Lee Duffield

Edited by Lee Duffield
Freedom and Truth

Swine and avian flu’s to cross paths again?

What will trigger swine flu's next mutation?: ynse

What will trigger swine flu's next mutation?: ynse

A clinical nurse consultant in infection control from Brisbane’s Mater Private Hospital says our major concern about swine flu should be its next mutation.

After all that was how it began – when a pig from Mexico, already sick with their endemic swine flu, contracted a strain of avian flu, which caused a mutation and enabled the swine flu to cross the species barrier and infect man.

With the northern hemisphere about to enter their flu season, some countries are still grappling with regional avian flu outbreaks, due to the migration of infected birds.

The World Health Organisation filed 34 cases of avian flu in Egypt this year – an annual record for Egypt well before year’s end.

Nurse Mandy Michie is concerned about the possibility of someone contracting both influenzas – like the pig in Mexico – allowing the viruses to mutate and exchange each others’ characteristics, and says the result could be an airborne swine flu.

Once the swine flu has gone airborne she says “you just have to be in the same room as an infected person to get it.”

Another possible mutation would be expected to occur if the southern and northern hemisphere strains of swine flu are contracted by the same person at the same time.

Dr Joe McCormack from the Mater Hospital and a lecturer at the University of Queensland says that influenza viruses “are into self-preservation just like us…that’s evolution.”

He says mutations occur in influenza viruses every few years, but only major mutations will cause a pandemic which usually occurs every 10 to 20 years.

Ms Michie says the year before the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 “there was a little blip, when it came around a year later it was more viralent”; swine flu could follow the Spanish flu’s example.