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Caracal Cluster Pandemic Panic Likely Linked to D225G
Recombinomics Commentary 12:41
January 13, 2010

Olt is out of influenza vaccine, hundreds of people being vaccinated in the last two days by family physicians. General hysteria was fueled in Olt recorded influenza death last Sunday, that of women 42 years of Caracal, future in-law of the young for 21 years who died in the same case. "The woman and young man who was to be my son fell ill during the same period. None suffered from other diseases, but the evolution of influenza in November was bad from both patients, "explained Dr. Marinela Madan, Deputy Director of the Department of Public Health (DPH) River.

The above translation describes the run on H1N1 pandemic vaccines in Olt County, Romania after news on the Caracal cluster spread (see map).  In addition to the two fatal cases, the women's daughter had been hospitalized and her husband had had symptoms.  The above translation refers to the evolution of the virus, which likely refers to the D225G/N changes in adjacent Ukraine. 

Although the media has referred to these changes as the "Norway mutation", the country reporting the largest number of fatal cases was Ukraine.  Mill Hill released sequences on four fatalities and all had D225G, which was followed by two likely fatalities which had D225N, and the in November sequence from patients in and around Kyiv had both D225G and D225N in the same lung samples.

Although WHO's working hypothesis is that all of these changes are due to random mutations which do not transmit, the hypothesis has no scientific basis.  It is simply shoring up an outdated paradigm of genetic drift through randim mutations established decades ago on minimal data.  Sequence data is inconsistent with this explanation, which was demonstrated by the fixing of H274Y in seasonal H1N1 through recombination.  The same pattern is being followed in pandemic H1N1, as well as receptor binding domain changes at position 225. 

However, in pandemic H1N1 two of the changes, D225G and D225N have been firmly linked to fatalities in previously healthy young adults, like the two fatalities in Caracal cluster.

WHO's focus on a failed paradigm when the H1N1 is moving toward a catastrophic pandemic is of considerable concern.

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