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Bird Flu Redux
Old 10-05-2005, 01:57 PM   #1
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Bird Flu Redux

Scientists have reconstructed the virus that caused the 1918 pandemic.* * It's a bird flu, and is still as deadly as ever.

NY Times

I feel like I should panic, but I'm not sure what I should panic about first -- that we have a recent bird flu that has already jumped from birds to humans, that we have no good defenses, or that scientists are resurrecting killer viruses.
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Re: Bird Flu Redux
Old 10-05-2005, 02:27 PM   #2
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Re: Bird Flu Redux

Ever read "The Stand" by Stephen King?
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Re: Bird Flu Redux
Old 10-05-2005, 02:31 PM   #3
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Re: Bird Flu Redux

Bush last night said they are preparing plans to deal with it - troops to be used to quarantine regions of the US if it comes to that...

http://tinyurl.com/7kmn6
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Re: Bird Flu Redux
Old 10-05-2005, 03:25 PM   #4
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Re: Bird Flu Redux

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTien
Bush last night said they are preparing plans to deal with it - troops to be used to quarantine regions of the US if it comes to that...
Right, I knew there was something more immediate that I was supposed to panic about. Aaaaaahhhhhhh, Bush is *still* in the whitehouse!
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Re: Bird Flu Redux
Old 10-05-2005, 03:57 PM   #5
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Re: Bird Flu Redux

Quote:
Originally Posted by wabmester
Scientists have reconstructed the virus that caused the 1918 pandemic.* * It's a bird flu, and is still as deadly as ever.

NY Times
Better yet. Series of articles in WSJ indicate the Chinese scientist who have samples of the current bird flue virus genetic structure are refusing to share with rest of world. Chinese feel they are not getting credit in academic circles for their research.
"When asked the reason for the delay in turning over the specimens, a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture said negotiations are under way and that when the organization shared its samples last year, the intellectual property of Chinese research institutes wasn't protected in certain cases. The official didn't elaborate." http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1128...l?mod=2_1177_1.
Sheesh! So now the world will find itself undone by jealous scientists arguing who gets credits.
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Re: Bird Flu Redux
Old 10-05-2005, 04:32 PM   #6
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Re: Bird Flu Redux

That's rich...

The Chinese complaining about disrespect for intellectual rights...

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Re: Bird Flu Redux
Old 10-05-2005, 05:36 PM   #7
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Re: Bird Flu Redux

Okay, I've been hearing this mentioned peripherally several times now. Should I be doing anything? Stocking up on breathing filters? I'm flying 2-3 times a month now which should put me at a higher risk, yes?
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Re: Bird Flu Redux
Old 10-05-2005, 06:14 PM   #8
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Re: Bird Flu Redux

Tell your doc that you'll be flying to China, and you'd like an RX for Tamiflu. Then stock up. The pills are expensive (about $6/each), and I think you need 3/day for a week, but it may protect against bird flu, and the shelf-life is pretty good.
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Re: Bird Flu Redux
Old 10-05-2005, 07:59 PM   #9
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Re: Bird Flu Redux

Quote:
Originally Posted by wabmester
I feel like I should panic, but I'm not sure what I should panic about first -- that we have a recent bird flu that has already jumped from birds to humans, that we have no good defenses, or that scientists are resurrecting killer viruses.
As you mentioned later on, get a RX for tamiflu, but also Relenza... neither one is cheap, and Relenza is less common than tamiflu, but with reports of tamiflu resistant strains of H5N1, having both could be handy. My box of tamiflu expires in 2009, so I should be set until then
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Re: Bird Flu Redux
Old 10-05-2005, 08:06 PM   #10
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Re: Bird Flu Redux

Come on, baby, don't fear the reaper!

....sorry Blue Oyster Cult....
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Re: Bird Flu Redux
Old 10-05-2005, 09:35 PM   #11
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Re: Bird Flu Redux

Scientific American had an interesting article on this in their Jan 2005 issue. It's worth borrowing from a library. The interesting thing is that one of the guys on the team started working on this as a PhD candidate in the 1950s and is just now realizing the conclusion to this research saga.

Ironically the 20-somethings have the highest risk for this influenza, since it overstimulates an immune response that fills the lungs. If you're in your 40s or older then your immune system is too quiet to overreact.

