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The Airborne H5N1 Flu Virus Pandemic

Updated on January 2, 2012

Hasn't happened yet. It could. The H5N1 flu virus, commonly known as, Bird flu, is quite lethal to humans as the lethal rate is 50%.The good thing is that it seldom infects humans, but it can. The other good thing is that humans almost never transmit to other humans.

Recently, as an experiment with stunningly, scary results conducted by two scientists were able to transmit the flu virus between two animals via airborne. The animal used were ferrets, which catch flu as humans do. What happened in the lab environment can easily be done out of the lab. During the experiment, the flu virus had undergone five mutations in a short amount of time until the airborne virus caused other animals within the lab to catch the deadly Type A bird flu. When the scientists discovered this, they were totally shocked how easy and quickly it happened. To gather their senses, they went to the pub for some beer. To confirm it, they tried it again. The same result. Fears now exist of bioterrorism should details of the experiment get out. Well, they already have and the process was simple. They created mutations in the virus, injected into the ferrets. The ferrets got sick, their nasal secretions were taken and given to healthy ferrets. After only five rounds of this process, the once non-airborne virus was given wings, infecting other animals in the same room but having no contact.

Type A Bird flu, H5N1, was only discovered in 1997 in Hong Kong among 18 dead chickens. Soon, people caught it. HK destroyed over one million chickens as a result of human deaths. Soon, the flu spread to Europe and Africa. Over 600 people were infected and 300 died.Then, the virus seemed have vanished. That is what worries scientists.


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    • profile image

      No More Research 5 years ago


    • perrya profile image

      perrya 6 years ago

      And it was a little too easy!

    • poetvix profile image

      poetvix 6 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      This is very scary. It brings to mind the old adage just because we can doesn't mean we should. The dangers of such studies are great. I do agree that we have to experiment to learn but at the same time the odds of one of these experiments getting away from someone are stacked and not in our favor. Further, as you point out, the potential for abuse is always there. We live in scary times.