Bird Flu

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Obviousman
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So, apparently the bad avian influenza has officially entered Europe, the Romanian birds brought the H5N1-type flu.

Who's scared?

We (well, Belgium, so probably the same goes for the UK and most others on here) are not on the route the birds take down south. IIRC the birds with the flu came from North Siberia, whereas the birds passing through around here come from South Siberia, but of course there could always be a nutter who'd transport birds from Turkey or Romania into the EU for whatever reason.
Only about 60 people got killed by this flu yet, but there remains the chance the flu mutates into a sort that can be passed from man to man.

I'm not affraid myself, but of course I think we should take appropriate actions and be quite careful...
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scotty
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No doubt I'll get the blame for that one aswell :innocent:
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boudicca
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scotty wrote:No doubt I'll get the blame for that one aswell :innocent:
:lol: It did cross my mind, when I heard about it - couldn't be worse than Heartland-itis in terms of sheer virulence....
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eastmidswhizzkid
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ha -they'll have to try harder than 60 dead to out do the scotty flu -(rhyme unintended). :P
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Izzy HaveMercy
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scotty wrote:No doubt I'll get the blame for that one aswell :innocent:
I'll start getting a bit nervous only when some Hungarian wild goose comes flip-flopping through the Chunnel... ;D


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rian
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I'm not scared, I have the human flu.

cough, cough, cough.....
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Ocean Moves
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3422839.stm

Now let me get this straight.
The UK government has said not to panic.

Yet, as this article states, scientists believe there is a
HIGH chance that eventually H5N1
Avian flu will combine with a human flu virus,
Resulting in a human-human strain which would likely
Kill between 20-50 million people world wide.

And it's also been shown that the (Spanish) flu pandemic
Of 1918 originated from an avian flu virus, in this way.

So you're feeling comfortable about this?!
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eastmidswhizzkid
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no, not really.however i'm trying not to dwell on it as what can be done practically? (that's not a head-in-the-sand rhetorical question either -if you know of something i can do to protect me and mine then i'ld like to know).
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Debaser
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Why doesn't someone teach those flappity fukkers how to use a hankie...then we'd all be ok?
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Johnny M
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Jeez Zeno, until it kicks off, don't worry about it. In the meantime you've got more chance being killed crossing the road. :roll:

My thoughts are with all of you who walk to work. :wink:

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Obviousman
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No, of course Johnny, you should not over-dramatise it, the odds are quite small, but still, being completely unconcerned would be the other extreme... Don't be paralysed by it, but prepare yourself is what I'd say :wink:

@emwk: Nothing much can be done practically, the vaccine for 'regular' flu is completely worthless, but it can help against recombination (If I get the word right. Has to do with getting both flues at the same time). I think that's how most people got killed by that Spanish Flu back in the days.

The pill you want to have and which is effective is called Tamiflu or something IIRC, in Belgium there has been a rush on it and it's sold out completely now :eek:
But that's overdoing it, I think :)

@Ocean Moves: Nice article, very informative, thanks :D
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Ocean Moves
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Obviousman wrote: @Ocean Moves: Nice article, very informative, thanks :D
there's plenty of informative stuff on the bbc website, if you have
the time to read it...when you should really be working.. :roll:
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andymackem
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So this vicious killer infection has so far claimed the lives of half the 120 people who have contracted it.

That's 60 people. In SE Asia, a famously sparsely populated area where practically nobody actually lives :roll:

All of these non-existent people live far from any livestock as well when you think about. You never associate poultry farming with daily life in countries like China or Vietnam, and certainly never find animals, infected or otherwise, moving freely around public spaces.

Get a bit of a grip? If this disease is not (currently) being passed around densely populated areas with general lower standards of public health why would we assume it's going to be a massive threat over here?

Something here doesn't stack up. But it makes a change from the war on terror.
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This in my eyes is too something we should not take lightly.....

If this virus happens to 'break-out' in Europe or more densely populated areas...it will lead to many more deaths and the part that gets to me, is the fact that the vaccine is limited and health scare that that brings with it does scare me.

Not one for the melodramtic but certainly an issue that should be watched.
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Obviousman
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andymackem wrote:So this vicious killer infection has so far claimed the lives of half the 120 people who have contracted it.

That's 60 people. In SE Asia, a famously sparsely populated area where practically nobody actually lives :roll:

All of these non-existent people live far from any livestock as well when you think about. You never associate poultry farming with daily life in countries like China or Vietnam, and certainly never find animals, infected or otherwise, moving freely around public spaces.

Get a bit of a grip? If this disease is not (currently) being passed around densely populated areas with general lower standards of public health why would we assume it's going to be a massive threat over here?

Something here doesn't stack up. But it makes a change from the war on terror.
And we have better health care too, I suppose...

Very interesting theory, you really think it would be some kind of 'media-hype' then :?: But why would the World Health Organisation participate in that? They're free to focus on what they really believe to be important right?
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andymackem
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The vaccine isn't 'limited', it can't exist until we know what we need to vaccinate against.

