SuperStrain Blog-Source

Biological and chemical danger awaits, bioweapons and government black ops falseflag operations are an added threat to the broad spectrum of bioterrorism and biodefense. The germs are all around us, what we need is biosecurity!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Al-Qaida Remains Bio-terror Threat

From DefenseNews:

"Al-Qaida has the ability to carry out attacks using biochemicals and the threat of a strike remains real, a top Interpol official warned on March 29. John Abbott, chairman of Interpol’s bioterrorism sub-committee, said national police forces and health services lacked preparation for an attack using dangerous toxins and had insufficient knowledge and powers to handle such an event.

"There is a threat. Al-Qaida have made it clear ... that they consider the use of chemical and biological agents as acceptable. There have been a few cases around the world in recent times which suggest that there is a capability," Abbott said.

"I think that any person who carefully considers the issues will recognize that it’s complacent to assume that we’re prepared for anything. Criminals and terrorists are innovative," he told Reuters on the sidelines of a bioterrorism conference attended by Asian law enforcement officials and health experts.

Security officials have long warned of the risk of an al-Qaida attack using biological weapons such as anthrax, ricin, botulinum toxin, smallpox, plague or Ebola.

Al-Qaida manuals on preparation of biowarfare agents were discovered at the group’s training camps in Afghanistan after the U.S. invasion of the country in late 2001.

Interpol, the global police body, has stepped up training of police forces on how to handle possible attacks with biological agents, which often take some time to emerge as victims with symptoms of contamination or infection report to hospitals and doctors.

Abbott said many countries still lacked legislation that would enable their authorities to look into potential threats such as the movement of agents and pathogens within countries and across borders.

"It is necessary to criminalize certain activities. We don’t want to get in the way of bio-science development. What we want to do is stop people who have a desire to misuse the developments in bio-science from being able to do so."

France-based Interpol last year moved to establish a resource center at its Lyon headquarters for sharing information between police, health officials and scientists and informing member countries about threats and best practice."


This really needs no commentary here folks...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Possible Bird Flu at Mexican-US Border

From Reuters:

"MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's agriculture ministry denied rumors in U.S. commodities markets on Thursday that a case of H5N1 bird flu had been found near the U.S. border.

"We are free of highly pathogenic bird flu," Jose Angel del Valle, the ministry's animal health director, told Reuters.

U.S. grain prices were lower early on Thursday amid talk of the deadly bird flu in neighboring Mexico, but livestock markets -- which stand to benefit -- were treating it as a hoax, traders said.

The rumors apparently began on a Brazilian Web site, which reported that a duck found dead in the town of Nogales, near Arizona, had died of bird flu.

The Western Hemisphere so far has had no confirmed cases of the deadly version of bird flu, which has killed more than 100 people in seven countries: Turkey, Iraq, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, China and Cambodia.

Mexican authorities killed some 300 birds after detecting low pathogenic bird flu on homesteads in the southern state of Chiapas last December.

Del Valle said the agriculture ministry had a strict system of monitoring chicken farms and that other government bodies were closely watching wild bird populations for any sign of the virus."


So Mexico is denying the presence H5N1 in their poultry and yet are also starting culling programs? Actions speak louder than words, I don't doubt the US will see H5N1 before the end of the month.

H5N1 Confirmed in Gaza

From Kahleej Times:

JERUSALEM - Israeli tests have confirmed the presence of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of bird flu in poultry in the Gaza Strip, a representative of Israel’s health ministry, Moshe Haimowitch, said late Wednesday after a meeting with Palestinian experts.

“We have undertaken tests and have confirmed that the H5N1 virus is present in a poultry farm in the region of Netzarim� in the Gaza Strip, Haimowitch, the head of veterinary services in the health ministry, said on military radio.

Netzarim is a former Jewish settlement near Gaza City which was evacuated along with other Gaza settlements by the Israeli army in August last year.

Israeli and Palestinian doctors, veterinarians and agriculture experts met late Wednesday at the Erez crossing, between Gaza and Israel, to work together to fight against the H5N1 outbreak, Haimowitch said."


