Separately, the World Health Organisation has confirmed fears that a cluster ofUmm, isn't this REALLY big news?
cases in Indonesia was caused by the virus passing directly from person to
person. Seven people died, but officials insisted there was no risk of wider
transmission. Scientists found that the virus had mutated slightly, but not into
a form that could be passed on easily.
Okay, so the virus has only mutated "slightly" but surely even a slight mutation should get more than a passing mention at the bottom of another story.
Scary, scary, scary.
Having been in Laos for most of last year and seeing the intense proximity between people and fowl, even in the cities, Ias well as the amount of smuggling of chickens and eggs from both Thailand and Vietnam, I'm fairly convinced that an outbreak in Laos is pretty much inevitable. Meaning the whole Southeast Asian region would be affected. Add to this the news that person to person transmission has new been confirmed, the huge density of population throughout the region and the massive number of international travellers passing through the area and you have a recipe for disaster.
I don't want to be alarmist, but gosh, it's all a bit worrying.
Update: The story also ran in saturday's West Australian - on page 37... It seems that experts are insisting that this incident doesn't "increase the possibility of a human pandemic." Somehow I don't find that particularly comforting.
The Northern Territory's main paper, the Territorian, also ran a, slightly larger, story on the same issue. Nothing in the country's major papers though. interesting.