Professor John Oxford is Professor of Virology at St Bartholomew’s and the Royal London Hospital, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, and a world renowned influenza virologist.
Years ago, Oxford worked under Professor Graeme Laver, whose work formed the basis for the development of the antiviral drug, Tamiflu.
When Oxford has an opinion about a flu virus, it is worth a read: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009...cine-mutating?
Quote from www.guardian.co.uk
Initially I didn't think swine flu was serious. The real problem would have been, and still is, a bird flu pandemic. An H5N1 outbreak would have been a huge global health emergency and would have shaken the planet, and cost who knows how many lives.
Swine flu has been relatively mild, but it has killed about 9,000 people worldwide, including several hundred in the UK, and left others seriously ill. It's a relatively mild virus, but has a nasty sting in its tail – one that's being stuck into pregnant women, children under four and obese people. The number of deaths of children has caught people's attention and made them anxious. But remember that 25,000 people in the UK died of seasonal flu in the winter of 1999-2000, mainly the elderly, and nobody seemed to care about that.
My greatest fear is that the virus will mutate next year, to enable it to infect older people. If it does, then the death rate next year will be much worse than this, perhaps even as high as the winter of 1999-2000. Remember that between a third and a half of all people who have ended up in intensive care with swine flu were previously completely well; they weren't asthmatics or on chemotherapy. While the pandemic has been fairly mild here, I think it will kill off for ever the notion (among doctors and the public alike) around influenza that "Oh, it's only flu". I hope that will be swine flu's lasting legacy.
(hat tip crofsblog)