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Jozanny
04-26-2009, 11:38 AM
Since we are all now under serious threat (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090426/ap_on_re_au_an/swine_flu_world;_ylt=AveNOa_L3JLX6gx.EW682dezvtEF; _ylu=X3oDMTJpcTk5cjdqBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkwNDI2L3N3a W5lX2ZsdV93b3JsZARjcG9zAzUEcG9zAzUEc2VjA3luX3RvcF9 zdG9yaWVzBHNsawNzd2luZWZsdWZlYXI-) from swine flu, I thought I would mention that I have been reading John Kelly's sincere but uneven study of The Black Death, The Great Morality, which evokes Camus, to my mind, even though the author probably doesn't intend comparisons to the more famous author's work. Modern civilization isn't going to save us from the next great outbreak. You'd be surprised.

Lokasenna
04-26-2009, 11:59 AM
Pandemics are a part of nature; humanity just has to whether the storm. In the 1300s, the Black Death wiped out a third of Europe's population in six years; we endure.

Jozanny
04-26-2009, 12:08 PM
I will pull up some of Kelly's figures when I have the opportunity. I am frying pork chops at the moment.

Emil Miller
04-26-2009, 12:28 PM
Since we are all now under serious threat (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090426/ap_on_re_au_an/swine_flu_world;_ylt=AveNOa_L3JLX6gx.EW682dezvtEF; _ylu=X3oDMTJpcTk5cjdqBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkwNDI2L3N3a W5lX2ZsdV93b3JsZARjcG9zAzUEcG9zAzUEc2VjA3luX3RvcF9 zdG9yaWVzBHNsawNzd2luZWZsdWZlYXI-) from swine flu, I thought I would mention that I have been reading John Kelly's sincere but uneven study of The Black Death, The Great Morality, which evokes Camus, to my mind, even though the author probably doesn't intend comparisons to the more famous author's work. Modern civilization isn't going to save us from the next great outbreak. You'd be surprised.

Hi Jozany,

The current outbreak of swine flu is only one of a number of similar outbreaks in recent years and, while there is the usual feeling of deja vu about it, it is a bit like Russian roulette and only a matter of time before the world gets hit with a pandemic. Modern communications and an increasingly overpopulated world are likely to result in a global outbreak at some point even if the present epidemic is contained.

Chava
04-26-2009, 01:22 PM
I can't help but think... Epola, Bird flu, foot and mouth disease, you name it, and we've been told it's the next big thing...

What about the fact that more than a million people die each year of Malaria? Which is spreading by the way, due to global warming.

Stargazer86
04-26-2009, 01:40 PM
There are so many tragic communicable diseases. We can't live in fear but we should be aware that the day may (soon) come when there is another pandemic. While modern medicine may thwart the spread of many diseases (i.e. flu, malaria...at least in the developed world) nature will take its course one way or another. Though it may sound cruel, we are facing some serious damages due to overpopulation and a pandemic may well be nature's population control...

subterranean
04-26-2009, 03:26 PM
Suppose the rapid increase of people movements from one place to another also contributes to the spread of certain infectious diseases.

Virgil
04-26-2009, 03:57 PM
Pandemics are a part of nature; humanity just has to whether the storm. In the 1300s, the Black Death wiped out a third of Europe's population in six years; we endure.

It was more than a third, and in Italy it was over two thirds. The scope of the black death goes way beyond the imagination. It must have been horrific.

Lokasenna
04-26-2009, 04:28 PM
It was more than a third, and in Italy it was over two thirds. The scope of the black death goes way beyond the imagination. It must have been horrific.

I thought it was a third over all? Anyway, it was certainly horrific - a fair bit of literature (both religious and secular) of the time talks about it as a precursor to the End of Days. Now that must have been terrifying - everyone dying, and both the Church and the state saying that Judgement was coming.

Stargazer86
04-26-2009, 04:33 PM
I thought it was a third over all? Anyway, it was certainly horrific - a fair bit of literature (both religious and secular) of the time talks about it as a precursor to the End of Days. Now that must have been terrifying - everyone dying, and both the Church and the state saying that Judgement was coming.


Hence the rise in popularity of self flagellation. I read somewhere that there were groups of these self punishers that would travel from town to town during the plague to offer attonement for everyone's sins in hopes that God would forgive and end the suffering brought on by the plague. Ironically, I'm sure this town to town traveling just spread the plague even more.

The Atheist
04-26-2009, 10:19 PM
With all of the panic-mongering by media, I thought it might be useful to record a few facts for people who are worried about the outbreak.

Yes, there have been lots of cases of swine flu, but so far, it does not look like a global problem.

It is a type-A influenza, examples of which infect people every year.

It does not appear to be more virulent or contagious than any other influenza outbreak.

The number of deaths is small for an outbreak of 1.5 months duration and it seems to be no more likely to kill you than any other influenza.

The vast majority of people who have had have recovered with no lasting effects.

It responds well to anti-viral treatment.

I'm not sure why the world media has whipped up a frenzy on this one - maybe they're trying to make up for the H5N1 bird flu which never arrived.

It appears that the most-vulnerable, the elderly, are not at major risk from the outbreak as the worst cases have been in people not exposed to previous H1N1 epidemics, Russian flu and the like.

That said, if you have a fever, take care, stay warm and drink water. Visit the doctor if necessary and try to maintain anti-infection habits - use and disposal of tissues, washing hands, etc.

Virgil
04-26-2009, 10:22 PM
Thanks for that A. The media certainly has a way of blowing things out of proportion.

The Atheist
04-26-2009, 10:51 PM
Thanks for that A. The media certainly has a way of blowing things out of proportion.

Yep.

The concern to me is that they're in danger of crying wolf once too often.

Lokasenna
04-27-2009, 02:41 AM
Agreed. Its hard to be flustered when the media goes in for its usual state of sensationalist nonsense. The radio this morning was panicking that it might reach Britain, the papers are predicting the deaths of hundreds of millions of people - which is exactly what they did with SARS, and sod all happened there.

The Atheist
04-27-2009, 03:34 AM
The big problem seems to be the numbers being used in the media. I see talk of "1600 confirmed cases", yet if the disease has already spread to USA, France, Canada and New Zealand - as seems extremely likely - then there must have been a hell of a lot more than 1600 Mexicans with swine flu, so the death rate of 108 isn't anywhere near as appalling as it looks.

Here is the official CDC site (http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/)which is updated constantly.

Nightshade
04-27-2009, 05:53 AM
I was just listening to this on the news and they do seem to be contradicting themselves quite a bit. One thing was some scientist was drawing comparisons to the 1918 Spanish flu. Now this horrified the reporter, but what the guy was saying is that was absolute worst case scenario and its something that can be learnt from, and we have much better medicine now so even though it is presenting the same way it is controllable, to an extent anyway now. Someone else e was saying pandemics happen every 30-40 years.
But it got me to thinking - and this is very much an example of media scaremongering. In 2002-2003 we were all going we were all going to die from SARS it killed a total of 774 and there were 8096 probable cases. (US National Center for Biotechnology Information)
and that was only a mini pandemic. Then in 2005-2007 there was the bird flu scare. Now I cant find any figures for that, but it did NOT kill six million Americans, I found a white house report saying it might, in fact I'm fairly certain it never made the human to human leap at all, it was a pandemic within the avian population but didn't translate to a full blown human pandemic.

