Risk of swine and avian flu combination - 1 Aug 2009
Risk of swine and avian flu combination.
Canada’s Quebec Agricultural Department authorities confirmed that the swine flu had been found in a pig herd there last week, finding that the flu was the same H1N1 virus which has become a global pandemic.
Leading virologist Dr. Robert Webster has expressed concerns that the swine flu may mutate with the bird flu, creating a more lethal hybrid. Dr. Webster’s team at St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, USA had traced the current swine flu to an ancestor that infected pigs at a North Carolina, USA pig farm in 1998. He stated, “My great worry is that when this H1N1 virus gets into the epicenters for H5N1 (avian flu) in Indonesia, Egypt and China, we may have real problems. We have to watch what’s going on very diligently now.”
Worldwide, the number of confirmed and reported swine flu cases is 177,650, including 1,127 that have resulted in lives lost. The vast majority of cases, however, are never officially counted. Dr. Hossein-Ali Shahriari, Iran’s deputy head of the Majlis Health Committee has warned that 10 million people in Iran may become infected, with an estimated one out of every 200 undiagnosed cases being fatal. A Saudi Arabian preventative health expert, Ziad Memish, announced that the kingdom would be employing thermal imaging and other protective measures in an attempt to keep the swine flu from spreading during the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage.
Our appreciation all scientists and healthcare workers for your dedicated actions in light of the current health risks. May Heaven watch over the sick and bereaved as we pray thatthe pandemic does not deteriorate into an even more desperate situation. May we wisely choose to eliminate the root conditions of animal farms that generate this deadly flu, thereby safeguarding the lives of all.