AP Photo/Yonhap, Kim Ho-chun
Colorado Springs — The potential amalgamation between the two viruses H1N1 (Swine Flu) and H5N1 (Bird Flu) has troubled the sleep of leading flu scientists for several years, as the two viruses continue to emerge and erupt. The fear is that the two viruses will reassort and produce a new, more virulent virus, one with as high a mortality rate as Bird Flu and as easily transmissible from human to human as the Swine Flu.
“Perhaps, in some innocent encounter in China between a child and a bird, a new killer flu is on its way. Or perhaps, even now, a young man or a young woman, has become infected with two different strains of flu viruses. They are mixing together in the person’s lungs, their genes reassorting. Emerging from that witches’ brew is a new virus, a chimera, that, like the 1918 flu virus, is perfectly suited for destruction.” - Gina Kolata, Flu
On November 28, 2009 a 23-year-old Vietnamese man died of H5N1 Bird Flu after eating “duck’s blood pudding.” His symptoms included high fever, cough, and respiratory problems. He died two days after entering the hospital, about two weeks after the intial infection of the disease. In Vietnam to date there have been 46 Swine Flu deaths and 5 Bird Flu deaths.
Swine Flu deaths: 46
Bird Flu deaths: 5
The words with which Gina Kolata ends her 2001 book (page 306) on the "murder mystery" of the Great Pandemic of 1918, seem highly prescient today, in 2009: "...a chimera, that, like the 1918 flu virus, is perfectly suited for destruction." As there is a lull in the storm of the 2009 Great Pandemic, the Bird Flu circles like a carrion feeder, emerging again, swooping down. Scientists and researchers around the world are fidgeting with the strong reemergence of H5N1 and the resulting deaths.
Dr. Nguyen Huy Nga, chief of the Preventive Health and Environment Department, said the H1N1 virus that causes swine flu could combine with the H5N1 virus and become more deadly than the former and more capable of human-to-human transmission than the latter, especially in winter. -K. Nguyen, translated by Dang Long
As early as September 2009, a 19-year-old Balinese woman, Ni Wayan Siti, died of pneumonia brought on by H1N1 Swine Flu, indicative of an early flu mutation recognized only now in the news media. The remarkable complication was that the hospital suspected that the patient was also infected with H5N1 Bird Flu. Do not be lulled in the Pandemic lull. The stage for an H1N1/H5N1 amalgamation was established in September 2009, or even possibly earlier.
Influenza viruses not only mutate quickly and unpredictably, but they can swap genes,especially if a person or animal becomes infected with two strains at once. The new H1N1 strain is itself a mixture of various strains, genetic tests show. -NYDaily News
The only hope we have is vigilant surveillance, keeping a careful eye out for the rough beast whose hour has come at last. - Gina Kolata, Flu
Local Colorado Springs Links: Vegetarian Society of Colorado
Happy Cow Listing for Vegetarian Restaurants in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs Vitamin Cottage
Sunflower Farmers Market - Wholefoods Market
Memorial Health System Influenza Information - Flu Clinics in Colorado Springs
See also: Defining H1N1 Swine Flu second wave