New Virus: not so new that it
They have names of the more mysterious and disturbing that no one had ever heard before. They regularly lends authority to remove a portion of the human species on the planet ... How to untangle truth from fiction?

In public health, nothing rhymes better with viral psychosis and rumors almost always beats the speed of disease. But if the wise men recommend whether to keep right by not giving in to panic safe, it does not yet pass from one extreme to another and switch between catastrophism stumbled in naive complacency.

The famous "precautionary principle", which are sometimes legitimately fun side of caution, is also designed primarily as an instrument of balance. Zero risk does not exist ... but does not warrant that we take all the risk!

AIDS drama with delayed effect
If the virus does not spread and their long history (roughly the age of onset of life on earth ...) The study of new viruses or "emerging viruses" is it much more recent.

It will thus not until the fifties that health authorities are setting up international monitoring networks. These are first attached to identify viruses transmitted by insects and those present in animals called "reservoirs (rodents, bats, birds, pets). Result: more than 600 new viruses identified in less than 10 years ...

This impressive figure, which today would probably blow a wind of panic did not force 10 at the time raised the passions. For most "orphans", the new virus (or at least newly described) were associated with any known pathology. That is why nobody has really touched until 1981, with the first cases of AIDS in the United States and in Europe. The awareness was all the more painful.

The revelation that the HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), present in different species of monkey, had adapted to humans and distributed outside Africa has profoundly shocked the public health strategies, whether scientific research or prevention.

6247 virus identified after Louis Pasteur
The techniques of molecular biological analysis and allowed clear progress in monitoring and diagnosis. Progress which sometimes dizzy. Between the conclusion of the work of Louis Pasteur on rabies in 1885 and 1986, a century, biologists have identified and described 1,700 viruses. Less than 20 years later, in 2004, the International Committee on Taxonomy of viruses by identifying ... 6,247! And it is estimated that this number may be equivalent to 1% of the total.

The restless who think see a new virus each newscast, are probably still far from this ...

Although, obviously, the "virosphère" remains largely unexplored, it has garnered some certainties, however, including that it should not be confused emerging viruses and viruses emerge .... The best specialists in virology at the Pasteur Institute in Paris and are part of the virus discovered through an "emergence of knowledge in the field of biology, and viruses" truly emerging "as are those with AIDS or hemorrhagic fevers. As are those of seasonal epidemics of influenza types including avian flu.

More new mutants that
It was understood, the vocabulary is sometimes more misleading still in virology and in other areas. If no virus can be generated spontaneously (there is no "new" viruses), speaking of viruses, however, "new trend". By mutation or recombination, these viruses can then lead to more virulent strains.

Sometimes it is the conditions under which they have existed for millions of years that are modified and disrupt ecosystems, allowing contact between animals carrying the virus and humans and encourage the transmission from human to human.

Whatever precautions vocabulary, these are the facts: over the past three decades, thirty-five new diseases as emerging, have been identified. Twenty-six are viral. So if they are not all serial killers potential, long live the principle of precaution and prevention live!

Small but wicked!
Virus means 'poison' in Latin, which gives an idea of the role that these tiny parasites (one thousandth of a micron) play in our body ... omnipresent on the surface of the earth, are found in air, water, soil and in all living things, from bacteria to humans.

New virus, new vaccines?
99% of viruses existing on earth we are probably still unknown. If we add the time needed to discover a new virus that the invention of the vaccine and the corresponding even its mass production, it is the job for a few millennia.
Our vaccination schedule we sometimes seems a bit loaded? Let us rather it represents the minimum basic preventive. It's quiet ...

Avian flu vaccine before the epidemic?
Of course, the preventive mechanism in place or planned by health authorities to combat avian flu pandemic is impressive and sophisticated. But the component vaccine has yet to close, even if a vaccine pre-pandemic "is already heavily built".

The H5N1 virus now has not effected his transfer he was fortunately not transmissible between humans. A fully effective vaccine can be made however that when the strain of virus causing the pandemic is known and isolated.


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