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Saturday, May 9, 2009

H1N1 + H5N1 = ????

Most of you have heard of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. In addition to all the research and treatment done yearly on childhood cancers, it is one of the TOP 5 Influenza research centers in the world.

Dr. Robert Webster at St. Jude, often referred to as the "Pope of Influenza" has been studying influenza strains his entire career. When he speak about influenza, people listen - or should.

He is commenting recently that even though we've only seen what has turned out to be a very mild disease in this new strain of H1N1 (swine) flu, it is very important that we diligently watch how this virus begins to interact with other viruses as it travels the globe.

Other reports have indicated that research shows this new strain of H1N1 is particularly adept at grabbing onto genetic material from other flu viruses.

What Dr. Webster is watching carefully is whether the H1N1 virus, at it begins to travel in areas where Bird Flu is endemic (Indonesia, Egypt, and others), will combine with Bird Flu to produce something that could be very nasty indeed.

While many are now acting as though the "boy cried wolf" on this current H1N1 outbreak, I for one, as a prepper, will keep this in my sights for quite some time to watch how it acts throughout the world as it continues to travel.

The Southern Hemisphere is just starting winter. Egypt and Vietnam each had a case of Bird Flu just this week - the person in Egypt survived, the person in Vietnam did not. In the case of these viruses, we cannot be too careful.

Many who have studied pandemics of the past are aware that they often first appeared at the end of a flu season and were mild, but came back for the next couple of years during the winter flu season with a vengeance.

As H1N1 travels through Asia, Africa and 3rd World countries we should keep a close eye on the outcomes and have our preparedness plans already in place for what could happen this fall or winter - or some winter in the near future.

Part of being prepared is keeping an eye and ear open to what is going on and making sure you have the essentials in place to get through whatever might be necessary to keep you and/or your family safe for the duration. One thing we cannot afford to be is lax - we aren't worried or fearful or anxious, but prepared.

Additional Reading:

Fox News: Top Flu Expert Warns of Swine Flu-Bird Flu Mix

Dr. Robert Webster - Influenza, World-Class Expertise

Scott McPherson: Why Egypt Wants To Kill All The Pigs

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, i will definitely keep my eye on this.

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