Predicting virus evolution

Scientists don’t have a crystal ball to look at to predict what the H5N1 Bird Flu virus will evolve to. They have at best a short peek at only a few of the Tarot cards in the deck before they are placed on the table.

The evolution of a virus is totally random as it is carried on the wind. With every new host the virus encounters, it picks up a slightly different key configuration that will fit a new set of locks.

What we are seeing is a carefully scripted chain of events leading people to think our brilliant scientists have discovered the magic bullet that will put an end to the H5N1 Bird flu. What it probably is that, someone is making a lot of money on a ‘best guess’ antiviral that may not work, and it is being sold to the public as a guaranteed fix.

To paint this in an accurate perspective with very rough numbers. Scientists can predict with a reasonable amount of certainty some of the changes the evolving virus will experience, but not all. It is the unknown random changes that are of concern. The percentage of known and unknown is like playing the Power ball lottery in the USA.

If you match 3 numbers you get a very small prize, and some small group of people will benefit. If you match 4 numbers, the prize is bigger and more people will benefit. It is only when you match all the numbers is the jackpot yours and the antiviral works like the man on the radio said it would. That is the true reality of the antiviral. Catch phrases like it will lessen the effects of the virus can be a deception too. It does not make much difference if you die in 3 days without the antiviral or on day 4 or 5 with it. What it comes down to is how much of the unknowns are already flowing in your veins from previous encounters combining with the antiviral.

Connecting the Dots is not trying to paint a picture that will cause panic, Connecting the Dots only wants to Connect the Dots and let you see the big picture for yourself and come to your own conclusion.

Please read here for a much more technical explanation.

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