Wednesday, July 26, 2006


There is a literal gold rush going on today in search of a comprehensive vaccine to stop the infection and spread of bird flu in humans. It is a curious fight : attempting to create a vaccine for a virus that is yet to show itself completely.

This means that as the avian influenza virus hasn't mutated inside humans into a form that spreads more easily between humans, it is not yet know exactly what the "mix" of old and new virus forms that make up this communicable bird flu virus will actually be, if or when it reveals itself.

Australian and Russian virologists and researchers are now both claiming to be closing in on a vaccine that they will protect the vaccinated from catching the human form of the avian influenza virus, again, if or when it mutates into such a form.

It is a gold rush because, unlike AIDS, a flu virus is extremely easy to catch and spread. If mutated bird flu was steadily killing thousands of people, any company, or research facility, that had a vaccine to prevent the spread or infection would literally be sitting on a mountain of gold.

We may find ourselves in the unusual situation where there is a variety of vaccines to bird flu available at the same time, with enormous pressure from pharameutical giants on the World Health Organisation to endorse their vacccine as a universal standard.

Regardless, there will be shortages if the bird flu virus mutates within humans this year. And, of course, there is no guarantee that any of the vaccines now being developed will actually stop the vaccinated from becoming infected. It is all blue sky stuff for now, and will remain so until the pandmeic virus shows itself and a true vaccine is developed from that form of the virus.

In the meantime, we will have "best guess" vaccines, which in the end may prove to be better than nothing at all.

Of course, the easiest way to not get any virus is thoroughly wash your hands throughout the day, to keep a good distance between yourself and anybody else you meet, to not shake hands, to not share food or drinks and to wear a face mask in public doused with virus killing agents.

From Russia, comes this short report (roughly translated) which claims a vaccine will be ready by mid-September "
The Minister of Healthcare of Russia Mikhail Zurabov announced that there was a possibility of bird flu focuses in separate regions of Russia this autumn. Fortunately the Russian Federation will have vaccine fighting against that illness, Interfax reports.

”I hope that till 10th September the clinical tests of the vaccine will be finished and we are going to have at our disposal what everyone calls “vaccine of the last hope”, he stated in an interview for “Russia” TV channel

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