"3 People In Egypt Suspected Of Being Infected With H1N1 Swine Flu And H5N1 Bird Flu
Three people in Egypt are believed to have been infected with the H1N1 swine flu virus as well as the H5N1 bird flu virus. These are the first ever reported cases of both strains of the flu showing up in a human at the same time. If these two viruses recombine to form a "super flu", could this be the beginning of the "worst case scenario" that top virologists have been warning about?
Reportedly, the three patients are recovering in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada. The source article linked to above also mentions a 28 year old man who tested positive for both viruses after arriving at the port of Safaga in Egypt after a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. It is unclear from the article if this 28 year old man is part of the other three patients or if he represents a separate case. In any event, the article does say that tests did confirm that the 28 year old man DID have both the swine flu and the bird flu.
So what does this mean?
Well, this could be really, really, really bad news for all of us.
Just a few days ago, we reported that swine flu had been found in a flock of turkeys in Chile. We speculated on what might happen if H1N1 and H5N1 found a way to recombine in birds.
Now there is something much worse to be concerned about. If more cases emerge of the H1N1 swine flu and the H5N1 bird flu showing up in humans at the same time, then it will probably be only a matter of time before those two viruses start borrowing genetic material from one another.
The result of such a recombination could be a "super flu" that spreads as rapidly among humans as the swine flu does, but that also has the incredibly high death rates that the bird flu does.
Take a moment and let that sink in.
Yi Guan, the world renowned virologist at Hong Kong University that isolated the SARS virus in 2003, told Science Insider that if the quickly spreading H1N1 virus recombines with the highly lethal H5N1 virus and a new strain with both of those qualities develops it would be an absolute nightmare for the world: "If that happens, I will retire immediately and lock myself in the P3 lab. H5N1 kills half the people it infects."
Do you understand what one of the top virologists in the world is saying?
H1N1 + H5N1 could equal a "super flu" that could kill millions.
Or tens of millions.
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