Personal Liberty Digest™ will be upgraded this weekend to reflect a dynamic new look and mobile-friendly viewing to enhance your experience! Plus, we'll be providing even more of the compelling content you've come to expect, delivered in a whole new way!

  Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty
 

Bird Flu Virus Could Mutate To Human Form

CAMBRIDGE, England, (UPI) — Avian H5N1 influenza viruses could evolve in nature to become a human-to-human airborne transmissible virus, British researchers say.

Avian H5N1, also known as bird flu, can be transmitted from birds to humans but not from human to human, but researchers say it could become airborne transmissible between mammals, and thus potentially among humans, with as few as five mutations, Cambridge University researchers reported.

Until now, it was not known whether the mutations might evolve in nature, but scientist discovered two of the five mutations seen in experimental viruses in laboratories had occurred in numerous existing avian flu strains.

“Viruses that have two of these mutations are already common in birds, meaning that there are viruses that might have to acquire only three additional mutations in a human to become airborne transmissible,” Cambridge researcher Colin Russell said. “The next key question is ‘is three a lot, or a little?'”

The scientists used a mathematical model of how viruses replicate and evolve within a mammalian host to determine whether the remaining three mutations could evolve in a single host or in a short chain of transmission between hosts.

“With the information we have, it is impossible to say what the exact risk is of the virus becoming airborne transmissible among humans,” Derek Smith, a Cambridge professor of infectious diseases said. “However, the results suggest that the remaining three mutations could evolve in a single human host, making a virus evolving in nature a potentially serious threat.”

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Bird Flu Virus Could Mutate To Human Form”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at newstips@personalliberty.com

Bottom
close[X]

Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to PersonalLiberty.com,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.