If Israelis and Palestinians can at least get together to fight the Bird Flu maybe this world isn't so fucked up after all...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Residents Oppose Construction of Bioterror Lab

From Kentucky Lexington-Herald:

"Residents in southeastern Kentucky who are opposed to the building of a bioterrorism laboratory there have collected 2,800 signatures on a petition.

Scientists at the gigantic research lab would study treatments for viruses and diseases that could be unleashed on America through the food supply.

Some Pulaski County residents said they worry about the potential for leaks from the 500,000-square-foot lab, or that it could become a target for terrorists.

"We are concerned about potential dangers and disruption of our quiet farming community," the petition says. "We feel it poses a genuine threat to the health and way of life of our community and surrounding counties."

Rep. Hal Rogers, a Somerset Republican, led the effort to put together a consortium of political and academic officials from Kentucky and Tennessee to try to win the project for Somerset.

At least two other states are vying for the proposed $451 million National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility and its 400-plus jobs."


Another case of NIMBYism leading to the downfall of our country. We have to build defense labs somewhere people. Hey government, Idaho wants it! Whatever it is... Idaho wants it! Bring on the labs and the jobs and the hazy death cloud, we're into that kinda shit up here.

Screw you Pulaski residents, you are acting against your best interests. When Idaho has a sweet biodefense industry blossoming and first access to all the vaccines, you will be welting up in the streets - bleeding from most every orifice.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Bird Flu Confirmed in Israel

From Recombinomics:

"I can confirm that preliminary tests showed the poultry died of H5 bird flu but we do not know yet exactly which strain," a ministry official told AFP. Hundreds of dead poultry were found at the Ein Hashlosha kibbutz in the Negev desert east of the Gaza border and dozens more in nearby communities, prompting the agriculture ministry to seal off the area. The above comments strongly suggest H5N1 bird flu has been detected in Israel. The number of dead birds indicates the H5 will type as H5N1 and it will be the Qinghai strain."


Also, Isreal is quarrantining turkey farms:

"Israel's health minister said there is a "reasonable basis for concern'' the illness that has killed a large number of turkeys in southern Israel is the dangerous H5N1 strain of bird flu.

Israel Radio reported estimates of dead turkeys in two communities ranging from 1,600 to 17,000. The Agriculture Ministry was testing the birds but final results of the tests were not expected until Friday morning.

The outbreak, if confirmed, would be the first case of the virus in Israel."


We're still waiting on all the tests of course...

Israeli Poutry Worker May Have Bird Flu

Quick blurb from Ynetnews:

"A man suffering from high fever, apparently as a result of pneumonia, arrived at the Bnei Tzion Hospital in Haifa Thursday noon. As the man works with chickens, and the possibility he may have contracted bird flu exists, he was put in isolation.

Health Ministry officials are currently debating whether to run tests for the man to determine whether or not he has bird flu. (Ahiya Raved)"


I think they have no choice but to test him for bird flu, especially if he dies. Meanwhile, three H5N1 deaths have been confirmed in Azerbaijan.

By running the calculations on numbers found at WHO's site, H5N1 has a roughly 55.4% fatality rate. That is, 55.4% of the confirmed cases resulted in the patient's death.

H5N1 May Have Hit Isreal

From BBC News:

Hundreds of dead poultry have been found on a farm in southern Israel, raising fears of the country's first outbreak of bird flu, officials said.

The dead birds were found in a hen house on Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha next to the Gaza Strip in the western Negev.

Reports said the agriculture ministry suspected the cause of death had been bird flu virus, although it was not clear if it was the H5N1 strain.

The kibbutz and nearby communities have been sealed off as a precaution.

The H5N1 strain of the virus has killed more than 70 people worldwide.

Cases of the of strain have been reported in at least 15 governorates in Israel's southern neighbour, Egypt. "


There's also some gastroenteritis going around in India.

Chinese Death Camps Riddled with H5N1

From Yahoo 360:

"A long-time reporter who worked for a Japanese television news agency and specialized in news on China told The Epoch Times that some little-known and very frightening things are happening in China today. To protect his identity, The Epoch Times will refer to him as Mr. R.

