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Bird flu

alphieb

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Do you of you fear bird flu? What are your thoughts?
 

alphieb

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Do any of you fear Bird flu? What are your thought?
 

Kandahar

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It's certainly frightening, but the chance of an epidimic has declined somewhat over the past couple months. That's not to say that it couldn't happen, just that it seems less likely as more vaccines are developed, and governments are starting to be on the alert.

I was planning on going to China and Southeast Asia next fall, where most of these kinds of diseases incubate. Hopefully this isn't a problem when I go.
 

bandaidwoman

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Georgia being the poultry (chicken) capital of America, we are on heightened alert (Afterall, it can be imported by migratory birds and infect our chickens). It's good that china is vaccinating billions of its chickens, but countries with less resources such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Romania, Indonesia etc are not.

We still have not come up with a human vaccine against it (the news among the medical community is at least 6 months). If we had the vaccine right now it would take 3-4 years to get production up to speed to vaccinate all 300 million Americans .

Honestly, the plain vanilla human influenza is the real threat and it remains the number killer of Americans in this country every winter. We average approximately 35,000 deaths every year from the flu, which is far far far more than the relative handful of people that have died from the Avian flu and SARS combined. (Less than 100 deaths due to each)
 
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SHodges

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You'd have to be an idiot to be afraid of Bird Flu. 24 hour news network need something to report on, and Libby isn't going to hold an entire day of programming, Aruba is long gone, so what do you do? You fabricate a pandemic. They've been doing it for a long time, it's the same concept as when, after 9/11, all you saw for the next 6 months or so was (baseless) speculation about smallpox attacks in NYC subways that selectively left out facts to make things seem more likely to happen, easier to carry out, and more deadly than they really were. Bird Flu is the new, stylish SARS, though even less lethal. The whole thing is a big joke.
 

alphieb

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SHodges said:
You'd have to be an idiot to be afraid of Bird Flu. 24 hour news network need something to report on, and Libby isn't going to hold an entire day of programming, Aruba is long gone, so what do you do? You fabricate a pandemic. They've been doing it for a long time, it's the same concept as when, after 9/11, all you saw for the next 6 months or so was (baseless) speculation about smallpox attacks in NYC subways that selectively left out facts to make things seem more likely to happen, easier to carry out, and more deadly than they really were. Bird Flu is the new, stylish SARS, though even less lethal. The whole thing is a big joke.
They do over cover it, but I don't think it is a big joke. Although probably nothing for us to really fear.
 

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SHodges said:
You'd have to be an idiot to be afraid of Bird Flu. ...... The whole thing is a big joke.

Hold on, it's happened before. The 1918 flu pandemic was an avian flu in its origin!

http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20051008/fob2.asp

This is why virologists are shaking with fear. Remember the 1918 virus killed half a million people in this country alone in a matter of months (more than the world wars.) A virologists will tell this avian flu just needs to mutate a few genes before it becomes infective between humans and not just from poultry to human. (and the influenza virus is always mutating which is why every year we need a new batch of flu vaccince just to combat the regular human flu)

In addition, this avian flu is genetically similar to the 1918 virus! The 1918 flu virus was a Type A H1N1 virus, the present "avian flu" virus is a H5N1. The virologists/geneticists have found that the avian flu neuraminidase structure (N1) is genetically related to the N1 of the 1918 A H1N1 virus. . That is real scary from a virology perspective!

In a way, I am glad the media is hyping it up because the countries that harbor the viruses are much more aggressive about containing it. (China recieved such bad press and criticism from WHO for not reporting SARS they are very open and aggressive about the bird flu and SARS was contained in Toronto because of aggressive public awareness and public health.). Although, I usually think the media does a pi$$ poor job when it comes to medical reporting, I think their overzelousness might actually help the public health effort
 
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alphieb

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bandaidwoman said:
Hold on, it's happened before. The 1918 flu pandemic was an avian flu in its origin!

http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20051008/fob2.asp

This is why virologists are shaking with fear. Remember the 1918 virus killed half a million people in this country alone in a matter of months (more than the world wars.) A virologists will tell this avian flu just needs to mutate a few genes before it becomes infective between humans and not just from poultry to human. (and the influenza virus is always mutating which is why every year we need a new batch of flu vaccince just to combat the regular human flu)

In addition, this avian flu is genetically similar to the 1918 virus! The 1918 flu virus was a Type A H1N1 virus, the present "avian flu" virus is a H5N1. The virologists/geneticists have found that the avian flu neuraminidase structure (N1) is genetically related to the N1 of the 1918 A H1N1 virus. . That is real scary from a virology perspective!

