Deadly Mutated Virus Formulas To Be Published Despite Health Dangers
A New H5N1 Flu Virus? This Research Should Stop Now
Edward J. Sylvester and Dr. Lynn C. Klotz
The risks to world health from research to make an extraordinarily lethal avian flu virus contagious in humans have finally caught everyone’s attention after months of warnings from us (Lynn Klotz*) and many other experts.
The Atlantic online (Feb. 16) features this question: Shouldn’t regular citizens be able to weigh in on whether scientists are allowed to play with a virus that could kill a third of the population? Writer Pagan Kennedy’s answer, summarized in the headline: Good luck.
Unfortunately, that feared virus may already exist. Two forms of the virus residing in two laboratories, one in the Netherlands and one in Wisconsin, may be highly contagious and highly deadly in humans, but we have evidence only from a good animal model for influenza viruses. We’ll never know if it would be as deadly in humans simply because we cannot infect humans to get the proof.
Those who have been sounding the alarm are among the world leaders in molecular biology, microbiology, virology, public health and microbial genetics. Dr. Paul Keim was quoted in the journal Science in November: “I can’t think of another pathogenic organism that is as scary as this one…. I don’t think anthrax is scary at all compared to this.”