This isn't good news.
The H5N1 bird flu virus has mutated to infect people more easily, although it still has not transformed into a pandemic strain, researchers said on Thursday.While the neo-crazies are trying very hard to create new wars and dreaming up new ways to define torture as not-torture, nature goes on. The world's weather is even crazier than Cheney this year and this tiny bug has the potential for truly biblical disaster. Makes you wonder what could be accomplished to head of these natural problems if the folks up at the White House weren't sociopaths of the first order and the U.S. wasn't wasting hundreds of billions on their bloody dreams, doesn't it?
The changes are worrying, said Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
"We have identified a specific change that could make bird flu grow in the upper respiratory tract of humans," said Kawaoka, who led the study.
"The viruses that are circulating in Africa and Europe are the ones closest to becoming a human virus," Kawaoka said.
Recent samples of virus taken from birds in Africa and Europe all carry the mutation, Kawaoka and colleagues report in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Pathogens.
"I don't like to scare the public, because they cannot do very much. But at the same time it is important to the scientific community to understand what is happening," Kawaoka said in a telephone interview.