As conspiracy theories and collusion rumors go, the H1N1 swine flu outbreak in the Ukraine provided the right amount of juice to keep the web presses running. At its peak, there were reports of suspected hemorrhagic pneumonia
as the core symptom of a mysterious new virus in the country.
The Ukraine rumors caught on and were coupled with reports of overhead aerosol spraying in Kiev just prior to the outbreak and leading many to believe that the population was intentionally infected with a powerful biological agent.
The World Health Organization responded to the crisis
and the resulting rumors, visiting with health officials in the Ukraine. After assessing the situation on the ground, WHO officials have now begun suggesting that anti-viral drugs be administered earlier to help prevent swine flu deaths.
Despite WHO assurances that the epidemic in the Ukraine was indeed badly-managed H1N1 swine flu, a team of British scientists
is now testing samples to see if this may be the beginning of a dreaded mutation in the H1N1 virus. A more virulent mutation would be a repeat of history, as the 1918 H1N1 influenza demonstrated a disturbingly similar pattern of mild introduction.
"Unlike similar epidemics in other countries, three causes of serious viral infections came together simultaneously in Ukraine: two seasonal flus and the Californian flu," Ukraine President Yushchenko said in a television interview. "Virologists conclude that this combination of infections may produce an even more aggressive new virus as a result of mutation."
The British scientists confirmed that they do not yet have enough samples to determine the nature or strain of the Ukraine virus.
"We do not have a time scale for the results of the tests, although some preliminary results have been obtained. I cannot tell you what they are, " a spokesperson told the Daily Mail
. "We did not have enough of the virus samples so we will have to grow some more before we can come to a conclusive decision about its nature."