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Thread: Avian flu

  1. #17
    herenorthere's Avatar
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    Eventually some strain of flu will experience the silver bullet mutation that leads to pandemic. For H5N1 avian infuenza, that would be a mutation to enhance its transmission from human to human via the respiratory system. Same for Ebola and any number of extremely lethal diseases that just don't spread efficiently from human to human. The common cold, on the other hand, would need a mutation to make it more lethal. Either way, we'd be in serious trouble. The mutation would be too. Killing the host is a poor evolutionary strategy.

    Some diseases are as contagious if not even more contagious before someone shows any symptoms. So the next isolated outbreak could be a global problem before anyone knows something's happening. Given the amount of movement within and beyond local and national borders, I'm skeptical of a model that predicts significant containment.

    Unfortunately, the US has crippled its public health system because, as with public transit, no one can make a big pot of money off of it. Maybe we need Halliburton to enter the market - then we'd see some money spent on it. No part of the US can cope with more than a slight increase in the flow of patients coming into emergency rooms or occupying hospital beds. Here are some quotes lifted from a 5/1/2005 CT Post article about emergency room use:

    "According to a 2004 report by the American Hospital Association, 48 percent of community hospitals said their emergency rooms were operating beyond capacity; it's 68 percent among urban hospitals ...."

    "Starting in the late 1980s, hospitals started downsizing and consolidating as the rise of managed care — with its focus on efficiency — drove down the length of hospital stays and the need for inpatient beds."

    "In 1975, there were 942,000 beds at U.S. community hospitals, according to the AHA. That fell to 813,000 as of 2003, the latest year for which data were available."

    If we're visited by a disease as lethal as Ebola and as contagious as the common cold, no plausible number of hospital beds would be enough. We're also not prepared for a hurricane with 400 mph winds or collision with a large comet. But we should be prepared for reasonably expected threats and the preparation should be somewhat proportional to the risk.

    I'm amazed that people can so cooly accept the potential for millions of casualties from disease. Where was this resolve when our fear-mongering president was forcing the Patriot Act down our throats and getting us into Iraq to allegedly protect us from the occasional terrorist? Too bad more Americans couldn't show some evidence of a spine then.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals — but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

  2. #18

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    Well then tell me, why in the hell are we not making a bomb out of this and dropping it in the hiding place of Osama and his pals?? They were so hot on how Allah was punishing the American swine during Katrina, how about they get a taste of this stuff, and we tell them that GOD is after them!!!! LOL!!!!!!!



    45 yrs. growin\'
    Founder NASC

  3. #19
    Whats it to ya? Finch's Avatar
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    This strain has been warned abput since 2003 burt only recent;y is getting wideapread media attention.

    If the threat were not real, the worlds countries would not bebgetting togeather to be on the same page to prevent aa outbreak.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ] So of the 60 deaths there have actually been something like 300 or so cases. I would be willing to bet that a random sampling of the population would turn up a much larger number of people testing positive to the H5N1 strain
    Pyro wher ea re you getting yous statistics from? the WHO (world health orginization)'s website has completle different statistics from what you have provided. Can you give me a link?

    As for immunity. no, according the them. Human beings have never experence this type of virus before (similar to are the 1918) according to their health experts

    So im interested to where your getting your info. not accusitory, a question. You could be right for all i know, wich is only as much as i see. I am often wrong. I REALLY hope you prove me wrong.

    the flu of 1918 was really wprrieing because healthy young people were dropping dead in the street. this is related to the new virus... and it is... it would be very very similar at least, because we hand no immunity to it. This new strain can affrod to be so deadly because it developed in extremely crowded condidtions where it did not need to keep its hoast alive long or at all to spread. This is why it kills its chickens so quickly, because it can afford to becaus eit has no reason to keep them alive to spread. It is highly contagous to chickens and can be spreadmy migartory birds. Becaus eof its contagous nature, its a worry. As of the statistic 1/2 of the population, im very skeptacle that it will be anyware near that amount. Migrating birds have the capacity to spread this virus far, but the deadly ones, only as far as they can get before they fall temenally ill. I undearstand ducks can carry the virus without showing symptoms.

    Similarities to the flue of 1918 are that it spread amoung crowded battlefeild condidtions.
    that makes no logic

  4. #20
    Whats it to ya? Finch's Avatar
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    CUmulative # of confirmed avian influenza, sep 29, 05 reported to WHO

    These are the total number of confirmed cases reported to WHO of bird flu. The unreported cases are unknowable, of course, but these are the statistics we have as of now.

    WHO only reports labritory-confirmed cases.