AimusSage
04-27-2009, 07:13 AM
I don't get the big deal at all. Worst case scenario, a few million or maybe a billion die along the way when there is a big outbreak, then what? It's not like humanity will end because of it. You might die, I might die, but we'll be stronger for it. Scaring people into this isn't going to change anything. It's all selfish, nobody wants to die, but if their sons and daughters die, it's very sad and heartbreaking, but you'll survive and be stronger for it. That which does not kill us makes us stronger. Instead of being so concerned with our own selfish hides we might instead use our brain for something worthwhile that will be better suited for our continued survival as a species. It's impossible to save everyone so stop trying. Overpopulation is going to end us, not some pandemic. It's nature that will sustain us rather than our medical knowledge. In the end it won't be about saving one or even millions, it'll be about sacrificing a billion to save a million.

It is another question altogether whether humanity is worth saving. It's not one I care about, there is no right answer to this. Nor should one try to find an answer. It'll only lead to distorted views of self-worth. Truly it is a selfish question, and by that in its own way provide an answer to the question.

Anyway, that's just my opinion. There are no facts or anything in there. I could probably make a better case for what I just said if I bothered, but I won't since it doesn't really matter.

Emil Miller
04-27-2009, 07:21 AM
I You might die, I might die, but we'll be stronger for it.



This is going to take a bit of working out.

AimusSage
04-27-2009, 08:54 AM
This is going to take a bit of working out.
Ah, yes, with 'we' I meant us as a species, not as individuals. It's all a bit of a mini rant anyway.

Jozanny
04-27-2009, 10:03 AM
The big problem seems to be the numbers being used in the media. I see talk of "1600 confirmed cases", yet if the disease has already spread to USA, France, Canada and New Zealand - as seems extremely likely - then there must have been a hell of a lot more than 1600 Mexicans with swine flu, so the death rate of 108 isn't anywhere near as appalling as it looks.

Here is the official CDC site (http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/)which is updated constantly.

Just as a curiosity though, I wonder why so many of the deaths occurred in Mexico, and if polution, poor health, or gun violence, was an underlying stressor.

Even though I make my living off of media, or used to, if I ever get back to normal, I wasn't trying to stir up the pot.:rolleyes: Kelly's framework for his narrative has some weaknesses. He doesn't know if he is writing creative non-fiction about Medieval Europe and Asia, or doing an investigative study on the nature of pandemics, and he combines both modes. But if one can get past the irritation of his style, the affinity between the black death and modern plague episodes is startling.

When I can get past my internal insolence over my living conditions, I will post some notes from his research.

Niamh
04-27-2009, 03:19 PM
I can't help but think... Epola, Bird flu, foot and mouth disease, you name it, and we've been told it's the next big thing...

What about the fact that more than a million people die each year of Malaria? Which is spreading by the way, due to global warming.
Well said Chava!

Thanks for that A. The media certainly has a way of blowing things out of proportion.


Yep.

The concern to me is that they're in danger of crying wolf once too often.

They sure do!
It amazes me that there is so much hype about this when many others illnesses are more significant right now. TB is a major issue across the globe right now.

Stargazer86
04-27-2009, 03:28 PM
I work in a nursing home and this was addressed quite seriously in our morning meeting as we live within 2 hours of the Mexican border. We have signs posted all over the building now. There are at least 2 people in one of our local hospitals with it now and I heard someone in San Diego died from it this weekend.
This is starting to scare the sh*t out of me. Where I live is predominatly Hispanic...tons of my friends and co workers regularly go in and out of Mexico on the weekends and just whenever. Its just too close to home for comfort...

subterranean
04-27-2009, 03:38 PM
It amazes me that there is so much hype about this when many others illnesses are more significant right now. TB is a major issue across the globe right now.

Well, if I get this correctly, one of the requirements for a disease to be categorized as 'pandemic' is that it has to be something 'new'. And I suppose, in general, it's the new stuffs that make the news and gain the spotlight.

Jozanny
04-27-2009, 03:43 PM
Stay safe Star.

I was, for the most part, being sardonic in my approach to the discussion, which subsequently isn't so easy to sustain when the event touches someone. Don't panic either. Fear can be just as bad, if not worse, than getting infected.

dramasnot6
04-27-2009, 03:48 PM
I know this is the serious forum, but I think this XKCD comic is somewhat relevant.
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/swine_flu.png

Niamh
04-27-2009, 03:52 PM
I work in a nursing home and this was addressed quite seriously in our morning meeting as we live within 2 hours of the Mexican border. We have signs posted all over the building now. There are at least 2 people in one of our local hospitals with it now and I heard someone in San Diego died from it this weekend.
This is starting to scare the sh*t out of me. Where I live is predominatly Hispanic...tons of my friends and co workers regularly go in and out of Mexico on the weekends and just whenever. Its just too close to home for comfort...

I work in an airport. Common cold/ flus/ tummy bugs etc spread like wildfire in airports. I've been in the last three days and not one notice. We still have the signs up for avian bird flu though!

Jozanny
04-27-2009, 03:52 PM
Well, if I get this correctly, one of the requirements for a disease to be categorized as 'pandemic' is that it has to be something 'new'. And I suppose, in general, it's the new stuffs that make the news and gain the spotlight.

No, a pandemic is when the disease infects in two countries independently of the epicenter. Person A goes to Mexico and goes to Spain and infects a Spainard, but when 100 Spainards die independently of that source, and then in Italy, that is near to red alert.

Niamh
04-27-2009, 03:55 PM
Well, if I get this correctly, one of the requirements for a disease to be categorized as 'pandemic' is that it has to be something 'new'. And I suppose, in general, it's the new stuffs that make the news and gain the spotlight.

This is true, but do new strains of common illnesses not fall under this catagory? I read reports on the new strain of TB recently and is mainly spreading amongst the young in nightclubs etc and showing some immunity to the TB vacination...

Chava
04-27-2009, 03:58 PM
Not to mention that Malaria has gained resistance to every cure ever found for it. Pumping money into finding a cure isn't cost effective, so it has largely been ignored. Recently Bill Gates (who is very occupied with finding a cure) opened a jar of mosquito's at a conference with the big money men, and said that he felt there was no reason we shouldn't all fear this global disease, even if we live in places where it doesn't exist anymore. Only after the panic did he say that the mosquito's were malaria free.

subterranean
04-27-2009, 04:02 PM
No, a pandemic is when the disease infects in two countries independently of the epicenter. Person A goes to Mexico and goes to Spain and infects a Spainard, but when 100 Spainards die independently of that source, and then in Italy, that is near to red alert.

http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/avian_faqs/en/#areall

Scroll down to the sub heading, 'what about the pandemic risk'. Of course the point where it spreads rapidly among people plus between borders, is also another conditions to call a disease as pandemic.

subterranean
04-27-2009, 04:04 PM
This is true, but do new strains of common illnesses not fall under this catagory? I read reports on the new strain of TB recently and is mainly spreading amongst the young in nightclubs etc and showing some immunity to the TB vacination...

I suppose so. I mean that's the case with the Avian flu.

Nightshade
04-27-2009, 04:11 PM
Let's not forget AIDS!