CCP is Hiding Bird Flu from the World

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has concealed the spread of the H5N1 bird flu epidemic within China from the rest of the world, according to Mr. R. Currently, 425 bird flu patients are detained at the Heping District Contagious Disease Hospital and the Affiliated Hospital of Liaoning College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Huanggu District, Shenyang City. These patients are being used for medical experiments. Liaoning Province has decided to not report these patients to the central government and use all of them as subjects for medical experiments. These people have no chance of survival.

Over 6,000 Falun Gong Practitioners are Secretly Detained at Sujiatun Concentration Camp

In Sujiatun District, Shenyang City, the CCP has established a secret concentration camp, where over 6,000 Falun Gong practitioners are detained, said Mr. R. The concentration camp has a crematorium to dispose of bodies. There are also many doctors on site. No detainees have managed to leave the concentration camp alive. Before cremation, the internal organs are all removed from the bodies and sold. Now there are only a few Falun Gong practitioners at the Masanjia Labor Camp and Dabei Second Prison. Most of them have been moved to Sujiatun. Other practitioners from northeastern China and central China are also being transferred there.

Two Hospitals in Shenyang City Locked Up 425 Bird Flu-infected Patients

I also want to talk about the bird flu problem in China. I believe that most people are aware of bird flu [in China], but do you believe there is no bird flu outbreak in China at present?

On Feb 27, China's State Forest Administration Wild Life Plant Conservation Office Chief Zhuo Rongsheng said, "Now, I can be sure there is no bird flu [in humans] outbreak in China." Yet, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has never stopped suspecting that there is a bird flu outbreak [in humans] in China. The WHO could not find any evidence to support their suspicions, and they remain unsure whether the bird flu [in humans] is still only contained in Guangzhou.

Two days ago, hospital medical staff accidentally leaked information that one person had died of bird flu in Guangzhou. It was then the outside world began to pay attention to the region of Guangzhou. Now the world is closely watching bird flu issue because of its highly infectious nature. However, in China's northeast city Shenyang there is an area that no ones knows or thinks about [with respect to this issue]. Recently I kept a close watch on that. The Wild Life Plant Conservation Office has been saying that there were 150 state level wild life observation stations and 402 provincial level observation stations, but I found that they either do not exist, or they have not been activated.

The Communist regime has stated to the world that there is no bird flu problem in China and they also claim to have many observation stations in China, but the truth of the matter is that there is no monitoring of bird flu in China.

In the past when talking about AIDS, Chinese people think of Hebei Province. Now, when talking about bird flu, people think of Guangzhou. Because there are many poultry farms in Guangzhou's suburb, the infectious problem is more serious than in other places. Actually, the bird flu is not just spread from birds, it can be passed around wild animals like civet cats. I have found and can prove that now there are large number of cases of bird flu infection in Zhalong, Helongjiang province and Xianghai, Jilin Province."

Supercomputer Builds Virus

From News@Nature:

"One of the world's most powerful supercomputers has conjured a fleeting moment in the life of a virus. The researchers say the simulation is the first to capture a whole biological organism in such intricate molecular detail.

The simulation pushes today's computing power to the limit. But it is only a first step. In future researchers hope that bigger, longer simulations will reveal details about how viruses invade cells and cause disease.

Klaus Schulten at the University of Illinois, Urbana, and his colleagues built a computer model of the satellite tobacco mosaic virus, a tiny spherical package of RNA.

Their success depended on the latest version of a computer program called NAMD, which Schulten and his colleagues have built over the past decade to simulate biological molecules. The program allows the several hundred different processors within a supercomputer to work in parallel on the same problem."

New H5N1 Dog Death

From The China Post:

"A dog has died of bird flu in Azerbaijan, a country on the crossroads of Europe and Asia where three people have already died from the virus, officials said on Wednesday.

"A dead stray dog has been found, and after analysis type A bird flu was discovered. The medical investigation is continuing," said a statement from the state commission tasked with fighting the spread of bird flu. It said the dog died on March 9 in the capital Baku.

