Since up until now, we’ve only seen the third case of serious swine flu emerged in Shanghai, you may well be wondering, “how bad could all this hullabaloo get anyway?”
Pretty bad. Do you remember Avian Flu? The one that had a high mortality rate but was difficult to contract? What would you say about the creation of a supervirus that was as contagious as the swine flu and as deadly as the avian flu?
It may not be as far-fetched a scenario as you’d think, as French scientists at the Jean Mérieux/INSERM facility in Lyon are splicing genetic material from both viruses to see if the two could possibly recombine, and whether the resulting virus would be deadlier than either.
There’s a reason for the madness: this scenario tries to anticipate pandemics, attempting to see what potential paths they might take. And at least according to the facility, chances of the virus leaving the lab and entering the world ala Outbreak are very, very low – they’re categorized as Level-4 Biohazards, the same level as that freaky-scary Ebola virus – so they’re being handled as such.
We’ve got Dustin Hoffman on speed dial, though, just in case.