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None of the secondary ferrets contracted either a reassorted virus or even just H5N1, thereby mimicking what we’ve seen in humans.
Separately, the scientists used gene splicing to create a hybrid virus. They found these hybrids also did not pass easily between the animals. Moreover, ferrets injected with the reassorted virus were less ill than those who received pure H5N1. Reassortment appears to have weakened the germ.
H5N1 appears to be a virus that, if you could interview it, would tell you it very much does not want to cause a human pandemic.
ALL OF THIS ALSO helps explain one of the least-known facts about H5N1, even though it’s documented by the World Health Organization (WHO). The viral strain’s discovery in poultry dates back not to 1997, as we’re constantly told, but rather to 1959, when it was identified in Scottish chickens.
Okay, perhaps haggis had a protective effect on the farmers; perhaps the virus can’t penetrate kilts. But there was also a terrible outbreak of the related H5N2 among both chickens and turkeys in Pennsylvania in 1983-85 (17 million birds were destroyed) that appears to have originated as H5N1 in seagulls.
In other words humans have been exposed to this thing for half a century with no evidence it’s become the least bit more contagious to them. Small increases in the counted numbers of human cases over the last four years are probably nothing more than an artifact of better reporting. Better disease reporting, by the way, is generally regarded as good news.
Yet virologist Robert Webster, probably the most respected of the alarmists, last November in the New England Journal of Medicine, specifically cited the annual increases in bird-to-human H5N1 cases since 2002 as cause for alarm. So what does it mean that, according to the WHO, current to September 10, throughout this year such cases have significantly lagged behind those of last year? You already know: “It’s even worse than we thought!”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?