If you're even a little bit worried about this then ya gotta read a library copy of The Great Influenza. It's amazing how blissfully ignorant the politicians public officials were and how frustrated they made the public health workers. You know how things turn out and you're still riveted to your seat watching the slow-motion train wreck.

What's even more surprising is that the survival rate for some diseases in 1918, without antibiotics, were higher than today's survival rates WITH antibiotics.

It's a dirty little secret that every year a few Navy recruits die at the Great Lakes training center of adenovirus. The 1918 pandemic broke out at an Army training base and I'm sure the next pandemic will rev up at some recruit training facility.

I'm getting my flu shot this month!
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Re: Bird Flu Redux
Old 10-06-2005, 12:32 PM   #12
 
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Re: Bird Flu Redux

I can't decide whether this is just another thing the media is jumping on in their usual Keystone-cops fear-mongering panic of the day, or something real. Only 165 have died, and it will only be dangerous if the virus mutates in a certain way.

Experts say 1 to 5 million could die. In other words, up to .08% of the population -- mostly those annoying twenty-somethings.

Note that 25 million have died from AIDS. 440,000 die from smoking each year.
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Re: Bird Flu Redux
Old 10-06-2005, 12:37 PM   #13
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Re: Bird Flu Redux

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
I can't decide whether this is just another thing the media is jumping on in their usual Keystone-cops fear-mongering panic of the day, or something real.* *Only 165 have died, and it will only be dangerous if the virus mutates in a certain way.

Experts say 1 to 5 million could die.* In other words, up to .08% of the population -- mostly those annoying twenty-somethings.

Note that 25 million have died from AIDS.* 440,000 die from smoking each year.
I think this is nature's way of culling. I am not saying we should ignore the problems, just that I view it as part of natural evolution.

JG
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Re: Bird Flu Redux
Old 10-06-2005, 01:13 PM   #14
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Re: Bird Flu Redux

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
I can't decide whether this is just another thing the media is jumping on in their usual Keystone-cops fear-mongering panic of the day, or something real.* *Only 165 have died, and it will only be dangerous if the virus mutates in a certain way.

Experts say 1 to 5 million could die.* In other words, up to .08% of the population -- mostly those annoying twenty-somethings.

Note that 25 million have died from AIDS.* 440,000 die from smoking each year.
You can avoid death from smoking and AIDS by simply avoiding certain behavior. You can reduce the risk of a fatal car accident by wearing your seatbelt. The only way to avoid the flu is by isolating yourself from civilization or by taking a prophylactic drug. Everybody dies, but everybody wants some control over how it happens.

In a pandemic, my biggest fear would be for my kid.
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Re: Bird Flu Redux
Old 10-06-2005, 02:03 PM   #15
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Re: Bird Flu Redux

Wab
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Everybody dies, but everybody wants some control over how it happens.
Wonder how the Supreme's feel??

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In a pandemic, my biggest fear would be for my kid.
Ditto.* I am expendable but my kids represent the future.

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Re: Bird Flu Redux
Old 10-09-2005, 12:16 AM   #16
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Re: Bird Flu Redux

Another good article from the NY Times:

article

Summary:

* the asian bird flu has quickly spread across species, including mammals
* generally, as the virus mutates and spreads more easily, it becomes less lethal (because it needs to keep its host alive to spread)
* it's thought that the 1918 flu had a kill rate of only about 5%, and many of the those died from secondary bacterial infections
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Re: Bird Flu Redux
Old 10-09-2005, 03:00 AM   #17
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Re: Bird Flu Redux

H5N1 has now shown up in Romania, presumably carried there by migratory birds. Lovely :P
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Re: Bird Flu Redux
Old 10-09-2005, 04:43 AM   #18
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Re: Bird Flu Redux

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshac
H5N1 has now shown up in Romania, presumably carried there by migratory birds. Lovely* :P
Just nature's way of taking care of the "too many people"
problem IHMO.

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Re: Bird Flu Redux
Old 10-09-2005, 09:03 AM   #19
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Re: Bird Flu Redux

And something else to worry about? Cocky locky, the sky is falling; ... again!
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Re: Bird Flu Redux
Old 10-09-2005, 11:47 AM   #20
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Re: Bird Flu Redux

This is not a case of Chicken Little. It's more a case of the boy who cried wolf. Pandemics are a fact of life. We're overdue for one, and our defenses are down because we haven't seen one in so long.
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