The total number of confirmed swine flu cases worldwide is approaching 8,500 across 40 countries. With cases in Japan continuing to soar and tallies already high in Spain and the United Kingdom at more than 100 each, the World Health Organization (WHO) is closer than ever to raising the alert level to 6, which means that the swine flu has become a pandemic.
This and the production of a swine flu vaccine are the focus of discussions at a five-day meeting this week among health officials from WHO’s 193 member states. Experts have already warned of the possibility that the current swine flu cases could develop into a severe pandemic similar to the one in 1918 that claimed 100 million lives worldwide in just 18 months.
Dr. Ann Marie Kimball, MD, a specialist in emerging respiratory diseases in the US, shared in a phone conversation with Supreme Master Television how most infectious disease arises from contact between humans and animals in confined.
Supreme Master TV (F): I understand that a number of viral epidemics in the past have come from the animal kingdom. Could you speak to that?
Dr. Anne Marie Kimball – Director of Emerging Infections Network, University of Washington, USA (F): There is long history of many, many of these different pathogens originally being with animals, and then animals get them from us as well. So it’s kind of a back and forth trade if you will, the closer that we are to animals.
You certainly have heard of E. coli ON57H7, and that of course comes from cattle into humans, and that’s probably been related to the consolidation of feedlots in the United States over the last 25 years. So I think as you go back and study each one there will be an animal link and often an animal source.
Some of the studies that have been done by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), for example, indicate that when you have intensive poultry agriculture with thousands and thousands of birds in a barn, superimposed on very high-density human living that combination had a lot to do with sort of ecologically tipping us into what we were facing with bird flu – which is, recurrent outbreaks among poultry flocks, but also human cases of bird flu which were 60% fatal.
VOICE: Thank you Dr. Ann Marie Kimball and all those working to clarify the significant health threat that comes from raising animals for food. As we join in sorrow for the lives lost, we continue to pray for a minimized effect of the swine flu as people unite in opting for better health through a sustainable, safer vegan diet.