H5N1 Reading and note taking

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  • Bird flu - H5N1
    • research
      • hope to learn which viruses can cause pandemics
      • five genetic changes identified
      • 3,000 bird viruses and 400 that occur in humans studied
        • findings = two key changes needed to become airborne found
        • found it is possible for a virus to develop three further changes required during epidemic.
      • clear that emergence of an airborne mutation of H5N1 is unlikely.
      • better understanding of how flu viruses are transmitted it needed to develop a clearer understanding of the likelihood of bird flu becoming airborne
    • Publication
      • US Agency worried that terrorists could use information to create a bioweapon
      • the research coukd help researchers develop vaccines and anti-viral drugs quicker
      • science shoukd be freely available so the science community can work on research
    • Deaths
      • Birds = tens of millions
        • hundreds of millions slaughtered to prevent spreading
      • humans = 332 since 2003
    • can only be transmitted to humans through close contact with infected birds


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