Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Global Pandemic: Southern Hemisphere will determine planet's fate [Kill rate calculated as 10%, double 1918 Pandemic]

SHOOT: The Southern Hemipshere countries are going into their flu season. If the triple reassorted virus manages to invest itself in the populations of countries such as New Zealand, Australia, South Africa (and the rest of Southern Africa) and South America, a series of waves are likely to emerge, spreading out and contaminating and recontaminating the world's human populations. 162 fatalities among perhaps 2000 cases in Mexico suggests a very high (10%) killing rate.

Out of the blue, a novel influenza virus has emerged in Mexico. The virus seems to have been born from the combination of at least two pig viruses, that themselves carried gene segments that originated in viruses of other species such as birds or humans. The combination of elements from three species is called "triple reassortment".

This new virus, although dubbed "swine flu", has not been identified from pigs in Mexico, nor is it caught directly from pigs, but has the ability to infect and transmit efficiently between humans. This led the World Health Organization to increase its pandemic alert to level 4.

If the virus persists until the advent of the next influenza season, or takes hold in the southern hemisphere where influenza season is getting underway right now, we might also have to look out for further reassortment events between this virus and the currently circulating human influenza A H3N2 or H1N1 strains.
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