Saturday, 04 July 2009

Was Swine Flu Outbreak Caused by Lab Leak?

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Swine flu laboratoryThe current H1N1 influenza A (i.e., “swine flu”) outbreak around the world was likely an after-effect of a government laboratory leaking a virus in 1977, according to a news story published in the June 30 London Independent:

Scientists investigating the genetic make-up of flu viruses have concluded there is a high probability that the H1N1 strain of influenza "A" behind the current pandemic might never have been re-introduced into the human population were it not for an accidental leak from a laboratory working on the same strain in 1977.

The current H1N1 strain is genetically related to the virus released in 1977, according to scientists. "I would imagine that most labs researching into influenza would have had the 1950s strain. We cannot actually pinpoint which lab had it or accidentally released it, but the re-emergence of H1N1 in 1977 made it potentially a man-made pandemic," Dr. Shanta Zimmer of the University of Pittsburgh told the London Independent.

The London Independent was reporting about a recent investigation by the New England Journal of Medicine. The New England Journal of Medicine report also noted that the 1976 outbreak of swine flu came as a result of a release of flu virus at Fort Dix, New Jersey that had “230 cases and one death.” That “swine flu epidemic” created an overabundance of immunization against a virus that was eventually not found to be highly contagious.

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The result of the 1976 leak was likely more injuries and deaths had the government not undergone the massive immunization program. “The emergence of swine influenza at Fort Dix led to the implementation of a mass vaccination program, which resulted in 40 million civilian vaccinations and 532 cases of the Guillain–Barré syndrome (a rare side effect of influenza vaccination), including 32 deaths,” the New England Journal of Medicine explained.

Government has apparently done more to worsen the flu season than to mitigate the suffering in recent years.

Photo: AP Images