28 April 2009

Swine 'Flu Overview

And no - not just because she is attractive.

"Tara C. Smith is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology. Her research involves a number of pathogens at the animal-human nexus. Additionally, she is the founder of Iowa Citizens for Science and also writes for The Panda's Thumb and WIRED SCIENCE's Correlations.

... In summary, this is a fast-developing story, and it will take much more investigation and field work to determine the true extent of the virus's spread in the population; to figure out where it originated (one blog suggests a Mexican hog confinement according to some local Mexican papers, but that is conjecture at this point); how it jumped to humans; and how efficiently it's transmitted.

Whether this burns out or spreads worldwide, it certainly shows once again the importance of surveillance and monitoring of influenza strains, and demonstrates that improving our infrastructure due to concerns about H5N1 will benefit us whether that serotype, or another emergent strain, ends up being the next global influenza threat."

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