Asian flu Pandemic

NewBie

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A strain of bird flu that can be deadly for humans has spread from Asia to the fringes of Europe, the European Commission said on Thursday, warning countries to prepare for a potential pandemic.
http://reuters.myway.com/article/20...Z_01_ROB340139_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-BIRDFLU-DC.html

So thats why President Bush has been making such a big hub-bub over this flu thing.

Did he ever get the authority to use the US Military to quarantine areas to prevent/slow down the spread?
 

James S

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keep in mind that so far this virus can only be spread from bird to bird and then from bird to human. There is no human to human infection yet. But the fun part of viruses is that since they make free use of your own cells DNA replicating equipment, they can merge and trade DNA with any other viruses that the person happens to have. And so if a person who has a human flu catches the bird flu then it's quite possible that the human flu can pick up the deadly qualities of the bird one, or the bird one pick up the ability to spread between humans without the need for a bird anymore.

And when that finally happens it's going to be a real mess.

So we haven't got a pandemic on our hands yet, there is yet time to get a vaccine into the works and to get it distributed if they get seriously to work now and assume that this virus is going to be similar enough to the mutated one for a vaccine to actually work...

On the good side of the news the early reports that it was going to be resistant to anti-virals like tamiflu has turned out to be false.
 

wwglen

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Actually I have heard (read) about SUSPECTED human to human transfer in indoneasia.

The point that was made is that only PRIMARY transfer has taken place and not secondary.

ie:

Bird --> Bird --> Human (Usually stops here) --> VERY rairly Human (usually a close relitive. Maybe compatable DNA???) --> Hasn't happened yet but if it does look out.


wwglen
 

Kiessling

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Should we have a pandemia based on the H5N1 subtype (Avian Flu) the projected death toll is about 300.000.000 people worldwide.
The Spanish Flu in 1918 killed only about 30.000.000 because there wasn't the excessive mobility and infrastructure we nowadays have. If it really happens ... and it is only a question of time untill an Influenza pandemia takes place ... it will be a big mess indeed.
And we aren't prepared.
bernie
 

cy

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Health officials in the know are recommending using what little vaccine is available for the Asian poutry workers first.
 

NewBie

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Yeah, it would be pretty tough to develop a vaccine against something like a virus that mutates alot, and picks up snippets of DNA from other things. It may work good against the original bird flu, but as soon as it learns to do it's thing in humans, it is obviously a very different critter.

Why do all these funky viruses always seem to come out of the Chinese areas?
 

tvodrd

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I'm sorry I don't have links, but the Feds are financing some private research that may lead to a vaccine which will prevent ALL flue viruses. It's actually looking very promising! It goes after it at the genetic level and is unlike anything (egg yolk-best guess) present. On another note, the genetic code of the 1918 pandemic (est deaths as high as 50 Million) (Also attributed by some historians as having ended WW1!) Has been "cracked" and turns out to have been a mutated bird virus! It is a race against time! The only thing on our side is that it is a very inefficient virus that kills a major percentage of its propogators- self limiting at great expense.

Larry
 

James S

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tvodrd: yes! I am glad to hear that. There are much better ways of making large amounts of vaccine than incubating it in chicken eggs. But the egg method is relatively inexpensive and proven and there aren't any financial reasons that the companies using it should investigate anything else. Production is very different from research. the production guys have to invest in the facilities to create an unknown amount of vaccine. Why should they ramp up beyond what they thing they can actually sell? If only a small percentage of the population ever wants a flu shot, there is no reason for them to have in the wings the production ability to make a shot for everyone, they would go bankrupt putting it together against the day that it's needed.

We're already driven vaccine manufacturing over seas because of lawsuits in the past, there is no flu vaccine capability in the US.

so if you want to have this capability to make a lot in a hurry, we're going to have to pay for it rather than just expect it to appear. I'm very glad that some of my taxes are going to go to pay for something I'd approve of ;)
 

2dim

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I purchased a high quality coloidal silver machine from biophysica.com which has proven very effective at eliminating colds/flu and infections. Those I've given the water to have stopped sore throats and colds OVERNIGHT. My cat's bladder infection ended within 24 hours. I also use it daily in her eyes, which no longer secrete so much mucous, or infect like they often did before.

New technology has solved previous problems from silver injestion by minimizing the particles to nano size. This also allows better absorption apparently, crossing the blood/brain barrier, and enables destruction of all viruses. Manufactured anti-virals simply cannot keep up with viral mutations, which are not predictable early enough to allow for mass production.

The effectiveness of silver as an antibiotic has been known for many centuries. Now it can be delivered into the system far better, acting as a preventative and immune builder as well. However, when purchasing coloidal solutions, care should be taken that they actually are as claimed. Like too many 'alternative remedies' for sale, charlatans abound. Always best to make your own, where stength can be controlled and quality tested, if need be.
 