At the moment there is no virus present in birds which can be transmitted from human to human. Until that happens there can be no vaccination. There can also be no human epidemic.

Which bits of Europe do you think are more densely populated than the cities of South East Asia - the rolling eyes were a clue that I was slightly taking the p*ss with that comment.

As for media hype, two explanations:

One: it sells newspapers, gets viewers to TV stations and hits on websites. We'd hardly be discussing a story which said something along the lines of "An infinitesimally small number of chicken farmers on the other side of the world have died from an illness prevalent in Vietnamese chicken', would we? Nobody cares.

Two: if there is a health problem, on any scale, our public health authorities won't want to face the blame-game. Therefore you posit a worst-case scenario to ensure that any subsequent problem seems more acceptable. And you can take the credit for minimising the impact of the problem.

I've not read anything from the WHO that says we're all going to sneeze our way to an early grave. But when journalists go to public health authorities and say 'what about this bird flu, then?', they have to say something. If you say nothing, you're accused of sticking your heads in the sand and ignoring the threat - putting the lives of innocent people at risk through their arrogance and negligence, if I can lapse into strident leader-writing mode for a moment. But once you say something - anything - you effectively validate the story.

Look at the BBC piece in more detail - we seem to have a handful of cases where the disease has moved beyond the poultry farming community via human-to-human contact. None of these have actually been confirmed, and none have moved beyond a close circle, usually of families/co-habitees. This is not a serious problem unless the virus mutates. Even then it has to mutate into a form which will become easily communicable between humans. And typically a mutant virus weakens and becomes less dangerous, not more (though a resistence to available drugs can mask that effect in the short term).

I'm not saying there's no risk at all; just that there's nothing like the risk a few headlines are suggesting.
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Obviousman
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The risk isn't that big indeed, just heard/read it's highly unlikely for a H5-type virus to mutate into a human virus. All flu virusses over the last decades (could be even century, not really sure) have been H1-type virusses...

Your bottomline is correct, but I think nothing wrong with informing/preparing yourself a bit...
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Gottdammerung
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I think what's different this time is that they reckon that the virus is about to mutate. If its been around a while then it will most likely at some point in its life. Its a bit like earlier flu pandemics really and we're most definitely due one since the last one was in the 1960s in the UK.

I'm not bothered, my work are such capitalist bastards that they offer us free flu vaccinations each year to save on work hours off from illness. :evil:
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andymackem
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Obviousman wrote:The risk isn't that big indeed, just heard/read it's highly unlikely for a H5-type virus to mutate into a human virus. All flu virusses over the last decades (could be even century, not really sure) have been H1-type virusses...

Your bottomline is correct, but I think nothing wrong with informing/preparing yourself a bit...
Of course not, but make sure the information is accurate. 'Millions to die in their own snot' is not a useful starting point; 'Poultry farmers at a slight risk from infected birds' is not interesting enough to get publicity.
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MadameButterfly
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andymackem wrote:The vaccine isn't 'limited', it can't exist until we know what we need to vaccinate against.
One: it sells newspapers, gets viewers to TV stations and hits on websites. We'd hardly be discussing a story which said something along the lines of "An infinitesimally small number of chicken farmers on the other side of the world have died from an illness prevalent in Vietnamese chicken', would we? Nobody cares.

Two: if there is a health problem, on any scale, our public health authorities won't want to face the blame-game. Therefore you posit a worst-case scenario to ensure that any subsequent problem seems more acceptable. And you can take the credit for minimising the impact of the problem.
I am quite sure the vaccine does exist from the outbreak we had here last year (if memory serves me correct) and although the vaccine might be there, it is the question how advanced the virus has gotten since the last time. Indeed then only can a vaccine be made, for all we know it has evolved.

That "infinitesimally small number of chicken farmers" was a problem that Holland and Belgium had to deal with.....the massive destruction of the poultry farming because of the fear as to what it could lead to. This virus will mutate and if it does start mutating in the cross-over where people start dying in massive numbers, then indeed it is too late.
here we go again....
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Five years ago everyone was worried about the mega-volcano under Yellowstone going "pop". Five years before that it was an asteroid strike. This year it's avian flu.

There's a small chance that any (or all) of these events could happen this year. But it's a kind of flavour-of-the-month scare-story IMO.
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Obviousman
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MadameButterfly wrote:I am quite sure the vaccine does exist from the outbreak we had here last year (if memory serves me correct) and although the vaccine might be there, it is the question how advanced the virus has gotten since the last time. Indeed then only can a vaccine be made, for all we know it has evolved.
No, there is definately no vaccine at all... The only thing you can do is the Tamiflu I mentioned before, the only use of the normal vaccine is to avoid recombination...
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DerekR
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I'm really enjoying the overuse of the word "pandemic" on the news. It's like "oooh we've found a new word, let's use it as much as possible".

Pandemic is the new Tsunami it seems.
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markfiend
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I think the news reporters are thinking "let's put dem in a panic."

I'll get me coat.
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