In a way, I am glad the media is hyping it up because the countries that harbor the viruses are much more aggressive about containing it. (China recieved such bad press and criticism from WHO for not reporting SARS they are very open and aggressive about the bird flu and SARS was contained in Toronto because of aggressive public awareness and public health.). Although, I usually think the media does a pi$$ poor job when it comes to medical reporting, I think their overzelousness might actually help the public health effort
Bandaidwomen,

I enjoy your post. They are very insightful and intelligent.
 

SHodges

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The 1918 virus also existed in a very different world that made it's spread far easier than today, and that exaggerated it's lethality compared to what you'll find today. The 1918 virus doesn't change a thing, the bird flu is a massive joke on idiots.
 

bandaidwoman

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SHodges said:
The 1918 virus also existed in a very different world that made it's spread far easier than today, and that exaggerated it's lethality compared to what you'll find today. The 1918 virus doesn't change a thing, the bird flu is a massive joke on idiots.
Actually, with international travel the way it is, it has a higher chance of becoming an international pandemic.

But in terms of public health and awareness, you are probably right.

Should there be a break out, the news will get around so fast that people will be smart about going out and about in public places. No doubt there will be travel restrictions as there were for Toronto while SARS was being contained. I think our public health and quarantining measure are smarter these days. As for being a joke, it isn't for the people who understand the science of virology better than any of us. (I'm talking about the virologists and epidemiologists). Hopefully, it will remain a "joke " for the rest of us. For physicians however, something that has a 70% mortality rate is not somehting to be taken lightly. The ER docs here have been trained to recognize it since we have so many migrant hispanic workers working on the poultry farms who have direct exposure to the chickens should the chickens contract it from some migratory birds.

And let me stress that the flu virus historically has had an animal reservoir as its intermediate host (most of the time it is the pig.) but it can be the bird.
 
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Kandahar

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SHodges said:
The 1918 virus also existed in a very different world that made it's spread far easier than today,
Quite the opposite. In 1918, Lindbergh hadn't even made his trans-Atlantic flight. Today, a virus like SARS can go from China to Canada in a few hours.

SHodges said:
and that exaggerated it's lethality compared to what you'll find today.
It's true that the main reason the 1918 flu was so deadly was simply because the mortality rate of that strain of flu was higher; but that doesn't mean that something similar couldn't happen again. The reason we haven't since had a deadly outbreak comparable with 1918 has very little to do with modern medicine (which, quite frankly, sucks at preventing the flu), and more to do with the fact that we've just been lucky and not had such a deadly strain since then.

SHodges said:
The 1918 virus doesn't change a thing, the bird flu is a massive joke on idiots.
That's not at all true. The news media does report a lot of trivial stories, but this isn't one of them. Alarm bells are going off amongst medical workers and governments around the world, and for good reason.
 

alphieb

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SHodges said:
The 1918 virus also existed in a very different world that made it's spread far easier than today, and that exaggerated it's lethality compared to what you'll find today. The 1918 virus doesn't change a thing, the bird flu is a massive joke on idiots.
OH really......its a joke, lets say a bird got infected and somehow made its way here, and infected chickens and other birds. Lets say it transmitted with OUR flu virus and infected our population....would that be a joke?????????
 

