A report from the Yonhap New Agency recently told us about of the latest outbreak of the Avian Influenza virus in South Korea.
Apparently, The strain of avian influenza that broke out in South Korea this year, is a type that has not caused any human infections, as opposed to the various other strains found in Southeast Asia.
The strain of bird flu that has swept the country for the past five weeks is different from those found in Indonesia and Vietnam, where the disease has been transmitted to humans, resulting in many human deaths, according to an intermediary report by the National Veterinary Research Quarantine Service.
The report also said that this year’s outbreak was different from the strains that occurred in 2003 and 2006 in South Korea.
Surely this is very good news for us all.
Yes and no.
The most frightening part of the report is the casual mention of the fact that ” this year’s outbreak was different from the strains that occurred in 2003 and 2006 in South Korea.”
Apparently, we should now expect new mutations of this killer virus on a regular bases!
The rate of the mutation of the various strains of the Avian Influenza virus is rapidly growing, with new and different strains of the virus popping up at a faster rate all over the place.
The fact that the current mutation in South Korea has not caused any human infections does not mean that the next mutated strain of the virus would also be as kind to us as the current strain.
So even though we can be thankful for the South Korean throw of the “mutation dice”, yet we should realise that every harmless mutation, increases the chances of a really bad strain of the virus appearing the next time.
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