Michael T
04-27-2009, 04:16 PM
I work in a nursing home and this was addressed quite seriously in our morning meeting as we live within 2 hours of the Mexican border. We have signs posted all over the building now. There are at least 2 people in one of our local hospitals with it now and I heard someone in San Diego died from it this weekend.
This is starting to scare the sh*t out of me. Where I live is predominatly Hispanic...tons of my friends and co workers regularly go in and out of Mexico on the weekends and just whenever. Its just too close to home for comfort...


It must be very scary where you are at the moment Elizabeth. I think it doesn’t help that the news channels hype it up so much. As far as I’m aware no one outside of Mexico City has died. Quite often these viruses mutate as they move through the poulation and away from the original source of the infection. That’s probably the reason the people in other countries, the USA included have only had mild symptoms of the flu. It may become a pandemic, but probably remain mild. That said, if you want to see a great romantic movie with scenes of a population in panic over an epidemic you should seek out ‘The Horseman on the Roof’ It’s French with subtitles:

Review Summary
In this beautifully mounted historical drama, Angelo Pardi (Olivier Martinez), an Italian soldier, is fleeing his country in 1832. After the fall of Napoleon, Austria is swooping down on Italy to take control of the nation, and like many patriots, Pardi is hoping to escape to France and fight for their freedom abroad rather than submit to Austrian rule. However, as Pardi discovers upon arrival, an epidemic of cholera is sweeping the land, leaving death in its wake and causing most people to be fearful of strangers, who may well be infected. As he tries to outrun a trio of mercenaries who have been hired to take him back to Italy, he finds himself accused by a group of villagers of infecting their water supply. Trying to escape would-be captors on all sides and searching for refuge in a rainstorm, Pardi finds a house and takes shelter inside. Unknown to Pardi, Pauline (Juliette Binoche), the lady of the house, is at home, but to his pleasant surprise, she welcomes him cordially rather than sending him away. It seems that Pauline's husband is missing, and as she desperately wants to find him and Pardi needs to escape to friendlier circumstances, they travel together through the French countryside, hoping to avoid both the disease and the tragedy travelling in its wake. Reportedly the most expensive French production ever made at the time of its release, Le Hussard Sur Le Toit (released in the United States as The Horseman on the Roof) was nominated for ten Cesar Awards (the French Oscar); it won two, for Best Cinematography and Best Sound.

Perfect to watch given the current situation Elizabeth! :D

AimusSage
04-27-2009, 04:19 PM
Let's not forget AIDS!
That's HIV, Aids is the syndrome associate with the virus.

Yeah, so I was in a nitpicky mood, sue me... :lol:

j/k don't sue me, it was a joke... IN THE SERIOUS DISCUSSION THREAD... uhoh. Sorry about that.

Back to serious. There are so many diseases and viruses and what not that are dangerous and/or deadly, just because this one is fresh out there doesn't necessarily make it more dangerous or deadly. It's just new and that means it isn't well documented and so people tend to panic faster, something which a lot of people pick up on and they then go fear mongering. That doesn't mean you don't have to be careful, but really if it is the next big full blown pandemic after the Spanish flu, do you really think you can stop it by being afraid?

PANIC!!!

Stargazer86
04-27-2009, 05:18 PM
Now I'm reading that there have been no US deaths from this (thank god!) but they're going on 150 or so in Mexico. Only 7 confirmed cases in California. 2 of them in my hometown. I've become so neurotic since I've had a kid. eek. Its a level 4 now with the CDC (whatever level 4 means...)

Panicing is very unproductive though...Everyone wash your hands, see your doctor if you feel sick at all, and don't go to Mexico!

AimusSage
04-27-2009, 05:22 PM
level 4: sustained human to human transmission

edit: looked it up on google: WHO website (http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/phase/en/index.html) says: Phase 4 is characterized by verified human-to-human transmission of an animal or human-animal influenza reassortant virus able to cause “community-level outbreaks.” The ability to cause sustained disease outbreaks in a community marks a significant upwards shift in the risk for a pandemic. Any country that suspects or has verified such an event should urgently consult with WHO so that the situation can be jointly assessed and a decision made by the affected country if implementation of a rapid pandemic containment operation is warranted. Phase 4 indicates a significant increase in risk of a pandemic but does not necessarily mean that a pandemic is a forgone conclusion.

The Atheist
04-27-2009, 07:34 PM
I work in a nursing home and this was addressed quite seriously in our morning meeting as we live within 2 hours of the Mexican border. We have signs posted all over the building now. There are at least 2 people in one of our local hospitals with it now and I heard someone in San Diego died from it this weekend.
This is starting to scare the sh*t out of me. Where I live is predominatly Hispanic...tons of my friends and co workers regularly go in and out of Mexico on the weekends and just whenever. Its just too close to home for comfort...

I see someone else has covered, but there have been no deaths outside Mexico so far, and even more importantly, note this comment:

In almost all swine flu cases outside Mexico, people have been only mildly ill and have made a full recovery.

Human-human transmission of the disease appears no worse than normal influenza.



Now I'm reading that there have been no US deaths from this (thank god!) but they're going on 150 or so in Mexico.

So far, there are 40 confirmed. There may be others added, with a possibility that 160 have died from it.

Given the rate of spread of new flu bugs, the death rate is no greater than annual influenza - and probably less.


level 4: sustained human to human transmission

Phase 4 indicates a significant increase in risk of a pandemic but does not necessarily mean that a pandemic is a forgone conclusion.

Important to remember that. Viruses behave of their own accord, and quite what happens with this one will be interesting to follow, but the likelihood right now is that it will die out as did SARS and H5N1.

The good news is, that even if it doesn't we have two anti-virals available which will knock it over bfore it knocks you over!

Stargazer86
04-27-2009, 07:38 PM
I work in an airport. Common cold/ flus/ tummy bugs etc spread like wildfire in airports. I've been in the last three days and not one notice. We still have the signs up for avian bird flu though!

What do you do in the airport? you must have one hell of an immune system. I'm totally the paranoid germaphobe whenever I'm in an airport

AimusSage
04-27-2009, 07:45 PM
I like to cough in airports. It makes people not stand so close to me, I'm perfectly healthy but people that find it necessary to stand extremely close to me just annoy me, and playing into their fears seem to work.

Maybe it's a little mean, but it's their own fault for standing too close, having said that, airports are the best ways to spread disease. There is an on-line game called pandemic II(I think), it's a pretty good simulation on pandemics and diseases. I'll go look for it.

Well that was easy to find: go here for the game (http://www.crazymonkeygames.com/Pandemic-2.html)

Niamh
04-27-2009, 07:46 PM
What do you do in the airport? you must have one hell of an immune system. I'm totally the paranoid germaphobe whenever I'm in an airport

work in the bookshops. :) I use to catch things all the time. If something bad goes through i'm gone. but i havent been as sick as i use to get in well over a year now.

Virgil
04-27-2009, 08:29 PM
The big problem seems to be the numbers being used in the media. I see talk of "1600 confirmed cases", yet if the disease has already spread to USA, France, Canada and New Zealand - as seems extremely likely - then there must have been a hell of a lot more than 1600 Mexicans with swine flu, so the death rate of 108 isn't anywhere near as appalling as it looks.

Here is the official CDC site (http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/)which is updated constantly.
That's exactly what I was thinking today. First of all, the regular flu causes a number of people to pass on. So this may not be any different. Second, the cases where fatality occurred was probably due to complications from additional medical issues. Of the 150 or so in the US, no one has died, and only one has even been hospitalized. Again only one was hospitalizd and he did not die.