hiker

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I do worry about it, especially since a mutation in the virus has been confirmed in China (though not one that will make it human-to-human transferrable...yet.) It was on the Drudge report today, just for reference. Anyway, it is not the disease we have a good knowledge of that worries me: it's the ones that catch us totally by surprise and goes relatively unnoticed until the infection rate has gotten out of hand. Sort of like an unusually bad cold that spreads like any other cold but ends up with a high mortality rate. Yet nobody notices in time that anything is more than business as usual. That will be the flu pandemic to worry about.
 

stsburns

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alphieb said:
OH really......its a joke, lets say a bird got infected and somehow made its way here, and infected chickens and other birds. Lets say it transmitted with OUR flu virus and infected our population....would that be a joke?????????
No joke. If were going to talk diseases, the best source is CRC. They track every case of any virus or infections. Here is one of their case files on avian flu. Its an old article but I think it will do.

February 13, 2004 / 53(05);97-100


Outbreaks of Avian Influenza A (H5N1) in Asia and Interim Recommendations for Evaluation and Reporting of Suspected Cases --- United States, 2004

During December 2003--February 2004, outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1) among poultry were reported in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. As of February 9, 2004, a total of 23 cases of laboratory-confirmed influenza A (H5N1) virus infections in humans, resulting in 18 deaths, had been reported in Thailand and Vietnam. In addition, approximately 100 suspected cases in humans are under investigation by national health authorities in Thailand and Vietnam. CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), and national health authorities in Asian countries are working to assess and monitor the situation, provide epidemiologic and laboratory support, and assist with control efforts. This report summarizes information about the human infections and avian outbreaks in Asia and provides recommendations to guide influenza A (H5N1) surveillance, diagnosis, and testing in the United States.
Poultry Outbreaks

On December 12, 2003, an outbreak of avian influenza A (H5N1) among poultry in South Korea was reported. Subsequent influenza A (H5N1) outbreaks among poultry were confirmed in Vietnam (January 8, 2004), on a single farm in Japan (January 12), in Thailand (January 23), in Cambodia (January 24), in China (January 27), in Laos (January 27), and in Indonesia (February 2). On January 19, a single peregrine falcon found dead in Hong Kong also tested positive for influenza A (H5N1) virus, but no poultry outbreak has been identified.

In Vietnam, as of February 9, a total of 18 human influenza A (H5N1) infections had been reported, resulting in 13 deaths. Patients ranged in age from 4 to 30 years; 10 patients were aged <18 years. The cases included fatal infections in two sisters who were part of a cluster of four cases of severe respiratory illness in a single family.

In Thailand, influenza A (H5N1) infection was confirmed in four males, aged 6--7 years, and one female, aged 58 years. All five patients died (1). Other cases are under investigation.
Analysis of Viruses

Antigenic analysis and genetic sequencing distinguish between influenza viruses that usually circulate among birds and those that usually circulate among humans. Sequencing of the H5N1 viruses obtained from five persons in Vietnam and Thailand, including one sister from the cluster in Vietnam, has indicated that all of the genes of these viruses are of avian origin. No evidence of genetic reassortment between avian and human influenza viruses has been identified. If reassortment occurs, the likelihood that the H5N1 virus can be transmitted more readily from person to person will increase. Although all the genes are of avian origin, the current H5N1 viruses are antigenically distinguishable from those isolated from humans in Hong Kong in 1997 and 2003.

Genetic sequencing of the five human H5N1 isolates from Thailand and Vietnam also indicates that the viruses have genetic characteristics associated with resistance to the influenza antiviral drugs amantadine and rimantadine. Antiviral susceptibility testing confirms this finding. Testing for susceptibility of the H5N1 isolates to the neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir has demonstrated the sensitivity of these viruses to the drug; testing to determine susceptibility to the neuraminidase inhibitor zanamavir is under way.
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5305a1.htm
 

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http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5313a2.htm

