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Any reasonable chance that Swine Flu is man made?

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I don't think Swine 'flu is all that new.


Even in Shakespeare's time there were (as-then) unexplained swine deaths. It was mentioned in Macbeth, one of the Weird Sisters commented about how she'd been spending some time "killing swine".


It's probably the same thing, but just been dormant for ages.

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Do you usually insult people who come on here with honest questions Mr. Skeptic?
Why do you find the post insulting? Doesn't a viral internet campaign satisfy at least some of the conditions of a "man-made" epidemic? Why so sensitive?
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Do you usually insult people who come on here with honest questions Mr. Skeptic?


My apologies. The first I heard of swine flu was from that comic, about quickly spreading rumors, and within the hour I saw your thread. I'll see about having something less clueless to say.




It seems unlikely from the wiki article's information, that the current swine flu would be manmade. For one thing, why would someone go to the trouble of making a virus to kill pigs. For another, a few strains of flu seem to have mutated to accept a new host, and this is more likely to be what happened here.

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For one thing, why would someone go to the trouble of making a virus to kill pigs.


Um...apparently it's killing more than pigs.


I doubt we'd be discussing it otherwise.






From what I can tell...no one knows where it came from yet.



I posted my question because I thought the topic was interesting

and a conversation with about the mutation and spread of disease would be informative.


If anybody wants to discuss that I'm all ears (or eyes as the case may be).



The CDC has confirmed that American cases were found to be made up of genetic

elements from four different flu viruses – North American swine influenza, North American

avian influenza, human influenza, and swine influenza virus typically found in Asia and Europe

– "an unusually mongrelised mix of genetic sequences."[67] Pigs have been shown to act as

a potential "mixing vessel" in which reassortment can occur between flu viruses of several

species.[68][69] This new strain appears to be a result of reassortment of human influenza

and swine influenza viruses, presumably due to superinfection in an individual human.





Thanks for the responses.

Edited by WindwagonSmith
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It's incredibly unlikely that this is "man-made."







Secretary Napolitano, I believe Japan and South Korea have both now announced that they’re going to begin testing on passengers coming in from the U.S. Why is the U.S. not doing that with passengers coming in from Mexico? And then also, do you have any indications — I know it’s still very early yet — but
any indications that perhaps this might have been caused by bioterrorism, this new strain of flu?



I’ll let John answer the second part. With respect to that, we’re doing, as I said, passive surveillance now. Right now we don’t think the facts warrant a more active testing or screening of passengers coming in from Mexico, although obviously we are letting air carriers and our employees at the gates on those flights make sure that they are asking people if they’re sick; and if they’re sick, that they shouldn’t board the plane — you know, that sort of thing, passively.


But again, this is a changing dynamic that we may increase or decrease that as the facts change over the next 24, 48, 72 hours.



Yes, the question about the strain that we’re seeing here, we analyzed that strain and are continuing to do further analysis of that strain and we expect to see the emergence of new flu strains. That’s something that we are continually watching for to ensure that we’re ready should a strain emerge that there’s not immunity and protection in the community for it.
This strain is
not unlike other new strains
that have emerged.
It’s an assortment — it’s got genetic components from a number of sources, including human, swine, and avian sources. And that’s something that you see with new strains.


And so
there’s nothing that we have seen in our work that would suggest anything but a naturally occurring event.



But from a security perspective, nothing to rule it out either — the possibility of bioterrorism?



: We are looking at all different aspects here, but as the doctor said,
there is no evidence whatsoever
that we have seen. But clearly, in order to make sure that we’re doing everything possible, we’re looking at all potential explanations here — but
no evidence whatsoever on the bioterrorism

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