NikolaiI
04-28-2009, 01:36 AM
That's exactly what I was thinking today. First of all, the regular flu causes a number of people to pass on. So this may not be any different. Second, the cases where fatality occurred was probably due to complications from additional medical issues. Of the 150 or so in the US, no one has died, and only one has even been hospitalized. Again only one was hospitalizd and he did not die.

150 out of 300 million residents is fairly small. I wasn't worried anyway, but seriously, thank you (and Aimus) for posting these things. It's rather annoying that the Media is so incredibly misguided as to blow things like this so much out of porportion. They are brainless, seriously! :D I am using the word serious so many times since this is my first post in the Serious Disccusion. :D I are not serious cat.

Seriously, though... (after reading a few comments above...) I have one heck of an immune system. Airports don't phase me at all... I think I could kiss 20 sick people and not catch anything. Although, I wouldn't! :lol:

The Atheist
04-28-2009, 01:52 AM
I like to cough in airports. It makes people not stand so close to me, I'm perfectly healthy but people that find it necessary to stand extremely close to me just annoy me, and playing into their fears seem to work.

I'm going to buy a sombrero tomorrow and walk around, talk in a Mexican accent and cough everywhere!

Nightshade
04-28-2009, 07:07 AM
work in the bookshops. :) I use to catch things all the time. If something bad goes through i'm gone. but i havent been as sick as i use to get in well over a year now.
Meh ditto librarys, I hve a theory about books incubating diseases.

I like to cough in airports. It makes people not stand so close to me, I'm perfectly healthy but people that find it necessary to stand extremely close to me just annoy me, and playing into their fears seem to work.
]

I'm going to buy a sombrero tomorrow and walk around, talk in a Mexican accent and cough everywhere!

The just mean, but it would serve them right for making snap what the word Im looking for judgmenst on appearance!

Scheherazade
04-28-2009, 07:10 AM
I'm going to buy a sombrero tomorrow and walk around, talk in a Mexican accent and cough everywhere!Please don't forget to post a photo!

;)

Jozanny
04-28-2009, 07:57 AM
Dispatch from a Mexican freelancer (http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2009/04/27/dispatch-from-mexico-a-city-on-lockdown.aspx)

The Atheist
04-28-2009, 03:19 PM
Meh ditto librarys, I hve a theory about books incubating diseases.

Your theory will be wrong.

Hard covers might retain infectious disease bacteria or viruses for a day or two, but paper isn't conducive to keeping them alive and books are probably the safest thing you could handle.


Please don't forget to post a photo!

;)

I'll try! (Finding a sombrero in Auckland's the hardest part!


Dispatch from a Mexican freelancer (http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2009/04/27/dispatch-from-mexico-a-city-on-lockdown.aspx)

Yes, the Mexican economy isn't going to be helped by all this.

Remarkable
04-28-2009, 04:13 PM
Dears,

This is a fresh article for all you Europeans.

http://www.upi.com/Emerging_Threats/2009/04/28/Analysis-Swine-flu-reaches-Europe/UPI-76441240945149/

I'm beggining to wonder now, over this whole thing. I haven't touched a school book all afternoon but now I'm an expert on pandemics.

Well, there is still around the atrocious but probably not-so-very-wrong theory that a major pandemics is indeed needed, sooner or later, to slow a bit this disastrous growth of world population. I think I remember Thomas Malthus having to do something with it.

Anyway, since you probably know this and it might have already been discussed here (and I don't have the patience to search around) I'm just writing over my musings. I'm afraid, truth be told, because, you know how much faith we all put to the safety, security and warmth of this world we live in? I mean, we know there are diseases, there is poornes and there are hurricanes, but no way we ever think of a phenomen seriously endagering our well being and furthermore, our existence. Just like no one wants to believe that we might be destroyed by a big meteorite or an earthquake can suddenly tear the whole world apart, we can't also believe that this... this flu we call it, might firstly kill us and secondly destroy our view of the world.

It's a bit weird, isn't it? Most of us are used to the idea that flu is a common illness one does have to catch at least once a year. Most school kids desire for days and weeks to catch the flu and so to rest from school for some days. But isn't it ironic now? This swine flu and the noise it's getting is worthy of... well, if not an apocalyptical movie, certainly one with Bruce Willis in it...

The Atheist
04-28-2009, 05:48 PM
This swine flu and the noise it's getting is worthy of... well, if not an apocalyptical movie, certainly one with Bruce Willis in it...

Well, the noise it's getting might be, but a lot of that is speculation and a lot more is nonsense.

It may well spread around the world, it seems to be very easy to catch, but colds and flu do exactly that all the time.

The most important point so far is this:

People who have caught it from another human are not getting very sick at all.

New Zealand's first confirmed case is amazed he had it, because he didn't feel that ill! (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10569234)
That's a very good thing, because I've had influenza two or three times only in 50 years and it's a horrible thing and I'd never describe it as "not feeling too bad".

At this stage, it is not a serious illness.

Nightshade
04-28-2009, 06:19 PM
Your theory will be wrong.

Hard covers might retain infectious disease bacteria or viruses for a day or two, but paper isn't conducive to keeping them alive and books are probably the safest thing you could handle.


eh it wasnt a particularly serious theory, however, if books are not kept in the rigt conditions they begin to decompose, paper quality is a major factor in this but in libraries wityh a lot of books frm say the 1950s this is very much a factor. High acidity and all that , they end up producing this noxsious dust, now let me ell you as someone who has woked with that stuff it is NASTY.not only can it give you blisters , rashes and sores it can make you cough sneeze choke , you name it.
Also while I am obviously a mad supporter of libraries (YAY :banana: use your public library) there is no escaping the fact that all sorts of people handle those books and I could tell you stories about some of the books that have come back to us that would have you running to jump in to the shower just from hearing about it. Not literally , well unless you have atendecy towards that kind of thing I guess. and I had to stop a cjhild licking the counter the othger day and those thinsg are so disgustingly filthy it is unbelivable, and then a book gets put on it, then someone is eating food and reading at the same time and doesnt wash their hands ... and well you get the picture, I hope.

Emil Miller
04-28-2009, 06:31 PM
[QUOTE=Remarkable;712259] Well, there is still around the atrocious but probably not-so-very-wrong theory that a major pandemics is indeed needed, sooner or later, to slow a bit this disastrous growth of world population. I think I remember Thomas Malthus having to do something with it. QUOTE]

It is becoming increasingly obvious that, with the growth in world population, this planet will be unable to sustain humankind, anyone who thinks otherwise is living in cloud cuckoo land. Handing out condoms and birth control pills will not stop the relentless march of population increase. Punitive laws in China have had some success but the horse had already bolted before the stable door was closed. Humans are but a link in the chain of life and therefore natural forces will protect the whole chain by restricting human activity one way or another. If that requires a major depletion of human beings, then that's what will happen. Imagine what the world population would have risen to were it not for the "Black Death"

NikolaiI
04-29-2009, 10:38 AM
So, what's the conclusion?

IndigoStorm
04-29-2009, 02:11 PM
"A pandemic (from Greek παν pan all + δήμος demos people) is an epidemic of infectious disease that spreads through populations across a large region; for instance a continent, or even worldwide."

Personally I am always very cynical/suspicious when this kind of thing suddenly rears its ugly head ...

We are currently experiencing a worldwide recession and I am certain that the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry is also in a downturn ...

