Bloomberg reports that the World Health Organization is
investigating a claim by an Australian researcher that the
swine flu virus may have been created as a result of human
In an interview, Adrian Gibbs, who collaborated on research
that led to the development of Roche Holding AGs Tamiflu
drug, said he will publish a report suggesting the new strain
may have accidentally evolved in eggs scientists use to grow
viruses and drugmakers use to make vaccines. One of
the simplest explanations is that its a laboratory escape,
Gibbs told Bloomberg. But there are lots of others.
Last month, according to investigative journalist Wayne Madsen,
a top scientist at the United Nations, who has examined the
outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Africa, as well as HIV/AIDS
victims, concluded that H1N1 possesses certain transmission
vectors that suggest that the new flu strain has
been genetically-manufactured as a military biological warfare
Madsens United Nations source and another in Indonesia
are convinced that the current outbreak of a new strain
of swine flu in Mexico and some parts of the United States
is the result of the introduction of a human-engineered pathogen
that could result in a widespread global pandemic, with potentially
catastrophic consequences for domestic and international travel
The source in Jakarta, Indonesia, said WHO officials are
afraid that the presence of gene segments from the H5N1 bird
flu in the A-H1N1 swine flu strain could mean that the new
swine flu strain was engineered to jump species.
Gibbs speculation that the H1N1 virus was a mistake
that occurred at a vaccine production facility is reminiscent
of the Baxter scandal. In February, the pharmaceutical company
Baxter International sent vaccine material contaminated with
H3N2 flu viruses to 18 countries. The contaminated product,
which Baxter calls experimental virus material,
was made at a research facility in Orth-Donau, Austria.
Critics have suggested that Baxter intentionally contaminated
the experimental vaccine materials in order to
provoke a pandemic. Baxter has worked with governments around
the world to develop and produce vaccines to protect against
infectious disease or potential threats from bioterrorism.
After 9/11 Baxter helped supply stockpiles of a smallpox
vaccine and in 2003 the company was contracted to develop
a vaccine to combat the SARS virus. In 2006 the UK Government
announced plans designed to inoculate every person in the
country with Baxters vaccines in the event of a flu
pandemic, Steve Watson wrote on April 27.
On May 7, Baxter confirmed that it received a strain of the
swine flu virus and was taking all of the appropriate
steps necessary to prepare for a large scale vaccine production,
according to the Chicago Tribune.
Adrian Gibbs also believes the virus could have jumped from
a pig to another mammal or a bird before reaching humans.
Other scientists, however, believe this is extremely unlikely.
The virus is made up of components from the human flu virus,
avian flu virus, and swine flu virus, a combination not possible
in the natural world. There are no cases of swine being infected
with the H1N1 virus.
This strain of swine influenza thats been cultured
in a laboratory is something thats not been seen anywhere
actually in the United States and the world, so this is actually
a new strain of influenza thats been identified,
Dr. John Carlo, Dallas Co. Medical Director, said last month.