Avian Influenza Outbreaks

Since early February 2004, avian influenza outbreaks in poultry have been reported from multiple locations in North America, including British Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Texas (4). Most outbreaks involved influenza A (H7N2) or A (H7N3) strains with low pathogenicity; however, Texas reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic§§ avian influenza A (H5N2) among poultry limited to one farm. The farm was quarantined, depopulated, cleaned, and disinfected. Although no confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza viruses have occurred to date in relation to these outbreaks in the United States, Canadian health authorities have reported two laboratory-confirmed cases of human influenza A (H7) infection in British Columbia associated with a localized influenza A (H7N3) outbreak in poultry (5,6). Both persons were poultry workers who had separate and known exposure to infected poultry. One person exhibited conjunctivitis and upper respiratory symptoms; the second person had conjunctivitis and headache. Both were treated with oseltamivir and made full recoveries. To date, no human-to-human transmission of H7 influenza A has occurred in Canada.

Reported by: D Skowronski, MD, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control; A King, MD, T Tam, MD, T Wong, MD, Health Canada, Ottawa, Canada. U.S. state and local health departments. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Svc, U.S. Department of Agriculture. L Brammer, MPH, K Teates, MPH, S Harper, MD, A Klimov, PhD, N Cox, PhD, WHO Collaborating Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology and Control of Influenza, Div of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases; N Bhat, MD, EIS Officer, CDC.
Editorial Note:
 
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Viruses tend to become more viralent, when they jump the species barrier. At the moment the disease is only spread from animal to humans, but I don't think the authorities have reported human to human transmission.

I just finished my Immunology and Disease Unit, our lecturer says that the threat is very real. Viruses readily mutate and become very lethal indeed. If the authorities continue to be vigilant, the chances of a pandemic are drastically reduced.

:twocents:
 

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Survival of the fits us that what i said…The bird flu could be a good thing or a bad thing if it spread to humans…good thing that would come out of this would be it Social Security problem solved and sick people would die so they couldn’t spread breading disease …

Just image, instead of give people with AID and HIV pills to keep them alive for 15 years instead of 2-5 years with out pills…how many people won’t be infective with AID and HIV if…those people on life for 2-5 years instead of 15 year(so they could spread there disease even long 13 years longer). I know this is a mean way to thing, but I try to think out side the box, on all 4 sides…
 

alphieb

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Loxd4 said:
Survival of the fits us that what i said…The bird flu could be a good thing or a bad thing if it spread to humans…good thing that would come out of this would be it Social Security problem solved and sick people would die so they couldn’t spread breading disease …

Just image, instead of give people with AID and HIV pills to keep them alive for 15 years instead of 2-5 years with out pills…how many people won’t be infective with AID and HIV if…those people on life for 2-5 years instead of 15 year(so they could spread there disease even long 13 years longer). I know this is a mean way to thing, but I try to think out side the box, on all 4 sides…
On a different note, a higher population helps the economy, hence you have more people working and spending. The bird flu would probably not just effect the elderly, but the very young and possibly everyone in between, due to no resistance. At one time, the flu wiped out an enormous amount of Indians, because they had no immunity to it.

Plus medical bills would be astounding and people would have to file bankruptcy which also hurts the economy.
 

hiker

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Loxd4 said:
Survival of the fits us that what i said…The bird flu could be a good thing or a bad thing if it spread to humans…good thing that would come out of this would be it Social Security problem solved and sick people would die so they couldn’t spread breading disease …

Just image, instead of give people with AID and HIV pills to keep them alive for 15 years instead of 2-5 years with out pills…how many people won’t be infective with AID and HIV if…those people on life for 2-5 years instead of 15 year(so they could spread there disease even long 13 years longer). I know this is a mean way to thing, but I try to think out side the box, on all 4 sides…
I assume you are not familiar with the Spanish Lady, also known as the Spanish flu, of 1918. It's the template people are using as a comparison for the possible epidemic we could be facing with this avian virus. The Spanish Lady did not kill the sick or infirmed; the very young or very old. It was more known for killing tens of millions of men and women in their 20s and 30s in otherwise prime health. I am guessing this is a group of potential victims that you fit into. If you want to see the bright side in the potential death of millions of innocent people, you might want to think about the benefits to others from your own passing. If you don't see any benefit coming from that, it may not be a good thing to wish it on others.
 
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