What better way to make a couple of billion bucks than for someone to scare up some new pandemic?

The Atheist
04-29-2009, 04:59 PM
So, what's the conclusion?

Far too early to come to any concluions, although the first recorded human-human transmission outside of Mexico has occurred.

I'd hesitate to even go with too strong a likelihood at the moment, but from the very limited data available, it would appear to be about as bad seasonal influenza.

Unfortunately, viruses don't co-operate with us and can mutate at the drop of a nostril.

I'd say we won't have clarity for at least another week.


Personally I am always very cynical/suspicious when this kind of thing suddenly rears its ugly head ...

We are currently experiencing a worldwide recession and I am certain that the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry is also in a downturn ...

What better way to make a couple of billion bucks than for someone to scare up some new pandemic?

Nope.

While a couple of drug companies will make a killing, every other facet of the world's economy will take a severe hit it can't afford.

As to the head of it being raised, cynicism's all very well, but we do know that influenza does just this quite frequently - mutate into a new virus. A classic example is the "Hong Kong" flu of the late 1960s.

The only problem thus far has been the over-reaction by media.

AimusSage
04-29-2009, 05:11 PM
Ooooooh... Phase 5... I'm so excited! Will it turn into an actual Pandemic? What will the news tell us next.

Seriously though, I guess they found out everyone got a little tired of the pirates and the recession, so they jump on the next big thing as if there is no tomorrow.

Wait...Is there a tomorrow?

Taliesin
04-29-2009, 06:19 PM
The way I have heard it, the reason why this new flu is so scary that it comes from pigs and is therefore totally new and it means that people would be totally unresistant to it - the flu people get every winter is the same virus, it just mutates a bit - so it can make you ill but since your immune system has known something very similar, it can get healthy soon - it may not be so in the case of a totally new virus - but as it is said, if people's immune systems can deal with it, it mightn't be so bad.

Anyhow, I don't see why people panic about such a tiny thing like the swine flu when there are more spooky things to panic over- peak oil, the economic crisis that will perhaps destroy Western civilization, the combination of the former two, the end of the world in 2012 because a digit is changing in the ancient Mayan calendar which is apparently a really spooky thing (perhaps the pots and pans and all other things will animate themselves and start hitting people, thereby killing them all - what? it has happened before, if I remember my Popol Vuh correctly) the planet Nibiru, of which there is no scientific evidence but which will surely appear soon and collide with Earth, destroying everything, the New World Order, a ball of plasma coming from the Sun inducing currents in long electrical lines, thereby destroying most of the electrical systems (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20127001.300-space-storm-alert-90-seconds-from-catastrophe.html), Yellowstone volcano erupting again, causing a new Ice Age, Cthulhu and the other Elder Gods awakening and causing unspeakable horrors, return of the disco, that really spooky exam that is coming in the end of May...


Really, folks, these are the things you should be worried about. What's a tiny pandemic compared to all of this?

The Atheist
04-29-2009, 06:34 PM
Ooooooh... Phase 5... I'm so excited! Will it turn into an actual Pandemic? What will the news tell us next.

Seriously though, I guess they found out everyone got a little tired of the pirates and the recession, so they jump on the next big thing as if there is no tomorrow.

Wait...Is there a tomorrow?

Yep, an that's probably when we go to DEFCON 6!

Stargazer86
04-29-2009, 07:34 PM
A child in Texas died :(

They closed the high school down the street from me for at least a week...I hear some of the kids from there got it.

Virgil
04-29-2009, 09:07 PM
I've come to the conclusion that humanity has an apocalyptic mentality engrained in it. This is a bunch of nonsense, blown way out of proportion by the fear mongering class.

The Atheist
04-29-2009, 09:47 PM
I've come to the conclusion that humanity has an apocalyptic mentality engrained in it. This is a bunch of nonsense, blown way out of proportion by the fear mongering class.

Yep, I think that sums it up pretty well.

NikolaiI
04-29-2009, 10:00 PM
The only problem thus far has been the over-reaction by media.

I thought it was an over-reaction and over-hype too, and... Yesterday I thought of a reason for it, but I can't discuss it here as it is political.


I've come to the conclusion that humanity has an apocalyptic mentality engrained in it. This is a bunch of nonsense, blown way out of proportion by the fear mongering class.

As well as the reason I thought of, my dad also mentioned that often, news media has to cover what other news media does, really sort of competition.

Delta40
04-29-2009, 10:14 PM
is it possible there is a pandemic amongst the media rather than the illness itself? I'm not very good at expressing myself but the reporting of swine-flue has reached out of control proportions - does that make sense? It is this strain of virus which may have a greater infectious nature and is causing untold harm which requires the development of an anti-viral remedy to cure it.

Stargazer86
04-29-2009, 10:16 PM
I've come to the conclusion that humanity has an apocalyptic mentality engrained in it. This is a bunch of nonsense, blown way out of proportion by the fear mongering class.

Yes but better blown up to be larger before it gets to that point than for it to be treated as no big deal and it ending up more widespread than it already is.
From the perspective of the mother who lost that little toddler to this, it is not blown out of proportion. This is probably the most tragic thing she will ever go through in her life.

motherhubbard
04-29-2009, 10:30 PM
I thought it was an over-reaction and over-hype too, and... Yesterday I thought of a reason for it, but I can't discuss it here as it is political.


As well as the reason I thought of, my dad also mentioned that often, news media has to cover what other news media does, really sort of competition.

I guess I live under a rock. I didn't even know about it until a day or two ago and I've had to look for information. I wonder what else is going on that I don't know about. I really quit watching the news when that blond lady with the little girl died, Nichole or Jessica maybe Simpson- I don't know. It's all tabloid news anymore.

NikolaiI
04-29-2009, 10:41 PM
Yes but better blown up to be larger before it gets to that point than for it to be treated as no big deal and it ending up more widespread than it already is.
From the perspective of the mother who lost that little toddler to this, it is not blown out of proportion. This is probably the most tragic thing she will ever go through in her life.

I don't know enough about it perhaps. All I am saying is that here in America, if 150 people have gotten sick, 1 hospitalized, and none have died, I think it is over-hype to broadcast it everywhere and raise this huge alarm. In a city of 50,000, 150 people getting sick from it would be... umh, maybe a very small concern. In a country of 300,000,000, it is nearly nothing.

Dori
04-29-2009, 11:06 PM
Hey, I just blogged about this!
Check it out: "That Piggish Pandemic" (http://www.online-literature.com/forums/blog.php?b=8104)

Taliesin
04-30-2009, 02:53 AM
An excerpt from an article on New Scientist:

So far there seem to have been around 159 fatalities among perhaps 2000 cases in Mexico, although only a small number of these have been confirmed in the laboratory as influenza infections. Although this suggests a scary fatality rate of around 10%, there has so far been just one death outside of Mexico of a 23-month-old Mexican child in Texas, who had recently been in Mexico. The "case fatality" of the virus is not yet known.

This is the key point that scientists are now investigating. Travellers returning to their home countries after acquiring the virus in Mexico have experienced mild influenza-like illness. What might explain this apparent discrepancy in disease outcome?
A matter of numbers

One simple answer is that there have been many more mild cases in Mexico than counted so far and that the true case fatality rate is more like 1 to 2%. This would be akin to that seen during previous pandemics such as the 1957 (H2N2) Asian influenza or the 1968 (H3N2) Hong Kong flu. Even with the 1918 Spanish influenza, which killed tens of millions, the case fatality rate is estimated at between only 2.5 and 5%.

