Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ferrets, India, Physicians and Sarah Palin: The Mutating Story on the H1N1 Virus (Update)

Earlier as pointed out on this site, the CDC has misinformed the public on how the H1N1 vaccine is produced and if the H1N1 virus is mutating.

When checking to see if the H1N1 is mutating, the best place to look is with companies that produce the virus vaccines.

It's in their best interest to know what viruses are doing.

In one notable press release, the following was stated:

Lakewood-Amedex's nRNA product works by selectively silencing targeted genes in the viral genome.The company is building on the previously successful animal model study where mice infected with H1N1 type A influenza virus were given two doses of the L-A nRNA product and all survived while control and placebo dosed mice all died within six days.In addition L-A previously published a study demonstrating the effectiveness of its technology against the lethal H5N1 "bird flu" influenza virus in which a single intra-nasal dose of the company's nRNA product protected 100% of the infected chickens while placebo treated chickens all died within seven days.

Steve Parkinson, L-A's President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We had intended to develop our broadly applicable influ-RNA product to treat seasonal flu and as an emergency stockpile product in the event of a further outbreak of avian influenza, but due to the escalating global H1N1 pandemic and now the report of this virus having been isolated from turkeys in Chile, we feel it is critical to have a product that can target multiple strains of influenza and is useable year after year."

(emphasis added)

The company was responding to the virus jumping from human to bird in Chile by developing a broad spectrum influenza drug.

In September of this year, the Wall Street Journal reported the CDC had conducted tests on ferrets to see the effect of combining the H1N1/H5N1 strains.

Public-health officials are breathing a small sigh of relief that the H1N1 swine flu virus hasn’t mutated to become more deadly since emerging last spring. But what are the chances it will?

To find out, scientists at the CDC recently launched experiments in the agency’s labs in which they infected ferrets with both the new H1N1 virus and the highly lethal H5N1 avian flu virus to see if they might “reassort” to create a new hybrid.

The scientists want to know whether a combination of the H1N1 virus -– highly transmissible, but not terribly deadly -– and the H5N1 flu virus could create an easily transmissible, deadly scourge. The H5N1 virus has only sickened 440 people world-wide since 2003 and generally isn’t transmitted from one person to another. But it has killed 262, or about 60%, of those people, according to the World Health Organization.

According to Nancy Cox, the test failed.....

However, in Ireland it was found there was the emergence of an avian-like A/H1N1 virus.

The influenza A H1N1 viruses, initially isolated from pigs in Ireland in 1991, were genetically distinct from previously identified human and swine H1N1 viruses, and appear to be the result of introduction of an avian virus distinct from those circulating in pigs in other European countries. The first Irish H3N2 swine isolates were genetically closely related to human H3N2 viruses. In contrast, H3N2 viruses isolated during the latter half of the 1990s were reassortants possessing internal genes similar to those of the H1N1 viruses, and both subtypes acquired amantadine resistance. These changes mimic those which occurred among swine influenza viruses in continental Europe during the 1980s, and emphasize the apparent advantage of properties associated with the avian internal genes and amantadine resistance for maintenance of the viruses in pigs.

In Mumbai India, scientists are perplexed over developments that there are signs that the H1N1 is mutating:

Mumbai: A preliminary study conducted by the state government into the deaths caused by the H1N1 influenza virus has revealed that the pathogen is now affecting patients more virulently and is producing newer reactions in the body. The study has also thrown up a perplexing fact--two-thirds of those suspected to have died of swine flu did not have the virus, despite showing all clinical symptoms.

Pathologists at the state-run Sassoon General Hospital in Pune took tissue samples from the bodies of the deceased to study the effect of the virus that attacks the respiratory tract. "Our doctors have concluded that the virus has undergone some genomic changes," said Dr Arun Jamkar, dean, BJ Medical College, Pune. A key discovery is that the virus, which was initially causing a bacterial infection, is now causing a more potent viral infection.

"The viral is now leading to a condition called hyalinisation of alvelar membrane, or thickening of the lung wall by deposition of proteins. Due to this, oxygen supply is severely affected, and even ventilators have been of little help," said Dr Pravin Shingare, joint director, Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER).


