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Dangerous Playing With A Deadly Virus


By James Donahue

Oct. 6, 2005


I am not a scientist but I have been around the science community long enough that I think I can understand why a team of genetic scientists used their new-found skills to reconstruct and breath back into life the deadly virus that caused the last great world pandemic of 1918.


The story made headlines this week because this century-old virus is found to be much like the H5N1 bug that is threatening us now, science was able to bring it back to life, and finally, a subconscious thought: Oh-My-God it is with us again!


That the geneticists removed this frozen species from a woman who died from the 1918 pandemic and was buried in the frozen Tundra where corpses never rot was, in itself, a spectacular showing that genetic material from the dead can be used to rebuild an original living organism once again.


But instead of rebuilding the woman, they chose the bug that killed her. And that is a really scary part of this story.


I know, Dr. Jeffery Taubenberger, the leader of the team of scientists for the U. S. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, assured everyone they know what they are doing and that there is little chance this bug will ever escape again.


Taubenberger told us that it was done in an effort to understand the bug that killed an estimated 50 million people so long ago and use this information to try to develop defenses against the threat of another pandemic that could be as bad, or worse, than the first one.


A frightening revelation from the news story is that the 1918 pandemic also was a form of a “bird flu” in that the virus was carried by migrating birds and mutated unexpectedly so that it could not only jump species to man, but then jump from human to human.


In other words, it followed the same path that H5N1 is taking. Both viruses are a type of bird flu that kills. Taubenberger also confirmed that the symptoms of the bird flu are much like hemorrhagic fever. Victims bleed from their noses, mouths and even their eyes while they lie dying.


Taubenberger said it happened during the 1918 pandemic. Donahue says the H5N1 pandemic will hit victims the same way.


In spite of their apparent “need to know,” I sense that the awakening of that old virus, and the reproduction of tens of millions of living copies of it in that laboratory, was an extremely dangerous thing for these military scientists to have done.


While the old virus is similar, it is not the same as H5N1, thus we now have two different strains of deadly bird flu sharing this world with us.


And if you have noticed the news lately, our laboratories have been lax about security when it comes to making sure deadly bugs don’t accidentally escape into the surrounding environment.


Remember the missing mice infected with bubonic plague that disappeared from a lab a few weeks ago? It has happened before.


What if this genetically restored strain of bird flu somehow gets loose among us even as the H5N1 virus is sweeping the world? If one virus doesn’t get us, it means the other one probably will.


The stupidity of humanity is just about to wipe us off the face of this planet. Donahue says the killing tide is upon us. He sees three different killing events ahead. When it ends, he predicts that 5.3 billion humans will be gone.


We just brought a Frankenstein monster back to life. All it will take is one careless or insane lab worker to open the door and let it loose. 

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