Reference: Fresh form of H1N1 is much more severe, Bangkok Post, August 30, 2009
The warning from the WHO that the H1N1 virus could mutate into fatal pulmonary distress (Fresh form of H1N1 is much more severe, Bangkok Post, August 30, 2009) is curious for several reasons. First, this characteristic of the virus is not new but something that has been known since day one. Why is it being presented as new information? Second, the 1918 Spanish flu also got started in early northern summer and was also relatively mild through the summer but got virulent at the end of August. So is history the scientific basis for the sudden warning of virulence? Third, if the WHO is right why are we rushing to make vaccines against the known mild strain when it is the virulent strain from which we need protection? Finally, a high fatality rate is a tragedy in the short run but a blessing in the long run. Pandemics need their hosts to be alive long enough to walk around and spread the disease. If the hosts die too soon so does the pandemic.