In other words, as cases outside of Mexico increase, we may expect a small number of fatalities from what is otherwise a rather mild virus. Increased epidemiology for example, monitoring the spread of the virus and the strain type in the affected areas in Mexico will shed light on this issue.

Another possibility is that the Mexican fatal cases have been due to co-infections with other pathogens that together lead to a worse outcome, or that somehow the indigenous population of Mexico is genetically predisposed to fare badly with this particular influenza strain. There is no evidence to support either of these possibilities, but then so far we have few clinical details of any of the cases.
Read the full article at:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17049-expert-analysis-mexican-swine-flu--the-story-so-far.html

The Atheist
04-30-2009, 04:54 AM
It is this strain of virus which may have a greater infectious nature and is causing untold harm which requires the development of an anti-viral remedy to cure it.

Nope. It's just a brand new virus, for which nobody has immunity.

Last time this exact thing happened was 1967/8 with Hong Kong flu, which seems to have been a magnitude worse than the Mexican one. (We have to stop calling it swine 'flu!)


From the perspective of the mother who lost that little toddler to this, it is not blown out of proportion. This is probably the most tragic thing she will ever go through in her life.

I see that the dead child had several existing health problems, so it may be a red herring.

That doesn't make it less tragic for the family.


I don't know enough about it perhaps. All I am saying is that here in America, if 150 people have gotten sick, 1 hospitalized, and none have died, I think it is over-hype to broadcast it everywhere and raise this huge alarm. In a city of 50,000, 150 people getting sick from it would be... umh, maybe a very small concern. In a country of 300,000,000, it is nearly nothing.

Yes, this is important, the numbers don't stack up, as explained:


An excerpt from an article on New Scientist:

Read the full article at:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17049-expert-analysis-mexican-swine-flu--the-story-so-far.html

Good pick - there hasn't been anywhere near enough publicity given to the numbers.

If 2000 people in Mexico had it, there is no way on earth so many people would have contracted it while holidaying there.

It seems to be a rare mild influenza, although as has been repeatedly stated by expert virologists, it could mutate again tomorrow. Let's just hope it doesn't! A-type 'flu is pretty common.

Delta40
04-30-2009, 10:35 AM
I'm confident that media is the virus that I need to fear more so than any flu

Zee.
05-01-2009, 06:58 AM
^

That whole flu bull**** is just a scare tactic once again used by people to cause mass panic among weak minded people.

People die EVERY DAY of contagious diseases. Starvation too. Murder too.
People die of regular flu EVERY DAMN DAY
and everyone is panicking over this swine flu crap?

The world has gone so far backward, it's insane


Yes but better blown up to be larger before it gets to that point than for it to be treated as no big deal and it ending up more widespread than it already is.
From the perspective of the mother who lost that little toddler to this, it is not blown out of proportion. This is probably the most tragic thing she will ever go through in her life.

^
Yeah well people are murderer daily. Children, adults. People are raped. People are starving. People are dying of cancer. People are dying of aids.
Is that blown across the font paper constantly? No. It's not because of the "tragedy" that is those who are dying and are dead from this "flu"
the only reason this thing has even been made public is because it has been successful in creating fear. Our world is fearful. Pretty stupid to me.

Virgil
05-01-2009, 09:28 AM
I'm confident that media is the virus that I need to fear more so than any flu

:lol: Very well said. I like that.

The Atheist
05-01-2009, 06:54 PM
^

That whole flu bull**** is just a scare tactic once again used by people to cause mass panic among weak minded people.

No.

While I'd be the first to agree that the current media frenzy is over the top, it isn't BS and being concerned is not a sign of weak-mindedness.

Claiming it's nothing on the basis of no evidence whatsoever, however, isn't necessarily a good thing.


People die EVERY DAY of contagious diseases. Starvation too. Murder too.

So, because people die, we shouldn't be concerned that more might die preventable deaths?

Are you an anarchist?

Should we care that climate change might wipe out our entire species? Where do we draw the line at what matters and what doesn't? 1,000,000 deaths? a billion?


^People die of regular flu EVERY DAMN DAY
and everyone is panicking over this swine flu crap?

Couple of points here:

Firstly, despite the mass media's best attempts, I haven't seen any sign of panic anywhere. Yesterday, Tamiflu went on sale here and while there were a few enquiries, there was no mass demand for it, and we have 4 confirmed cases here.


Yeah well people are murderer daily. Children, adults. People are raped. People are starving. People are dying of cancer. People are dying of aids.
Is that blown across the font paper constantly? No. It's not because of the "tragedy" that is those who are dying and are dead from this "flu"
the only reason this thing has even been made public is because it has been successful in creating fear. Our world is fearful. Pretty stupid to me.

You've chosen to ignore a huge number of relevant points to arrive at your position, and I think maybe it's you who needs to calm down.

Even if this H1N1 influenza A is no more deadly than annual influenza, 5-10 times more deaths will occur.

That is simply because a lot more people will catch this one than usually get influenza, and people who are most at risk won't have any protection against it, where they normally have a vaccination.

There is clearly no need to panic, but taking prudent steps to limit the spread of the disease is.... prudent!

There are some easy ways to check the likelihood of overload on your local health system. Does your local area have more than 10% spare bed capaicty? If not, they will struggle to cope with widespread H1N1-A even if it is somewhat less severe than annual influenza.

You've seen how quickly the virus mutated from an influenza virus - as of 1st of March this year, the virus did not exist. In the ensuing two months, it has killed a confirmed dozen or so people. The virus could just as easily mutate - especially when it gets to Asia, where we have extensive evidence of influenza mutation - H5N1 and SARS, in particular. Given that it appears that close human-animal contact is partly or wholly responsible for influenza virus mutation, the potential for disaster is impossible to gauge.

As you'll see from all my posts so far, I'm not recommending any degree of panic, but I don't believe we should ignore this either.

I had Hong Kong 'flu in 1968 and I was one very, very sick nine-year old, and I was a very healthy and well-nourished boy. Influenza is no joke at the best of times, and when it's one which could potentially be an international health disaster, it's worth keeping an eye on.

At this stage, I don't expect the outbreak to be too serious, but it will certainly kill a number of people who otherwise would not die. Anything which helps keep that number low is a good thing, in my opinion.

(We need to change the name of the damn virus - I've never made as many typos in my life as I do when typing "ifnleuzna".)

Stargazer86
05-01-2009, 07:23 PM
^^
Yeah well people are murderer daily. Children, adults. People are raped. People are starving. People are dying of cancer. People are dying of aids.
Is that blown across the font paper constantly? No. It's not because of the "tragedy" that is those who are dying and are dead from this "flu"
the only reason this thing has even been made public is because it has been successful in creating fear. Our world is fearful. Pretty stupid to me.

I definately see your point as it is a very valid one. I think the big issue here was instructing about infection control tactics etc to prevent it from becoming something worse than it had to be.

