News24: SARS biological weapon? The deadly pneumonia that has killed more than 100 people around the world may be a man-made biological weapon, Russian experts said on Friday. Nikolai Filatov, head of Moscow’s epidemiological services, told the Gazeta daily that he thought the pneumonia was man-made because “there is no vaccine for this virus, its make-up is unclear, it has not been very widespread and the population is not immune to it.”
Yet he had some reservations, since the virus has a low mortality rate – so far killing 4% of those infected -, and because it is relatively difficult to pass on – through direct contact or inhalation. The virus, according to academy of medicine member Sergei Kolesnikov, is a cocktail of mumps and measles, whose mix could never appear in nature.
“We can only get that in a laboratory,” he told a conference in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, quoted by RIA Novosti news agency. It may have spread because of an “accidental leak” from a lab, he added.
More than 100 people have died and some 3 000 others have been infected by Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), which is believed to have originated in China’s southern Guangdong province.