  At issue is the risk of this getting out of the lab and into the public.  It's heard to know what kind of protocols the Chinese employs for this kind of virulent work. In all, more than 120 variants of the virus was created.

Also, the Chinese scientists discussed how the virus can be created but little else about what to do should it get out into public.  Or the likelihood of hybrid flu happening in nature that is both lethal and easily transmitted.

Right now, Chinese is dealing with a new strain of bird flu that has so far perplexed authorities.  So far, 33 have died of the H7N9 flu centering around Shanghai.  Maybe they ought to spend more time on that than on making new viruses (zee news).

Environment:  Pigs and Pollution

So far, no one knows where the new strain of flu came from only that it's deadly.  However, the opportunity for this type of outbreak in China is made all the more likely given economic growth priority over environmental concerns and neglects in general.

In February, 16,000 swine corpses were found in one river while more than a thousand dead ducks were found in another.  On top of that, Beijing suffered pollution so bad parents do no allow their children to go outside (NYT).

You put all that together, pools of corpses, poor environmental standards, lowered immune systems, and increasingly virulent bird flus, you've got a natural lab for ever increasing and sophisticated diseases and viruses to occur naturally, no need to create new ones just because you can.

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