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Flu virus H2N2 is poised for a return, warns leading Russian expert

By The Siberian Times reporter
02 October 2015

Virologist Dr Vladimir Blinov fears comeback of flu strain which cost two million lives in 1957.

'Now you can make a vaccine in one week.' Picture: Vector State Research Centre

A return of the influenza virus could come in or around 2017, forecast Dr Blinov, former head Head of the Laboratory of Theoretical Biology and Virology, at world famous Vector Institute in Novosibirsk region. 

'We are watching right now for the [development] of H2N2,' he told a conference. 'Mutations accumulate there, they appear periodically, but there should occur a recombination between avian and swine influenza. The reservoir for this new version of the virus has to be a pig, and from a pig can come H2N2.'

He forecast it could come in China, according to Russian media reports. This is the country with the largest populations of birds and pigs. His forecast is based on a 60 year cycle, and he pointed to the return in 1976 of strain H1N1, known as 'Spanish flu', which took 50 million lives in 1917-1918.

'The cycles are associated with the fact that people can keep the immunity for 60 years,' he said. 'The average person lives about 80 years. In 20 years he has become immune, and this is held for 60 years. It is about the average immune process in humanity.' According to him, within this larger cycle are also small cycles of 20 years, which, in turn, are divided into sub-cycles of 9 and 11 years, associated with the 11-year cycle of solar activity. 

Blinov stated  that the 'unplanned' appearance of the H1N1 virus in 2009 was due to solar activity. The previous pandemic caused by H2N2 virus occurred in 1957 and  cost around 2 million lives, but he said that today a vaccine could be quickly developed. 'Now you can make a vaccine in one the week,' he said. 

Dr Blinov is now director of the Department of Bioinformatics at South Korea's PanaGene. He was speaking at a conference at Koltsovo, headquarters of Vector, also known as Russia's  State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology.

Comments (2)

Maybe only some people should worry - elderly, sick, or those with family who died in 1957 outbreak. I had one family member ancestor die in "Spanish Flu" outbreak. Big family, yet only that one loss. In 2009, several of family again have H1N1, but only very mild symptoms, not really sick. Perhaps genetics better to determine risk?
Viktoria, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
28/10/2015 04:59
3
0
someone producing millions of flue shots, and making panic to sell them, some selling them for a huge profit, someone buying and thinking to make millions. and than they sit on the shelves because it is another strain of flue. and the vaccine is all useless.
Benedikt, Moscow,Russia
03/10/2015 09:05
4
2
1

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