    ABout the disease

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ] 15 January 2004

    Avian influenza

    Avian influenza ("bird flu") and the significance of its transmission to humans

    The disease in birds: impact and control measures

    Avian influenza is an infectious disease of birds caused by type A strains of the influenza virus. The disease, which was first identified in Italy more than 100 years ago, occurs worldwide.

    All birds are thought to be susceptible to infection with avian influenza, though some species are more resistant to infection than others. Infection causes a wide spectrum of symptoms in birds, ranging from mild illness to a highly contagious and rapidly fatal disease resulting in severe epidemics. The latter is known as “highly pathogenic avian influenza”. This form is characterized by sudden onset, severe illness, and rapid death, with a mortality that can approach 100%.

    Related links

    Avian influenza


    Fifteen subtypes of influenza virus are known to infect birds, thus providing an extensive reservoir of influenza viruses potentially circulating in bird populations. To date, all outbreaks of the highly pathogenic form have been caused by influenza A viruses of subtypes H5 and H7.

    Migratory waterfowl – most notably wild ducks – are the natural reservoir of avian influenza viruses, and these birds are also the most resistant to infection. Domestic poultry, including chickens and turkeys, are particularly susceptible to epidemics of rapidly fatal influenza.

    Direct or indirect contact of domestic flocks with wild migratory waterfowl has been implicated as a frequent cause of epidemics. Live bird markets have also played an important role in the spread of epidemics.

    Recent research has shown that viruses of low pathogenicity can, after circulation for sometimes short periods in a poultry population, mutate into highly pathogenic viruses. During a 1983–1984 epidemic in the United States of America, the H5N2 virus initially caused low mortality, but within six months became highly pathogenic, with a mortality approaching 90%. Control of the outbreak required destruction of more than 17 million birds at a cost of nearly US$ 65 million. During a 1999–2001 epidemic in Italy, the H7N1 virus, initially of low pathogenicity, mutated within 9 months to a highly pathogenic form. More than 13 million birds died or were destroyed.

    The quarantining of infected farms and destruction of infected or potentially exposed flocks are standard control measures aimed at preventing spread to other farms and eventual establishment of the virus in a country’s poultry population. Apart from being highly contagious, avian influenza viruses are readily transmitted from farm to farm by mechanical means, such as by contaminated equipment, vehicles, feed, cages, or clothing. Highly pathogenic viruses can survive for long periods in the environment, especially when temperatures are low. Stringent sanitary measures on farms can, however, confer some degree of protection.

    In the absence of prompt control measures backed by good surveillance, epidemics can last for years. For example, an epidemic of H5N2 avian influenza, which began in Mexico in 1992, started with low pathogenicity, evolved to the highly fatal form, and was not controlled until 1995.

    A constantly mutating virus: two consequences

    All type A influenza viruses, including those that regularly cause seasonal epidemics of influenza in humans, are genetically labile and well adapted to elude host defenses. Influenza viruses lack mechanisms for the “proofreading” and repair of errors that occur during replication. As a result of these uncorrected errors, the genetic composition of the viruses changes as they replicate in humans and animals, and the existing strain is replaced with a new antigenic variant. These constant, permanent and usually small changes in the antigenic composition of influenza A viruses are known as antigenic “drift”.

    The tendency of influenza viruses to undergo frequent and permanent antigenic changes necessitates constant monitoring of the global influenza situation and annual adjustments in the composition of influenza vaccines. Both activities have been a cornerstone of the WHO Global Influenza Programme since its inception in 1947.

    Influenza viruses have a second characteristic of great public health concern: influenza A viruses, including subtypes from different species, can swap or “reassort” genetic materials and merge. This reassortment process, known as antigenic “shift”, results in a novel subtype different from both parent viruses. As populations will have no immunity to the new subtype, and as no existing vaccines can confer protection, antigenic shift has historically resulted in highly lethal pandemics. For this to happen, the novel subtype needs to have genes from human influenza viruses that make it readily transmissible from person to person for a sustainable period.

    Conditions favourable for the emergence of antigenic shift have long been thought to involve humans living in close proximity to domestic poultry and pigs. Because pigs are susceptible to infection with both avian and mammalian viruses, including human strains, they can serve as a “mixing vessel” for the scrambling of genetic material from human and avian viruses, resulting in the emergence of a novel subtype. Recent events, however, have identified a second possible mechanism. Evidence is mounting that, for at least some of the 15 avian influenza virus subtypes circulating in bird populations, humans themselves can serve as the “mixing vessel”.

    Human infection with avian influenza viruses: a timeline

    Avian influenza viruses do not normally infect species other than birds and pigs. The first documented infection of humans with an avian influenza virus occurred in Hong Kong in 1997, when the H5N1 strain caused severe respiratory disease in 18 humans, of whom 6 died. The infection of humans coincided with an epidemic of highly pathogenic avian influenza, caused by the same strain, in Hong Kong’s poultry population.

