Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Two bioterrorism headlines you never want to see in the same place!

Update December 21: Over 17,000 chickens killed in Hong Kong after a carcass was found to have a “highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus.”

If bioterrorism has ever been a concern of yours then the two headlines below will not provide much comfort!

Question: What do you get when you cross a deadly strain of bird flu created in a laboratory in Denmark with cuts in spending and budget cuts in the U.S in the area of bioterrorism prevention?

Answer: Nothing good but that is exactly the situation the United States faces now!

"Alarm as Dutch lab creates highly contagious killer flu"

"A deadly strain of bird flu with the potential to infect and kill millions of people has been created in a laboratory by European scientists – who now want to publish full details of how they did it.

The discovery has prompted fears within the US Government that the knowledge will fall into the hands of terrorists wanting to use it as a bio-weapon of mass destruction...

... For the first time the researchers have been able to mutate the H5N1 strain of avian influenza so that it can be transmitted easily through the air in coughs and sneezes. Until now, it was thought that H5N1 bird flu could only be transmitted between humans via very close physical contact." (Source)

"Bio-terror security at risk"

"Recent and proposed budget cuts at all levels of government are threatening to reverse the significant post-9/11 improvements in the nation's ability to respond to natural diseases and bioterror attacks, according to a report released Tuesday.

"We're seeing a decade's worth of progress eroding in front of our eyes," said Jeff Levi, executive director of the Trust for America's Health, which published the report with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation..." (Source)

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