Deadly bird flu studies to stay secret for now: WHO

Are you freaking kidding me? What the hell do they mean “for now”? It is just amazing how they have something that can wipe out most of the population and they want to keep taunting it. They really keep me wondering.

(Reuters) – Two studies showing how scientists mutated the H5N1 bird flu virus into a form that could cause a deadly human pandemic will be published only after experts fully assess the risks, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

Speaking after a high-level meeting of flu experts and U.S. security officials in Geneva, a WHO official said an deal had been reached in principle to keep details of the controversial work secret until deeper risk analyses could be carried out.

“There is a preference from a public health perspective for full disclosure of the information in these two studies. However there are significant public concerns surrounding this research that should first be addressed,” said Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security and environment.

The WHO called the meeting to break a deadlock between scientists who have studied the mutations needed to make H5N1 bird flu transmit between mammals, and the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), which wanted the work censored before it was published in scientific journals.

Biosecurity experts fear mutated forms of the virus that research teams in The Netherlands and the United States independently created could escape or fall into the wrong hands and be used to spark a pandemic worse than the 1918-19 outbreak of Spanish flu that killed up to 40 million people.

WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said that because of these fears, “there must be a much fuller discussion of risk and benefits of research in this area and risks of virus itself.”

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