"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Deep in the Lungs? 

This is the bit where I look to the real live medical professionals who pass through here* for some help. There's a bit on CNN right now, saying that research indicates that the H5N1 (avian) flu "concentrates itself too deep in the respiratory tract" to be easily transmitted between humans.

It makes sense, I guess - one of the reasons asbestos is so bad is because it gets lodged in the deep lungs where you can't cough it up - but I also wonder if maybe this also contributes to its virulence/high mortality rates? Would a person's inability to cough up the particles (so that all newly released ones are just tossed directly on to neighboring lung cells) expose them to an inherently higher dose than they'd get if the virus lived where it could be coughed out? Or am I being totally far-fetched?

*Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, Partners Healthcare, and UHS, etc., I know you're here!

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