    Extensive investigation of that outbreak determined that close contact with live infected poultry was the source of human infection. Studies at the genetic level further determined that the virus had jumped directly from birds to humans. Limited transmission to health care workers occurred, but did not cause severe disease.

    Rapid destruction – within three days – of Hong Kong’s entire poultry population, estimated at around 1.5 million birds, reduced opportunities for further direct transmission to humans, and may have averted a pandemic.

    That event alarmed public health authorities, as it marked the first time that an avian influenza virus was transmitted directly to humans and caused severe illness with high mortality. Alarm mounted again in February 2003, when an outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza in Hong Kong caused 2 cases and 1 death in members of a family who had recently travelled to southern China. Another child in the family died during that visit, but the cause of death is not known.

    Two other avian influenza viruses have recently caused illness in humans. An outbreak of highly pathogenic H7N7 avian influenza, which began in the Netherlands in February 2003, caused the death of one veterinarian two months later, and mild illness in 83 other humans. Mild cases of avian influenza H9N2 in children occurred in Hong Kong in 1999 (two cases) and in mid-December 2003 (one case). H9N2 is not highly pathogenic in birds.

    The most recent cause for alarm occurred in January 2004, when laboratory tests confirmed the presence of H5N1 avian influenza virus in human cases of severe respiratory disease in the northern part of Viet Nam.

    Why H5N1 is of particular concern

    Of the 15 avian influenza virus subtypes, H5N1 is of particular concern for several reasons. H5N1 mutates rapidly and has a documented propensity to acquire genes from viruses infecting other animal species. Its ability to cause severe disease in humans has now been documented on two occasions. In addition, laboratory studies have demonstrated that isolates from this virus have a high pathogenicity and can cause severe disease in humans. Birds that survive infection excrete virus for at least 10 days, orally and in faeces, thus facilitating further spread at live poultry markets and by migratory birds.

    The epidemic of highly pathogenic avian influenza caused by H5N1, which began in mid-December 2003 in the Republic of Korea and is now being seen in other Asian countries, is therefore of particular public health concern. H5N1 variants demonstrated a capacity to directly infect humans in 1997, and have done so again in Viet Nam in January 2004. The spread of infection in birds increases the opportunities for direct infection of humans. If more humans become infected over time, the likelihood also increases that humans, if concurrently infected with human and avian influenza strains, could serve as the “mixing vessel” for the emergence of a novel subtype with sufficient human genes to be easily transmitted from person to person. Such an event would mark the start of an influenza pandemic.
    Follow link above to read more
    that makes no logic

  5. #21
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    I'm tellin you. Eat right to keep your body up in antioxidants, and stop drinking those sodas so that your body can get back to an alkaline ph, and you shouldn't fare too badly. Folks all this info is out there for you to take, if you would just rise to the occasion and search for it. Hehe, shoulda heard that woman on coasttocoast tonight. She had a dream that told her the exact same thing I said. Don't take the vaccine, and eat as healthy as you can. If getting the vaccine becomes mandatory, I'll be fightin.

  6. #22
    Whats it to ya? Finch's Avatar
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    Lets take a flashback to 1918.........

    Battlefeilds of WWI

    Young fit soilders in crowded battlefeild and hospital conditions. This flu bcame virulent her ebecause it did not need tro keep its host alive long to spread. And it took what was a healthy soilder population and bred like mad. it used what was most readily available, young people, and ran with it. What came out was a flu that readily attaked healthy young pople in their prime and killed them. People who are weak and vunerable, like the young and old, took it hat hardest, of course. But this virus was unusal by its ability to easily kil tthe young men and weomen it affected, a trait probably gained from the crowded battlefeild where young people are vwery common.

    You get a disease where young men and women are dropping dead in the streats. they are not the most immune. they are just as vunerable.

    Because this virus did not beed in abttlefield conditions, bird flu may have less a tendancty to affect young people. But it DOES affect healthy chikens in their prime in crowded birdfarms. The question is if the virus can retain that tendancy if it mutates to humans. its a big ?
    that makes no logic

  7. #23
    Lauderdale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I wonder if the government needs to set up a NON-PROFIT lab that will manufacture vaccines in massive quantities. Wonder if they ever thought about that? Make medicine out of need, not greed.
    You don't seriously think that politicians could come up with a common sense solution such as that. That requires rational and innovating thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I think I'm feeling a lil' feverish...maybe I need to go home...
    PAK, I think you should take the rest of the week off...but don't forget to stock up on the "liquids".

  8. #24
    Whats it to ya? Finch's Avatar
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    my canary has had a cough lately and im worried about him. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/confused.gif[/img]

    i think its air sac mites. no birdflu here
    that makes no logic

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