21 February 2006

Avian Flu Is Serious Threat, but There May Be More

Humans risk being overrun by diseases from the animal world, according to researchers who have documented 38 illnesses that have made that jump over the past 25 years.

That's not good news for the spread of bird flu, which experts fear could mutate and be transmitted easily among people.


BTW: viruses are not living organisms. They are just tiny packages of DNA (or RNA). But once they get inside a living cell (it has to be the right kind; cells and viruses match up like lock & key), the cell thinks it has to do something with the DNA/RNA, so it replicates it and ends up making more viruses.


Mark said...

My three-year-old came down with chicken pox today (despite the vaccine). Even a non-life threatening pandemic would destroy an economy. For working parents, chicken pox can mean two weeks at home without pay. God knows what a mutant strand could do.

Michelle Fry said...

Viruses are great examples of evolution in action. They can mutate like nobody's business.

WestEnder said...

They have a chicken pox vaccine now? I didn't know that.

When I was a kid my family (me, sis, mom, dad) went to Chicago every winter to visit relatives. One time we went with close family friends (mom, dad, 2 daughters). I don't remember who got the pox first, but in no time all 4 kids had it.

I remember being old enough to understand not to scratch, so I was the scratch police.