This finding has led experts to conclude that the virus has indeed undergone some changes and its anti-antigenicity is changing. But, the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune has a different opinion. Director of NIV, Dr AC Mishra, said that his team is yet to record any change in the behaviour of the virus. "We still cannot say conclusively that the virus has mutated," he added.

Jamkar said that another interesting finding of the state experts has been that two-thirds of the influenza H1N1 patients who died actually tested negative for the virus. "As many as 36 suspected cases who died were later found negative for the virus," he said.

What are some physicians saying about the H1N1 virus?

Physicians Are Talking About: Is It Worth Getting the H1N1 Vaccine?

An anesthesiologist in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, area commented that his community experienced a flu outbreak in September: "I'm not very enthused about giving my son the swine flu shot considering [that] he's likely had the disease already."

MPC contributors who have been treating H1N1 in their communities say that the illness, in the majority of cases, is mild. However, data on the spread and severity of the H1N1 virus are only now emerging. Two studies recently published in JAMA reported that the outbreaks in Mexico and Canada lasted about 3 months, but the peak lasted just a few weeks.[1] The Mexican cohort incurred a mortality of 27%,[2] twice as high as the Canadian cohort (14%).[3] The studies reported that the H1N1 influenza can produce a rapidly progressive respiratory failure that is refractory to conventional mechanical ventilation and that frequently targets young and healthy patients.

"This ain't your grandma's seasonal flu virus," says a pediatrician. "It's a quadruple-reassortant swine/avian hybrid that's never been seen before, significantly different from its predecessors, even if relatively wimpy." For this reason, he suggests that caution is warranted with regard to the infection and the vaccine. He adds, "It's not inconceivable that this vaccine could cause side effects not seen with seasonal vaccine, although it seems safe in trials, so far." A family medicine physician agrees: "Any vaccine made at the last minute and made only by a few manufacturers with huge government contracts at stake cannot help but be higher risk for untoward side effects."

As for the testing in India; there could be many reasons for the negative results.

And the CDC even admits negative test results are not conclusive.

ATLANTA, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- A positive rapid test for influenza is helpful, but a negative result does not rule out pandemic influenza A H1N1 infection, U.S. health officials said.

What is conclusive is there is proof that the virus is mutating and the CDC continues to deny the mutation.

Moreover as an aside, when it came to Jay Butler not taking a position in Alaska and heading up the CDC's task force on the H1N1, it is fortunate for Palin that he never did.

With the way he has headed up the H1N1 vaccine program, it is evident his competence is lacking.

Jay Butler: Well, thank you, Dr. Jernigan. And good afternoon, or good morning for those of you on the line. This morning, this afternoon I'd like to provide an update on the status of the H1N1 vaccine program. A couple of events have developed over the past week which I think are important. The FDA has licensed the H1N1 vaccine from four of the five manufacturers, and that's one of the important steps towards making the vaccines available. We also have data now that there's a good antibody response to the vaccines, that adults appear to have a robust antibody response that suggests that a single dose should provide protection. And additionally, there's been no mutation in the virus. So right now there's every indication that we have a good match between the virus that's causing disease and the vaccines we have to be able to prevent it.

And it is clear that the Obama administration is using the "blame game" to lay cover for its own incompetence with handling the pandemic.

This idea that chicken eggs are the fault for the shortage is patently false.

The delays are occurring around the globe, officials said, and are due to a series of manufacturing difficulties, as vaccine makers scramble to fill vast orders using an old technology that requires growing virus in chicken eggs.

It takes about six to nine months to produce vaccine once a flu strain has been identified.

A total of 11.3 million doses of vaccine had been shipped to U.S. doctors, hospitals, and clinics as of Wednesday, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, out of a total of 14.1 million doses that manufacturers had shipped to warehouses by that time.

When you consider what was published by the Wall Street Journal and what was stated by Butler at his briefing in September that the targeted doses of the vaccine was 3.4million, you can see that 11.3 million doses is well above what was targeted.

For Sarah Palin, she is fortunate that Butler didn't join her administration when you consider Butler was going to testify against Palin's support of Alaska's parental consent law.

That should tell you the agenda Butler has.

Update: Don Imus and Christie on the vaccine and parent's rights.

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