Thursday, February 23, 2012

Media Contradiction at it's best: Topic Bird Flu

Bird flu more common and less lethal - study‎

Bird flu is believed to be a rare disease that kills more than half of the people it infects, but a US study out today suggests it may be more common and less lethal than previously thought.

The research could help soothe concerns about the potential for a deadly pandemic that may kill many millions of people, sparked by the recent lab creation of a mutant bird flu that can pass between mammals.

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York analysed 20 previous international studies that tested the blood of nearly 13,000 participants worldwide.

They found that between one and two percent of those tested showed evidence of a prior H5N1 avian flu infection, meaning millions of people may have been infected around the globe. Read More

H5N1 flu is just as dangerous as feared, now requires action

The debate about the potential severity of an outbreak of airborne H5N1 influenza in humans needs to move on from speculation and focus instead on how we can safely continue H5N1 research and share the results among researchers, according to a commentary to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on February 24. H5N1 influenza has been at the center of heated discussions in science and policy circles since the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) asked the authors of two recent H5N1 investigations and the scientific journals that planned to publish the studies to withhold crucial details of the research in the interest of biosecurity.

In the mBio® commentary, Michael Osterholm* and Nicholas Kelley, of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, present their case that H5N1 is a very dangerous virus, based on their analysis of published studies of the seroepidemiology of H5N1 in humans. H5N1 flu infections have exceedingly high mortality, they say, and current vaccines and antiviral drugs will not pull us out of a global H5N1 pandemic. "We believe that the assertion that the case-fatality rate of H5N1 influenza in humans may be overestimated is based on a flawed data analysis,"Osterholm said. Read More

Note: Both these articles started doing the circles today, one is research from Researchers at a school who have taken the irresponsible view of announcing that H5N1 is more common and less deadly than first thought whilst in the same breath announcing that the mutant bird flu research is nothing for us to worry about if it were to be released.

Now the second article also published today is from the Center for Infectious Disease Research who, "...Present their case that H5N1 is a very dangerous virus, based on their analysis of published studies of the seroepidemiology of H5N1 in humans. H5N1 flu infections have exceedingly high mortality."

So who are we to believe?