Friday, January 20, 2012

WSJ: Vietnam and Cambodia Report Bird-Flu Deaths

Wall Street Journal p. A6 Jan 20, 2012

[Excerpted] "Vietnam confirmed its first human death from bird flu in nearly two years, a day after neighboring Cambodia also logged its first fatality this year as new cases of the H5N1 virus were reported in Asia and the Middle East."

Majia here: The article reports that the contagion was caused by bird-to-human contact and there is no evidence of human-to-human contact. The fear is that the virus will mutate and become transmittable human-to-human.

I expressed concerns some time ago that the radiation in our environment from Fukushima may increase viral mutations. I spoke to a geneticist I work with and she confirmed that possibility. 

However, the good news is that the odds of such a mutation are actually quite low. So, hopefully, we will be spared human-to-human transmission of the bird flu.

We've also been fortunate that H1N1 has not come back (at least to my knowledge) this year. Both my kids got it and ended up with pneumonia last time it came around. One of our neighbors knew a child that died from an asthma attack precipitated by H1N1. Serious stuff.

I hope everyone takes precautions to protect themselves from a potentially unpleasant flu season.

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