Delta40
05-01-2009, 07:32 PM
There are approx 65 million people in the world with HIV/AIDS. We are not paralysed with fear over this. Does anyone remember the 80's and the propaganda that went down about HIV? What I'm saying is that HIV/AIDS is spreading throughout the world at a steady rate - like wildfire if you will but people are not alarmed to the point that we are paralysed by that pandemic. We are desensitised and we go about our daily lives without giving it a second thought.

librarius_qui
05-01-2009, 09:32 PM
Have you discussed already about the name of the illness?

lq~

The Atheist
05-02-2009, 03:29 AM
There are approx 65 million people in the world with HIV/AIDS. We are not paralysed with fear over this. Does anyone remember the 80's and the propaganda that went down about HIV? What I'm saying is that HIV/AIDS is spreading throughout the world at a steady rate - like wildfire if you will but people are not alarmed to the point that we are paralysed by that pandemic. We are desensitised and we go about our daily lives without giving it a second thought.

It's a lot easier to avoid HIV than H1N1-A.


Have you discussed already about the name of the illness?

lq~

Not really.

I agree with the move to stop calling it swine 'flu. On history, where all pandemic 'fkus have been named after the place of discovery, it should be Mexican 'Flu, but H1N1-A is good for me.

Jozanny
05-02-2009, 11:15 AM
There are approx 65 million people in the world with HIV/AIDS. We are not paralysed with fear over this. Does anyone remember the 80's and the propaganda that went down about HIV? What I'm saying is that HIV/AIDS is spreading throughout the world at a steady rate - like wildfire if you will but people are not alarmed to the point that we are paralysed by that pandemic. We are desensitised and we go about our daily lives without giving it a second thought.

AIDS killed my brother, who was a drug addict, so I am not indifferent to it, but the problem with it today is it is no longer the gay man's disease, but a Third World killer which has otherwise stabilized among the affluent, and, if you behave, and take the cocktail, you can die with it instead of from it. Hence, it has gone off the public radar. I have read a fair amount of literature on it, and it is one hell of a complex virus, but even in Africa, there are small populations which have developed resistance to it, so I don't think it would wipe us out. It is things like the super resistant TB that worry me, something so strong that nothing could control it.

Delta40
05-02-2009, 06:02 PM
You could be right. i won't challenge that notion but my point is via propaganda, there was a time when more people were afflicted by AIDS Fear than AIDS. More people have flu fear atm than flu itself. Frankly, I think feeding fear is an effective strategy of governments who find their people most malleable in this state.

The Atheist
05-02-2009, 06:13 PM
You could be right. i won't challenge that notion but my point is via propaganda, there was a time when more people were afflicted by AIDS Fear than AIDS.

That was probably when a lot less was known about the disease and myths persisted about the ease of catching it.


More people have flu fear atm than flu itself.

You know, I keep seeing this said, but aside from a very few people with existing anxiety issues, I really haven't seen any fear, despite the best efforts of media - wittingly or unwittingly.


Frankly, I think feeding fear is an effective strategy of governments who find their people most malleable in this state.

That is simply political, so we'll avoid the issue.

The other side of the coin is while this, like H5N1 and SARS, will probably turn out to be a damp squib, the potential for disaster is real.

I said from the start that the biggest danger - in my eyes - is that when the real threat comes along, people will think it's just another scare.

What's needed on all sides of the issue is a deal of common sense:

In this case, it looks like we'll be lucky, although influenza viruses can mutate at any time and it could still become a serious health risk. It is becoming pretty obvious that it is milder than usual 'flu, indicating good public resistance levels.

If the disease progresses, as looks increasingly likely, most people will catch it and many will die. Since these are extra deaths to whatever will occur from influenza this year anyway, one more is too many in my book.

If we can mitigate risks and display preparedness for a genuine threat, both at the same time, let's use that opportunity. The thing which bothers me most is the naysayers inability to see that an already-crowded and overworked health system will have enormous problems if - more likely when - a worldwide health threat emerges.

It is sillier to ignore the issue than over-state it.

Nightshade
05-03-2009, 06:33 AM
Can I just add one little thing? Having consulted with my resident Emergency and Disaster Medicine expert ( its amazing what you can find on your family tree it really is) one of the official things ( have temoprarily lost the english word criteria/criterium? maybe) of a pandemic is OUT OF CONTROL as yet this isnt out of control people need to stop fretting. Or you could think of it as a stage of eveoloution . :d

librarius_qui
05-03-2009, 07:33 PM
Not really.

I agree with the move to stop calling it swine 'flu. On history, where all pandemic 'fkus have been named after the place of discovery, it should be Mexican 'Flu, but H1N1-A is good for me.

Actually, they've been calling it Mexican Flu, already, in Brasilian news (some people, not all, mainly doctors).

I think it quite proper. (And it's far from reaching the disaster the Spanish Flu was ... It's estimated that, in the beginning of the XXth, the Spanish killed around 20 to 100 million people (according to Wikipedia) ... And notice that the planet's population was waaay less numerous, by then.)

Jozanny
06-11-2009, 11:25 AM
Time to PANIC (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/un_un_swine_flu). :D :) ;)

PeterL
06-11-2009, 01:47 PM
Panic will do no good. This pandemic is not especially dangerous, but it is a strain of flu that hasn't been around in the last thirty years, so people under thirty have a good chance of getting it. When I had it around the end of March, I didn't find it as bad as seasonal flu.

Jozanny
06-11-2009, 02:02 PM
The art of sarcasm is apparently a lost one on LN. The WHO has been attacked for going to level 6 so rapidly.

PeterL
06-11-2009, 02:28 PM
There are people who have been panicking for months. I asked an epidemiologist I know about it back in April, and her response, in part, was something the effect of 'We're doomed.'

The Atheist
06-11-2009, 03:44 PM
Panic will do no good. This pandemic is not especially dangerous, but it is a strain of flu that hasn't been around in the last thirty years, so people under thirty have a good chance of getting it. When I had it around the end of March, I didn't find it as bad as seasonal flu.

Just one correction, it is an entirely new strain of influenza which has never been around before. The last pandemic was 40 years ago, but H3N2 strain.

I'm interested that you had it. Were you diagnosed formally as having A-H1N1?

PeterL
06-11-2009, 03:55 PM
Just one correction, it is an entirely new strain of influenza which has never been around before. The last pandemic was 40 years ago, but H3N2 strain.

I'm interested that you had it. Were you diagnosed formally as having A-H1N1?

It is a type A H1N1 influenza. While this is not precisely the same as previous type A H1N1 viruses, anyone who had type A H1N1 influenza in the past will have immunity to this one. The immunity diminishes over time, but the 1918 pandemic was type A H1N1, and the Russian flu of 1977 was also type A H1N1.

I did not have a formal diagnosis, as is the case for most people. I woldn't have thought anything of it, if the talk of Swine Flu wasn't around. The course of my sickness was what they describe for the Swine Flu: coldlike symptoms for a few days, vomitting, diareahia, abdominal pain, tiredness, etc. The intestinal symptoms were what tipped me off. I have only had intestinal problems from flu once before.

Janine
06-11-2009, 04:09 PM
Today I found this article which might interest all of you. It seems to be current information on the flu situation worldwide.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090611/ap_on_he_me/un_un_swine_flu

Virgil
06-11-2009, 08:12 PM
Today I found this article which might interest all of you. It seems to be current information on the flu situation worldwide.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090611/ap_on_he_me/un_un_swine_flu

I still don't see what the big deal is. To quote from that article,
"So far, swine flu has caused 144 deaths, compared with ordinary flu that kills up to 500,000 people a year."

