Sunday, December 04, 2005

Don't Panic

Don't panic, but there is some evidence that the dreaded Mutation has occurred:
Officials in at least two nations now suspect the avian flu bug has mutated into a virus that is being transmitted from human to human – a development world health authorities have estimated could result in the deaths of tens of millions. Thai health officials have expressed concern that the country's two latest confirmed victims may be the beginning of the much feared human-to-human transmission.[...] Meanwhile, in Indonesia, the disease is spreading so rapidly, particularly in the capital of Jakarta, some health officials strongly suspect the long-dreaded mutation has already occurred. "There are just too many people who have it," said one doctor. "In many cases, it is difficult to establish any contact with birds."
The article does not contain enough technical detail for me to decide if the situation is really as alarming as the article implies. We await word from the WHO. The latest post on their site is from 11/29, and so far they do not mention Thailand as an area of concern. Their latest update mentions a few cases in Indonesia, not the widespread infection reported in the news article. Pandemicflu.gov has no information that is more recent than what the WHO has; nor does the CDC.