Mutations taking world closer to bird flu pandemic: officialPlace your bets on when bird flu hitting America here
Fri Dec 16,12:29 PM ET
PHNOM PENH (AFP) - Bird flu has yet to achieve human-to-human transmission, but subtle mutations in the virus are bringing the world closer to a pandemic, the UN's coordinator on avian influenza said.
"There are some subtle changes in the genetic makeup of H5N1 which suggest that it is making some of the mutations that would enable it to have a higher likelihood of being able to become a human-to-human transmitted virus," said David Nabarro.
"Virologists who study these things say do not get complacent. It is quite feasible that H5N1 could mutate. The fact that it has taken some years should not lead you to believe that we are through the worst."
Nabarro was speaking in Phnom Penh during a one-day visit to Cambodia, which has seen at least four human bird flu deaths.
He warned that there are difficulties stockpiling enough anti-viral medicines to combat the illness.
"We all would like there to be much more stockage of anti-viral medicines. We are in a bit of difficulty because the production capacity, particularly of (Tamiflu), is quite restricted," he said, adding that the UN was in regular talks with drug manufacturers to build up stocks.
Monday, December 19, 2005
(Hat Tip to my good buddy, Ed at Tao of Politics)
Posted by Carl at 12/19/2005 02:46:00 PM