Saturday, February 18, 2012

Flu Secrets to be Revealed - Updated

It looks like the World Health Organization (WHO) is not going to listen to me and has given the go-ahead for everyone to publish everything about deadly and highly transmissible influenza viruses.

My concern has been less for terrorists and more for people messing around in their home labs, convinced that they know how to handle this. That fear has been somewhat allayed by reports that although the viruses are very transmissible from one ferret to another, the altered viruses seem to be less deadly than the H5N1 that has been observed in nature. "Somewhat allayed" because my alternative interpretation of that news is that somebody doesn't know what they're talking about; could be the scientists who have said confusing things or the reporters who just don't get it or some combination.

We'll see, I guess.

If you want to read my now obsolete maunderings, they are here, here, and here, the first being the most recent.

Update: A much more detailed look at the issues involved from someone whose background is closer to this field than mine is. Her points about scientists deciding for all of us are good ones.

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