Last updated on December 27th, 2012
European scientists have developed a stunningly deadly strain of the bird flu virus, H5N1, a virus so dangerous that it has killed 60 percent of those it has infected… but the thing is, they want to publish the details of how they did it.
The research was undertaken in a university laboratory, instead of at a military facility, and scientists are in little doubt that the newly created strain of H5N1 – resulting from just five mutations in two key genes – has the potential to cause a devastating human pandemic that could kill tens of millions of people.
From The Independent,
“The fear is that if you create something this deadly and it goes into a global pandemic, the mortality and cost to the world could be massive,” a senior scientific adviser to the US Government told The Independent, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“The worst-case scenario here is worse than anything you can imagine.”
Critics say the scientists have endangered the world by creating a highly dangerous form of flu which could escape from the laboratory – as well as opening a Pandora’s box for fanatical terrorists wishing to make a bio-weapon.
A senior source close to the Biosecurity board, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Independent that the National Institutes of Health, which funded the work, is about to make a decision on how much of the scientific paper on the H5N1 super strain should be published, and how much held back.
It may be though, that Pandora’s box has already been cracked open, and who’s to say that the university research has not already been copied and in the hands of many others there or elsewhere.
A virus this deadly cannot even be comprehended by most people, especially while trying to imagine the speed of which it could spread around the world, and the utter devastation it could wreak upon our way of life and world economies.
The best chance to survive such a killer virus would be to hunker down in your home and avoid contact with others. The only way this could be achieved would be with an adequate quantity of food and supplies. This sounds like yet another reason to shore up your preparedness supplies!
Using supercomputers to respond to a potential American health emergency, scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle have developed a simulation model that makes stark predictions about the possible future course of an avian influenza pandemic.
Based on today’s environment of world-wide connectivity, beginning with 10 infected people arriving in Los Angeles, the simulation predicts that the pandemic will spread quickly throughout the continental United States, peaking about 90 days after the initial introduction.
Simulation of a pandemic flu outbreak (4mb Quicktime)
To be fair to the flip-side of this fearful report, the research was undertaken in an attempt to create a strain which could be applied to a vaccine. Unfortunately it opens the door for deadly abuse. Be prepared.
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