June 21, 2012
Tags: bird flu, h5n1, pandemic, virus
Rev 6:7,8 NCV When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a pale horse. Its rider was named death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill people by war, by starvation, by disease, and by the wild animals of the earth.
“One of the ominous concerns on the minds of National Security leaders is the possibility of terrorists smuggling into the U.S. some sort of deadly germ warfare to create a national biohazard, the spread of a virus against which our bodies could not defend.”
-Jim Bakker in "Prosperity and the Coming Apocalypse"
Scientists are warning that H5N1, the “Bird Flu”, could change into a form that would pass easily and rapidly through humans.
Researchers reported in the journal of Medicine that five genetic changes have been identified that could allow the virus to cause a lethal human pandemic.
The report is considered so controversial that the United States National Security Advisory Board for Biotechnology asked Medicine to redact parts of the study under fears that terrorists could use the information to create a biological weapon.
However, Professor Rob Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands says his research will help the scientific community have the best chance to combat future flu pandemics. It could also help in developing vaccines in the event of a pandemic.
Currently, bird flu is only transmitted through close contact with infected birds. This low infection rate is the main reason only 332 people have been killed by the illness since 2003. However, the scientists are concerned the virus mutating into a form that can pass through coughing and sneezing could kill tens of millions of people.
This is the first study confirming the risk of the virus mutating into a deadly airborne strain is theoretically possible.