It was the first dog reported to have died of the virus in Europe, although Germany has reported that at least three cats and one stone marten have been infected. Austria has also reported cats infected with the deadly H5N1 strain on flu. The disease has hit domestic and wild birds throughout the South Caucasus state."


Since when is Azerbaijan a European country? Wait for dogs in Greece to die or something before claiming 'first dog dead in Europe of Bird Flu.

Still, this isn't exactly good news. Hopefully we can keep our pet mammals from carrying this thing.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Denmark, Sweden Have Bird Flu

From M&C:

"Copenhagen/Stockholm - Danish authorities reported Wednesday that an 'aggressive bird flu virus strain' has been detected in a wild bird.

The find was made in a common buzzard found in a marshy area, near Naestved, some 85 kilometres south of the Danish capital, Copenhagen.

The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) said tests have determined that the buzzard was infected with the H5 virus, but tests were pending to determine if the strain was the H5N1 virus strain that is potentially lethal to humans.

Family and Consumer Affairs Minister Lars Barfoed said Danish authorities had been prepared for the find and had activated an action plan.

A 10-kilometre cordon zone that surrounds a three-kilometre no-go zone has been set up around the location, Per Christiansen in charge of emergency measures at the Danish Veterinary and Food Aministration said.

In accordance with recommendations issued by the European Union, the agency advised people in the area to keep their cats indoors and dogs should be on leash. The opening hours for a hotline were also extended.

Meanwhile in Sweden, the National Veterinary Institute (SVA) reported that Sweden has the H5N1 virus."


Most are predicting H5N1 to hit the states by mid-spring. Of course, we'll be prepared with our already obsolete vaccine that hasn't even been produced yet.

Japan Unveils New Anti-Bioterror Measures

From The Japan Times Online:

"A national center for infectious disease surveillance has begun building a system aimed at detecting early signs of bioterrorism and new types of influenza based on factors that include a slight increase in the number of emergency patients, center officials said Monday.

The Infectious Disease Surveillance Center at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo is working on the surveillance system so that prompt countermeasures can be taken to prevent the spread of infections, the officials said.

Under the planned system, the center will continuously collect and analyze data of people seeking medical attention and determine that an abnormal situation has arisen in the event there are 10 or more patients in a certain region complaining of symptoms such as fever, convulsions or vomiting.

It will then dispatch a medical team to the affected region for diagnoses, decontamination and to prevent the spread of infection, the officials said.

The system would make it possible to deal with the situation several days sooner than the current state in which action is taken only after there are multiple cases of severely ill patients, they said."


Am I the only one shocked that such a system was not already in place? Does the US have such a system? It seems like the data they are just starting to analyze should have always been considered essential information.

The Future of Biowar is Now!

... or at least so says Paul Boutin. This guy is giving the other side of the biowar/bioterror debate - the side that says the threat is very real and possibly imminent. His arguments hold more water with me than those who say the threat is largely imagined, even if his book is unfortunatly titled. Here's the story from TCS Daily (an amazing news site if you don't know about it already):


"Since the invasion of Iraq and the collapse of Saddam Hussein's biological-weapons threat, people have breathed easier about the threat of bioterrorism and biological warfare. But recent developments suggest that this relaxation is unwarranted. Indeed, there's considerable evidence that we should be much more afraid than we are, or have been.

The first such warning comes from technology writer Paul Boutin, who recently set out to discover just how easy it would be for an amateur to create a dangerous biological weapon. The answer — as the title to his piece, "Biowar for Dummies" suggests — is "pretty easy, really." Instead of lethal genes, he inserted genes for fluorescence. Boutin writes:

I hadn't set foot in a lab since high school. Could I learn to build a bioweapon? What would I need? What would it cost? Could I set up shop without raising suspicions? And, most important[ly], would it work? . . .

Eventually, we fumble our way to a plastic dish full of translucent goop. If I'd been working on smallpox—and really committed to my cause—this would have been the part where I'd inject a lab animal with the stuff to see if it got sick. Then I'd give myself a dose and head off on a days-long, multi-airport, transnational suicide run. But it was just yeast. Set on top of a black light, it glowed an eerie bright blue, like a Jimi Hendrix poster. My creation ... lived.

