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November 16, 2007


Rantburg regular, Anonymoose offers a useful introduction to some of the formal nomenclature surrounding Avian flu in the first comment to a post on an outbreak in the UK. Also: Fun facts. For instance, I had no idea fish could be carriers of the virus. And this tidbit struck me as interesting.

But acquired resistance is not the only protection or defense we have against influenza. A large percentage of the population of North America, and many in Europe, have a genetic inhibitor to viral cell adhesion, which has been traced to the bubonic plague of the 15th and 17th Centuries. It is not yet known if it affords protection to the "H5" factor.

Reassuring if you happen to be a lucky plague victim descendant.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at November 16, 2007 06:33 AM


Hm... I wonder if that's why I haven't had the flu since I was in high school (a very long time ago, yes).

Posted by: Andrea Harris [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 16, 2007 12:15 PM

Also, the original identification of H5N1 was in a Scottish wildfowl in the early 50's.


Posted by: J.M. Heinrichs [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 17, 2007 02:10 AM

Like the true alpha geek that I am, I have a bazillion allergies. This means I have an immune system that essentially overreacts. In saying so however, I also heal from injuries (soccer related broken bones, general ailments) must faster than the average Joe. I do not ever think I have had an influenza more than once even though my spouse who works many many clinic shifts and is around hundreds of sickies a week has. I also cannot get cold sores. I am like Wolverine to viruses. My wife thinks they should grind me up, extract my enzymes and create a vaccine.

Posted by: Gorthos [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 17, 2007 07:46 AM