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Bogus1

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I think we see bird flu in humans occurring in these regions because of antiquated animal husbandry. Some farmers still live with their livestock increasing the odds of animal diseases mutating to a new readily available host.

Quarantines and vaccines might work if we weren't so mobile. At this point these diseases would span the globe very rapidly at the onset.

To expect private enterprise to protect the human population from a flu risk through vaccines is ridiculous, regardless of the technology. Imagine if private companies ran the military and only got paid for the use of that overhead when the military was deployed! This certainly resides in the public realm and the government should stockpile safeguards for its citizens.

How do we define imminent threat? It's all political. Vaccines are only sexy when there is fear. You can bet things will change after an outbreak occurs. Just as with Katrina or the major issues we confront; we will be a day late and a dollar short when it comes to prevention. I see a lack of long range vision. Pandemics are not new.
 

raggie33

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its the end a the world.i just hope the jerks die first so i can be jerk free for like 10 minutues
 

BugOutGear_USA

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Fortuneatly most viruses don't like to kill off their hosts (us) to quickly so there might even be hope of the virus reducing its lethality on its own. They too want to thrive as long as possible so killing off its host wouldn't be within the interest of the little buggers.
 

NewBie

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Bogus1 said:
I think we see bird flu in humans occurring in these regions because of antiquated animal husbandry. Some farmers still live with their livestock increasing the odds of animal diseases mutating to a new readily available host.

Quarantines and vaccines might work if we weren't so mobile. At this point these diseases would span the globe very rapidly at the onset.

To expect private enterprise to protect the human population from a flu risk through vaccines is ridiculous, regardless of the technology. Imagine if private companies ran the military and only got paid for the use of that overhead when the military was deployed! This certainly resides in the public realm and the government should stockpile safeguards for its citizens.

How do we define imminent threat? It's all political. Vaccines are only sexy when there is fear. You can bet things will change after an outbreak occurs. Just as with Katrina or the major issues we confront; we will be a day late and a dollar short when it comes to prevention. I see a lack of long range vision. Pandemics are not new.


Chinese live with their animals?
 

Kevin Tan

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NewBie said:
Chinese live with their animals?

In China mainland they do. They have the pig pens downstairs while human live upstairs, or if poorer, the pigs live nextdoor to the house. Chickens live in coops behind the house like in most of America.
 

jtr1962

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NewBie said:
Why do all these funky viruses always seem to come out of the Chinese areas?
Basically because China at this point is an ideal laboratory for viruses to mutate. You have lots of people in close proximity to lots of farm animals in rural China, and most of China's population still lives in rural areas. You couldn't ask for more perfect conditions if you tried.

I heard that once the virus mutates into a form which can be passed from human to human it will probably lose a lot of its lethality. The reason is that a virus can't live and spread if its host is dead. Any strain which quickly kills its host simply wouldn't have time to spread. It might make the news where you'll see gruesome pictures of entire villages wiped out, but they will be quickly quarantined to prevent much spreading, and the event will galvanize governments into taking further countermeasures. Also, since most people in China still get around by foot or bike, it's not likely that a very lethal strain can spread far. A sick person might be dead before they could walk to the next village.

I personally think we'll eventually have a pandemic from some strain of H5N1 but I think the death toll will be measured in at most some tens of millions, mostly in Third World countries. The earlier prediction in this thread of 300 million is frightening if it comes to pass ( that's one out of every 20 people on Earth dying from this) but I would say unlikely for the reasons I outlined. Still, we should start thinking about this right now, not after it starts spreading. Never underestimate a virus.
 

Wolfen

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It is believed that H5N1 is in Turkey and Romania already. It's just a matter of time and place. Where will the virus mutate? Europe, Asia, North America? This year? Next year? If it mutates in a large city the consequences could be terrible.
 

Bogus1

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There's no reason to play Chicken little, however the comfort derived from thinking it doesn't suit an organism to kill the host is almost ascribing intelligence to these bugs. It's simply the process of selection. The longer a virus has to mutate the more likely it will end up more benign in some form; however there continues to be deadlier mutations as well. It's just that these are less likely to survive. Unlike HIV there won't likely be the timeline required for this to happen during an outbreak.

They aren't "designed" with long term survival in mind, so they can be very virulent from the outset and perhaps kill their host so quickly they die in bed. Others will keep the host alive long enough to spread. The question is with the mobile society that now spans the globe; how long does a host have to survive to spread disease? The answer today is not very long at all.

300 million is a very conservative number at 5% of the global population. I would suggest this is nowhere near a worst case scenario if viewed from historic events. Plagues have reduced populations by 1/3 before and have even wiped out entire regions. We want to somehow feel we are now better off than we were in those times. Our technology will only assist us if we are using it to our advantage. One thing is for certain; our technology is going to assist these bugs by rapidly disseminating them throughout the globe if given the opportunity. During previous plagues the average person only traveled 7 miles in their life times. The average American must travel at least 7,000 miles today.
 
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