Boutin's a smart guy, but he's no Dr. Evil. If he can get this far, others (more skilled, more committed, more, um, evil) can go farther, faster.

And they won't have to start from scratch. As a troubling new article in Technology Review demonstrates, they'll have a lot of old Soviet bioweapons work to build on. The story — researched and double-checked by Technology Review over a period of 14 months — suggests that there's a lot to work with. What's more, the threat isn't just the usual suspects: "weaponized" anthrax, smallpox, ebola and plague. It turns out that Soviet scientists were working, with some success, on considerably creepier stuff. We're talking about pathogens that cause the body to attack its own nervous system by generating antibodies against nerves' myelin sheaths; producing a virulent, pathogenic form of Multiple Sclerosis; or bugs that produce endorphins, keeping a population sedated, or perhaps even genuinely in love with Big Brother. And while the Soviets had to work hard to get anywhere on this kind of thing a couple of decades ago, what was hard for them is easier now."


So, yes, all the good weaponized strains are very available on the black market, and its pretty much a certainty that all the rogue nations most likely have their own special batches. But, it is also true that biological weapons just aren't that great for mass destruction. They are economy killers, for sure, and can probably wipe out any small midwestern town in a very terrifying and horrific fasion -- but a whole country? They wish...

However, infectious MS sounds pretty fucking scary. I imagine that the "some success" mentioned about such nefarious projects is about the same level of success the soviets had with their ESP experiments. Anyone here know how possible it would be to turn someone's sclerotic antibodies into infectious agents? That would require some kind of high-level genetic virus designing, no? Wouldn't such a pathogen have to code for a protein that produces a demyelinating antigen - one that looks "human" enough to fool the body into using it?

Or, knowing the ruskies, maybe they found something they could just zap rhuematic cells with that turned them into viruses. Gamma rays, anybody??

Sunday, March 12, 2006

US Goes With Indonesian H5N1 Vaccine

From Recombinomics:

"The selection of a new pandemic vaccine candidate by the United States is not a surprise. When initial results of the first candidate vaccine was announced, it was clear that H5N1 was evolving away from that target, which was a 2004 isolate from Vietnam. The Qinghai version of H5N1 was spreading rapidly in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia, and further spread was anticipated.

However, an Indonesian strain has been selected as the next target. It is unlikely that a vaccine against an Indonesian isolate would offer significant protection for the Qinghai H5N1 strain of bird flu.

However, the specific examples an not publicly known. No human sequences from Indonesia have been made public. Similarly, no human isolates from China, Turkey, or Iran have been released to the public.. H5N1 is clearly evolving rapidly, suggesting several pandemic vaccines will be required because of the increasing number of genetically diverse strains that are causing fatal human infections."

So why is the US going with a vaccine that most likely won't work as well as other candidates? Is America bungling it, or are they getting a cherry deal from Indonesia? I sure hope they are wrong on the multiple vaccine front, as several vaccines would be even more of a logistic nightmare in the face of a pandemic than just one - which we still don't have the means to deliver to everyone who would need it.

It seems like the US and the rest of the world is just going through the motions...

Friday, March 10, 2006

C. Diff. is "deadliest disease" in Ohio

From The Plain Dealer:

"The number of Ohioans dying from the intestinal bacteria known as C. diff jumped fourfold between 2000 and 2005, when the aggressive infection contributed to an estimated 785 deaths, Ohio Department of Health records show.

"Stunning new data from the agency shows C. diff infections rank among the deadliest infectious diseases in the state, and the toll may be greatest in Greater Cleveland. Data for 2005 is incomplete, but nearly one-third of the confirmed victims lived in the seven-county area.

ODH began examining death certificates in January. Deaths where C. diff was a main underlying cause quadrupled statewide, but the agency also found the numbers jumped substantially higher when C. diff was recorded as a contributing cause. By that measure, C. diff-related deaths jumped 20 percent between 2004 and 2005 estimates.

A superstrain of C. diff has been blamed for scores of deaths in Canada and Britain. The antibiotic-resistant strain has been confirmed in more than a dozen states, including Ohio. But no other state has compiled data to determine the toll, said Dr. Dale Gerding, a C. diff expert at Loyola University in Chicago."

