Perhaps more like some recent film scripts of greedy corporations or terrorists seeking an edge to wage profit or war, there is now concern of what could happen if mutated/created strains of “Bird-Flu” were released/escaped. “Laboratory modified viruses which appear to be more transmissible in mammals…research has identified some of the genetic changes which may be associated with increased transmissibility in mammals. Now, this means that the findings are directly relevant for mammals and it still remains a little bit unclear how relevant they are to people,” says Keiji Fukuda, (Below Photo) Assistant Director-General of Health Security and Environment for the World Health Organization (WHO) speaking from the US based CDC (Center for Disease Control) in Atlanta Georgia. Highly Contagious Strains of Bird-Flu Created in Labs. In the US and beyond, there has been concern that publication of recent research could provide terrorists and others with possibility of creating/introducing/spreading a pandemic. WHO convened the meeting as a first step to facilitate the discussion of differing opinions that have arisen in recent months after two research groups, one in the Netherlands and the other based in the United States, have created versions of the H5N1 influenza virus which are more transmissible in mammals than the H5N1 virus that occurs naturally. Risk of Abuse/Terror: “We convened this meeting on an urgent basis. It was put together really quite quickly because we wanted to address some of the most concrete and urgent issues relating to the research and in particular related to questions about the publication of the information and the handling of the new laboratory modified viruses says Mr. Fukuda. “Given the current situation it was best to continue that moratorium. At the same time they clearly understood, or they clearly made the point that additional work needed to be done before the full disclosure or full manuscripts could be put out in the public. So what does this mean? Well, they recognize that right now there is a lot of concern about the safety aspects of this kind or research and the safety aspects of these particular studies and the newly created lab modified viruses. So it was recognized that it was important that public awareness and awareness of other groups about the nature of the research, the importance of the research and the context of the research be understood and that this was the most important step for making sure that anxieties would not be unnecessarily increased.“ Security & Research as Shared Priorities: This meeting of global public health and influenza experts associated with has reached consensus on the two urgent issues related to the newly created H5N1 influenza viruses: extending the temporary moratorium on research with new laboratory-modified H5N1 viruses and recognition that research on naturally-occurring H5N1 influenza virus must continue in order to protect public health. Two critical issues are to increase public awareness and understanding of this research through communications and the review of biosafety and biosecurity aspects raised by the new laboratory-modified H5N1 influenza virus. By Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey – Follow @MuhamedSacirbey Facebook = Become a Fan at “Diplomatically Incorrect” Twitter – Follow us at DiplomaticallyX
Creating An Epidemic Monster?
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