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04 juni 2009

Uitbraak varkensgriep is voorproefje van grotere pandemie

Worldwatch Institute, June 3, 2009

As health officials scramble to develop a vaccine for the H1N1 virus, commonly referred to as swine flu, there is reason to believe that the current swell is merely a sign of the larger pandemic to come. We should regard the current outbreak of H1N1 as a bad dress rehearsal for opening night. It is not a question of whether the virus will reemerge, but when, and we are woefully unprepared.

Influenza pandemics are often preceded by "herald waves" of a flu strain at the end of one flu season, only to return stronger the next flu season, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. This was true of the 1918 pandemic, which first emerged as a moderate flu virus in the spring and returned much stronger in the fall, killing as many as 40 million people worldwide. While much has changed since then, this new strain poses new challenges and we are not prepared to handle the consequences of quarantining and treating people who are infected or limiting global air travel and international trade.

Rather than focusing all of our attention on developing a vaccine, we must find ways to stop these diseases before they start. Prevention of zoonotic diseases-diseases that animals can transfer to humans-requires a fundamental change in the way we raise animals. We can begin by raising fewer animals for food overall and phasing out the most intensive confinement practices.

Zie ook:

Swine Flu Ancestors Born on U.S. Factory Farms

Toevoeging juni 2011:

Is Drug Resistance in Humans Coming From Chickens?
Door Maryn McKenna, Wired, 28 juni 2011

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