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Bioterror: Hype or Threat?

Milton Leitenburg has this to say about the subject in the Delaware Online News Journal:

"The United States has spent at least $33 billion since 2002 to combat the threat of biological terrorism. The trouble is the risk that terrorists will use biological agents is being systematically and deliberately exaggerated. And the U.S. government has been using most of its money to prepare for the wrong contingency.

A pandemic flu outbreak of the kind the world witnessed in 1918-19 could kill hundreds of millions of people. The only lethal biological attack in the United States -- the anthrax mailings -- killed five. But the annual budget for combating bioterror is more than $7 billion, while Congress just passed a $3.8 billion emergency package to prepare for a flu outbreak.

The exaggeration of the bioterror threat began more than a decade ago after the Japanese Aum Shinrikyo group released sarin gas in the Tokyo subways in 1995. The scaremongering has grown more acute since Sept. 11 and the mailing of anthrax-laced letters to Congress and media outlets in the fall of 2001.

Now an edifice of institutes, programs and publicists with a vested interest in hyping the bioterror threat has grown, funded by the government and by foundations."

Blah blah blah and the moron goes on and on. He seems to misunderstand the whole point of terrorism - to TERRORIZE! It has nothing to do with how many people you kill. A large-scale bioterror attack may kill only a couple hundred people at most, but that isn't the goal. The goal is to frighten a population so much as to cause the breakdown of their civilization.

The thing is, this argument can be applied to any terrorist attack. They just don't result in massive death counts. The ~3,000 who died on 9/11 was a complete fluke and that large of a number will probably never be seen again. The main thing though, is to try and make sure another terrorist attack is not seen again.

And yes, the threat of bioterror has grown. Dr. Germ was released with no charges, remember? She's free to lend her services to any group looking to employ her. As long as there's still dozens of Russian biowar strains floating around on the black market, there will be the threat of bioterror. This guy is an idiot who really has no idea about the subject he's writing on.

However, is that to say that the administration hasn't been playing on America's fears to get legislation it wants put through? Of course not, the Bushies are very keen on trumping up any and all terrorist threats: that doesn't make the threats themselves imaginary or any less dangerous to the American public. Milton has a point when he argues against the governments scaremongering, but downplaying the damage a bioterror attack would cause is just irresponsible.

PS: He also makes the whole "by talking about bioweapons we are giving our enemies ideas" talking point later in the article. What a deuchebag.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Chemotherapy for H5N1?

I snagged this off of MedPage Today:

"Chemotherapy for Immune Disorder Suggested as Avian Flu Treatment:

STOCKHOLM, March 2 - A chemotherapy regimen used to treat an immune system disorder might increase survival of people who contract the H5N1 avian influenza virus, Swedish and Chinese researchers have suggested.

The hypothesis, proposed in the March 2 online issue of The Lancet, is based on clinical similarities between hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) and post-mortem findings in people who have died of H5N1 infection.

The idea has yet to be tested and "might seem to be a substantial jump in therapeutic thinking," conceded Jan-Inge Henter, M.D., of the Karolinska Institute here.

But, he and colleagues argued, a combination of cytotoxic therapy used to treat HLH combined with antiviral and supportive therapy "is worth considering," especially since the mortality rate for people who catch the H5N1 virus is about 50%.

The hypothesis requires testing, but could be immediately ethically justified in patients with H5N1 combined with secondary HLH, they wrote.

HLH is characterized by an excess of both histiocytes and lymphocytes. The disease is associated with hypercytokinemia, cytopenia and acute encephalitis. The cause of death in HLH patients is often sepsis with multi-organ failure."

Alright, I have to admit that the headline made me laugh when I read it. Chemo for the flu is kind of like using an elephant gun to kill a spider. But reading the article I realize its a really nifty idea the way it came about. Not to mention, if it works than thats actually really cool. Instead of just watching people die who fail to respond to Tamiflu, doctors can try at least try something else. Although, I'm not quite sure how easy it is to get chemo done in the places where most people are dying from H5N1.

All in all, new pathological findings are always good.