“We at WHO believe that the world is now in the gravest possible danger of a pandemic,” Dr. Shigeru Omi, the WHO’s Western Pacific regional director, said Wednesday. (source)
I mentioned this the other day in a blog, and it still chills me. The good news is that the Avian strain that so concerns the WHO and others still requires direct contact with infected birds. It has not yet mutated to cross-infect humans. But that situation may not last long.
“We don’t know whether the virus that is currently circulating among poultry in southeast Asia, the H5N1, will eventually be able to reassort its genetic material with a human influenza virus. That is the key question,” Professor Albert Osterhaus, a leading European virologist at Erasmus University Hospital in Rotterdam, told Reuters in an interview.
When I read that, I think Swine Flu. And it makes me feel a lot better.