- Moscow - 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 medecine member Sergei
Kolesnikov, is a cocktail of mumps and measles, whose mix could never appear
- "We can only get that in a laboratory," he
told a conference in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, quoted by RIA Novosti
- 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.