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WHO:禽流感病毒研究潜在后果令人担心

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小编摘要:科学家在2011年发现他们研制出H5N1这种通常被称为禽流感病毒的一种高感染率的致死性病毒。这个发现一经宣布,就引发了有关研究是否符合道德的争论,有人担心新病毒会被用来制造生化恐怖武器。

WHO:禽流感病毒研究潜在后果令人担心

 In 2011, scientists discovered they had created a highly contagious and deadly form of H5N1 – commonly called avian or bird flu. When the discovery was announced, debate erupted over whether the research was ethical and fears the new strain could be used as a bioterrorism weapon. Now, the World Health Organization has weighed in on the issue.
The WHO said it is deeply concerned about the potential consequences of the research that can make H5N1 more contagious among humans.
At the same time, it said “studies conducted under appropriate conditions must continue” so critical knowledge can be gained on reducing the risks posed by the virus.
Assistant Director-General Dr. Keiji Fukuda said debate continues to swirl even though the findings have not yet been published or reviewed by the WHO.
“They’ve received an extraordinary amount of attention, I think, both in the popular press and the scientific world. A lot of the general issues raised by the papers are reasonably clear. For example, how do you weigh the risks of doing a certain kind of research versus the benefits?
What are the right procedures and processes that need to be in place? These are fairly fundamental issues for science in general and public health,” he said.
Extra bit of fire
Laboratories in the Netherlands, Japan and the United States developed the new strain of avian flu.
“When you add the fact you’re dealing with the H5N1 virus, which is one of the most dangerous viruses around, then it adds that extra bit of fire to the discussion. And so, we’ve been following this and monitoring it pretty closely,” said Fukuda.
Over the years, millions of birds, including poultry, have been killed to prevent the spread of the flu.
“Now there’s a lot of influenza viruses which generally infect only birds and this is one of them. But this one stands out because in addition to infecting birds, it also has the ability to infect a wide range of mammals, including humans. Now it does not infect humans very often, but when it does this virus has consistently been about 50 to 60 percent lethal. So it has an extraordinarily high killing rate,” he said.
Fukuda described H5N1 as raising the biggest concern about causing a pandemic. He says that’s why the recent research has raised so much attention.
“While this particular situation is focusing a lot of attention on the risks of bioterrorism, dual use technology and those kinds of questions, which are important, we also want to make sure that we all take a balanced approach to this. So we have to make sure that research continues. We have to make sure that when research is done the risks to people are as minimum as possible,” he said.
PIP
In May 2011, all World Health Organization member states adopted the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework, or PIP for short. It’s a guide for sharing virus samples and resulting research benefits. In other words, if a virus with the potential for causing a pandemic is found in a poor country, PIP helps ensure that country benefits when a vaccine or treatment is developed. That was not always the case in the past.
Some developing nations lost out because the vaccines or drugs were too expensive.
The WHO assistant director-general said such guidelines should be applied to research involving the new H5N1 strain.
“In the overall scheme of things, when you look at public health and how we’re hopefully better at protecting people, making sure that scientific research continues and addresses the critical issues out there (and) fills the gaps in knowledge is absolutely essential. If we don’t have that happen, then we’re always going to be behind the curve and we know that,” he said.
In the meantime, Fukuda said the natural forms of H5N1 continue to be found in a number of countries, such as Egypt and Indonesia. The new form of the virus is currently under the control of the researchers in a few laboratories. One scientist, who helped develop the new strain, says if H5N1 can be made more transmissible in the lab, it can also happen in nature.


科学家在2011年发现他们研制出H5N1这种通常被称为禽流感病毒的一种高感染率的致死性病毒。这个发现一经宣布,就引发了有关研究是否符合道德的争论,有人担心新病毒会被用来制造生化恐怖武器。目前世界卫生组织就这一问题发表看法。
世界卫生组织说,该机构对这项研究的潜在后果深感担心。这可能会使H5N1病毒更容易传染给人类。与此同时,世卫组织说,“在适当条件下开展的研究必须持续下去 ”,以便获得如何减少这种病毒风险的重要知识。
世卫组织助理总干事福田敬二博士说,辩论仍在持续升温,尽管研究结果尚未公布,世卫组织也没有进行审议。
他说:“这个问题受到了超乎寻常的关注,不论是在媒体还是在科学界都是如此。由媒体提出的很多一般性问题是比较清楚的。例如,应该如何看待进行某种危险病毒试验所带来的好处和风险?应该有哪些正确的手段和程序?这些对于科学和公共卫生来说都是相当根本的问题。”
荷兰、日本、美国的实验室都研发出了这种禽流感病毒的新菌株。
世卫组织助理总干事福田敬二博士说:“当你考虑到你在和H5N1病毒打交道,而这种病毒又是目前最危险的一种病毒时,那么辩论就会更激烈一些。还有就是,我们对这种试验一直密切追踪和监督。”
数年来,数百万只鸟和家禽被宰杀以防止禽流感传播。
福田敬二说:“现在有许多通常只感染鸟类的流感病毒,而这就是其中之一。但是这种病毒尤其引人注意,因为除了感染鸟类之外,它也能感染许多哺乳动物,包括人类。目前这种病毒还不太经常感染人类,但是一旦染上这种病毒,大约50%到60%的感染者会死亡。所以它是超高致命性病毒。”
福田敬二称,H5N1病毒最令人担忧,因为它可能造成流感大流行。他说,这就是最近的这项研究之所以引起众多关注的原因。
福田敬二说:“虽然这一特别的情况引起很多人关注生化恐怖主义风险、技术的双重利用等这类重要问题,但我们也想确保我们大家都采取平衡的解决方法。所以我们必须确保研究继续进行。我们必须确保研究完成时,给人类带来的风险尽可能最小化。”
2011年5月,世界卫生组织所有成员国通过了大流行性流感防范框架(PIP)。这是有关共享病毒样本和研究成果的指导原则。换言之,如果在一个贫穷国家发现可能造成大流行病的一种病毒,PIP会帮助确保在研制出疫苗或疗法时让这个国家受益。而在过去并不总是能做到这一点。一些发展中国家没能受益,因为疫苗或药物太昂贵。
世卫组织助理总干事福田敬二说,这套原则应该适用于涉及新型H5N1病毒株的研究。
福田敬二说:“总的来说,为了公共健康以及更好地保护民众,确保继续进行科学研究、解决关键问题以及填补知识空缺是绝对必要的。如果不这么做,我们总是会落后。”
同时,福田敬二还指出,继续在许多国家发现了大自然的H5N1病毒,比如埃及和印尼。而这一新种H5N1病毒目前受到几个实验室的研究人员的控制。协助制造这种新毒株的一位科学家说,如果实验室可以将H5N1病毒弄得更具传染性,那么大自然也可以。

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2012-01-03 15:55 编辑:pliny
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