Friday, May 1, 2009

Swine Flu - is it a race-specific virus?

Indonesia's controversial Health Minister, Dr Siti Fadilah Supari, this week tried to dampen fears of her country would be hard-hit by the swine flu emanating out of Mexico. She hypothesises that not only does the strain of virus, known as H1N1, not thrive well in tropical climates, but that is possibly affects people of Spanish origin more than Indonesians.

"We hope that H1N1 is not compatible with Indonesians," she said. "H1N1 may be more compatible with their race, while H5N1 [bird flu] is more compatible with Indonesians."

Meanwhile in the US, far-right conspiracy theorist website Prison Planet are postulating a different take on the race aspect of the outbreak. They figure that since the virus has spread to a number of countries but so far it is really only Mexicans who have died, maybe it is a virus genetically created to wipe out Mexicans. (You may remember that there are still folks who think that someone created HIV as a genocidal plan to wipe out black people.) I'm not sure who exactly wants to rid the world of Mexicans, but apparently that's the sort of thing the shady overloads who rule the world are wont to do.

Of course, people like the Prison Planet crew believe that whenever something bad happens, it's the fault of someone in the New World Order totalitarian government, or something like that. (Like when I lost my keys last week - I'm pretty sure the Jews were behind it somehow.) They don't believe that sometimes, sh*t just happens.

In any case, are Mexicans, or Spanish people, actually a race? Are they racially different enough from any other population for a virus to work particularly on them? Mexicans are a blend of native and Spanish genes, but are Spanish genes that different from any other Mediterranean genes? Or are native Mexican genes really that different from those of the rest of Latin America?

Probably not. So while I'm interested to know if there's any truth to any of this, I'm quite confident for now to call bullsh*t on this one.

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