Editorial: New bird flu strains

If the bird flu strain H7N9 emerged in China in March this year, causing infections in about 134 people and killing 43, another novel bird flu strain, H6N1, emerged this May in Taiwan. Unlike the H7N9 strain, the latest one has infected just one person, a 20-year-old woman who presented with typical influenza-like symptoms. What … Continue reading Editorial: New bird flu strains


Editorial: The next contagion

The influenza A(H7N9) virus, a novel bird flu strain that emerged in China, has infected nine people and already killed three. Unlike the H5N1 virus that is widely endemic in poultry in Asia, this strain is unique in several ways. The most important among them is that it has turned out to be lethal; the … Continue reading Editorial: The next contagion

‘Lab-created H5N1 viruses removed natural barriers’

Published in The Hindu on February 2, 2012 In two articles published today (February 2) in Nature, members of the United States National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) have for the first time gone on record explaining the reasons behind their decision to “recommend” both Science and Nature to publish only the redacted (censored) … Continue reading ‘Lab-created H5N1 viruses removed natural barriers’

Censorship won’t stop bird flu contagion

Published in The Hindu on January 27, 2015 The United States National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) decision to “recommend” that Science and Nature journals publish only redacted versions of bird flu research results is nothing but an exaggerated and over-zealous reaction that is bound to fail in its prime objective. Most of the … Continue reading Censorship won’t stop bird flu contagion

Editorial: Thinking after acting

Published in The Hindu on December 26, 2011 The United States government, which funded two teams of scientists to research if the H5N1 influenza virus has the potential to trigger a pandemic, has developed cold feet — after reviewing papers containing detailed descriptions of the lethal strains. The papers have already been sent to two … Continue reading Editorial: Thinking after acting