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The pandemic risk of an accidental lab leak of enhanced flu virus: unacceptably high

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  • The pandemic risk of an accidental lab leak of enhanced flu virus: unacceptably high

    https://thebulletin.org/2020/06/the-...eptably-high/#
    The pandemic risk of an accidental lab leak of enhanced flu virus: unacceptably high
    By Lynn C. Klotz, June 26, 2020
    According to the World Health Organization, seasonal influenza viruses spread throughout the world in a year or two, infecting 10 to 25 percent of the world’s population and causing some 290,000 to 650,000 deaths. With a world population of about 8 billion, the fatality rate is between 0.0036 percent to 0.0081 percent. No wonder seasonal influenza does not seem particularly dangerous to many of us. It is likely that none of us or our close acquaintances will die. On the other hand, if the influenza virus were instead lab-created, somehow released outside the lab into the community, spread worldwide, and caused 290,000 to 650,000 deaths, we would be outraged that some lab caused these deaths.

    Why consider the risk of lab accident that releases an influenza virus into the community? Because scientists in various countries continue to make so-called enhancements to these viruses in laboratories. While not all influenzas affect humans, some labs have conducted experiments to modify avian (or bird) influenza viruses in order to make them transmissible to mammals...
    https://thebulletin.org/biography/lynn-c-klotz/
    Klotz is Senior Science Fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and a longtime member of the Scientists’ Working Group on Chemical and Biological Weapons. He is co-author with Ed Sylvester of Breeding Bio Insecurity: How U.S. Biodefense is Exporting Fear, Globalizing Risk, and Making Us All Less Secure, The University of Chicago Press, October 2009.
    Never forget Excalibur.
    “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed
    Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)
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