It is amazing. With each new media snowstorm comes a new conspiracy theory.
From the Huffington Post:
I have also read that this flu outbreak is a massive government/pharmaceutical company conspiracy to sell more Tamiflu. Quite conveniently, Tamiflu is one of two antiviral therapies to which the virus is not resistant. Hence, Roche stands to make a fair bit of money from this flu scare.
The other even more entertaining theory is that a pharma company or research lab is behind the creation of the virus. For some reason, it is more difficult for the conspiracy theorists to believe that the virus could have emerged naturally than that… “it came from the lab” (should be read aloud with a spooky edge to the voice).
Learn some basic biology people.Viruses mutate and evolve very quickly. They can recombine with material from other similar viruses. In the case of Influenza A, there is not much separating the avian and the mammalian strains genetically. They mix and match their bits and pieces all the time.
Most of the time, it is of no consequence. The virus is in the wrong environment to be transmitted to a suitable host, the mutations aren’t quite virulent enough to cause a problem in human populations, they aren’t spread easily enough… any number of things can keep the virus from spreading.
However, every once in a while, the virus gets it all right. That’s what we worry about. That’s why the world’s health organizations respond seriously to even a mild threat.
The conspiracy theorists can postulate all they want about governmental influence, secret organizations, and even space aliens. But, it all comes down to parsimony. The simplest explanation is often right.