It also says in there that 29,000 people world wide have been infected. That's nothing. If 500,000 people die from the flu world wide, then the number of people who get the flu must be in the double digit millions. That means the number of people who got the swine flu is probably less than a fraction of a percent. Definitely this has been over hyped, either from media stupidity or irrational fears.

Janine
06-11-2009, 08:29 PM
I still don't see what the big deal is. To quote from that article,
"So far, swine flu has caused 144 deaths, compared with ordinary flu that kills up to 500,000 people a year."

It also says in there that 29,000 people world wide have been infected. That's nothing. If 500,000 people die from the flu world wide, then the number of people who get the flu must be in the double digit millions. That means the number of people who got the swine flu is probably less than a fraction of a percent. Definitely this has been over hyped, either from media stupidity or irrational fears.

I don't agree with you on this Virgil at all. I think they have worked hard to contain it; I think left unchecked and ignored it could be much worse. I believe the key note in this article is the fact that this particular virus doesn't not kill people at high risk but rather healthy individuals.


Still, about half of the people who have died from swine flu were previously young and healthy — people who are not usually susceptible to flu. Swine flu is also crowding out regular flu viruses. Both features are typical of pandemic flu viruses.

That is something to be concerned over. I am glad the medical community is taking action and being vigilante. My mother remembers the flu back in my grandmother's day and the stories they told her and her brother about it. It was a horrible time and many did die. She said they didn't even have enough undertakers to handle them all. The thing is when any virus is first discovered, and it happens all the time, they don't know how it will change and morph and what this will mean in the future. Virus' do not always stay stable. I don't profess to know much in medical terms but surely what I don't know has to be great. I don't think this flu is hyped up. I think the comedians are riot but I do think it's commendable that action has been taken. Better to be safe than sorry.

Virgil
06-11-2009, 08:40 PM
I don't agree with you on this Virgil at all. I think they have worked hard to contain it; I think left unchecked and ignored it could be much worse. I believe the key note in this article is the fact that this particular virus doesn't not kill people at high risk but rather healthy individuals.


Well then they should work hard on the regular flu iof 500,000 people die every year from it. Seems like they haven't prioritized correctly.

What exactly have they done to contain it? Other than send kids home from school I haven't really heard of anything. Were there swine flu shots? No. Did they go door to door to test people? No. Did they isolate people? No. We had 12 deaths here in New York City. All I see is a lot of fear and very little action.

Janine
06-11-2009, 09:32 PM
Virgil, where are you getting that number of dead from regular flu? 500,000 a year? I would be interested in seeing your source for that statistic. Also, I would like to know if these are high risk or elderly people, falling into that majority. I don't know of anyone who died of flu in my own neighborhood or even my town or amongst my friends. Also, what is 'regular flu' anyway?

The Atheist
06-11-2009, 10:50 PM
It also says in there that 29,000 people world wide have been infected.

That's the problem - that figure is understated by an order of magnitude. It's estimated that at least 250k people have already had the disease.

Virgil
06-11-2009, 10:52 PM
Virgil, where are you getting that number of dead from regular flu? 500,000 a year? I would be interested in seeing your source for that statistic. Also, I would like to know if these are high risk or elderly people, falling into that majority. I don't know of anyone who died of flu in my own neighborhood or even my town or amongst my friends. Also, what is 'regular flu' anyway?
Right out of the article you posted.


That's the problem - that figure is understated by an order of magnitude. It's estimated that at least 250k people have already had the disease.

How do you know that?

Janine
06-11-2009, 11:31 PM
Virgil,the answer to you about Atheist's post would be because "medicine is not an exact science" Has anyone ever heard that expression before?....many people failed to even go to a doctor so how can they set forth exact figures? ....I still wonder what they mean by 'regular flu', as opposed to this strain; they say there are zillions of strains. I didn't read the article completely. I will copy it out and read it later. Watching a movie now. I better watch all the movies I can, before this Swine flu attacks me! :lol:

Virgil
06-11-2009, 11:34 PM
I'm sorry. I'm convinced that this was way over blown, media hype, and based on irrational fears.

The Atheist
06-11-2009, 11:46 PM
It is a type A H1N1 influenza. While this is not precisely the same as previous type A H1N1 viruses, anyone who had type A H1N1 influenza in the past will have immunity to this one. The immunity diminishes over time, but the 1918 pandemic was type A H1N1, and the Russian flu of 1977 was also type A H1N1.

I'm hoping that's correct - as it seems to be; I had that Russian 'flu and was on my back and delirious for a week.


I did not have a formal diagnosis, as is the case for most people. I woldn't have thought anything of it, if the talk of Swine Flu wasn't around. The course of my sickness was what they describe for the Swine Flu: coldlike symptoms for a few days, vomitting, diareahia, abdominal pain, tiredness, etc. The intestinal symptoms were what tipped me off. I have only had intestinal problems from flu once before.

Yes, that is an unusual feature, so you're probably right. I've seen several reports from tested A-H1N1 patients who've said that they weren't sick enough to think they had any kind of influenza.


How do you know that?

Margaret Chan said that "over 100,000 people have A-H1N1" about a fortnight back, so it would be reasonable to think that figure's at least doubled in two weeks.

Also, as I've said before, the numbers in Mexico simply don't add up. If only 5000 Mexicans had A-H1N1 at the start of May, then it would extremely unlikely that so many people travelling to different parts of Mexico would have had the virus. Given the lack of fever in many cases, there is a huge number of people who haven't been to the doctor with it and have never been counted.

Take a look at the death figures as well from Mexico. The numbers are consistent with a really bad pandemic at almost 1%. Based on half the world contracting the virus in the next 20 months, we would expect a death toll of 30,000,000. Since the virus hasn't mutated [yet], it's reasonable to figure that Mexico's real number of people who have had the virus is more like 1.5 million than the 15k quoted.

We know the virus has a lower death rate than seasonal 'flu, so unless there's some inexplicable anomaly which makes it more lethal in Mexico, the numbers are just wrong.

While I'm using the 250k people as consistent with the WHO, I really think the number already infected is in the millions. That would make the maths work out as you'd expect from a "mild influenza" (WHO's words)

Zee.
06-11-2009, 11:53 PM
I personally think they need to stop this Quarantine nonsense and just let it take it's natural cycle and spread. And well, may the strong survive!

*joking.
Still, i think this quarantine nonsense is just delaying the inevitable..


ALSO, i was watching I am Legend, and the virus in that infected humans in the year... 2009! maybe we'll all turn in to pigs and consume each other.


Lets hope.

It's all nonsense to me. People are dying all over the place because of starvation and we're all worried about swine flu? pretty pathetic and selfish

Virgil
06-12-2009, 07:06 AM
Margaret Chan said that "over 100,000 people have A-H1N1" about a fortnight back, so it would be reasonable to think that figure's at least doubled in two weeks.

Also, as I've said before, the numbers in Mexico simply don't add up. If only 5000 Mexicans had A-H1N1 at the start of May, then it would extremely unlikely that so many people travelling to different parts of Mexico would have had the virus. Given the lack of fever in many cases, there is a huge number of people who haven't been to the doctor with it and have never been counted.

Take a look at the death figures as well from Mexico. The numbers are consistent with a really bad pandemic at almost 1%. Based on half the world contracting the virus in the next 20 months, we would expect a death toll of 30,000,000. Since the virus hasn't mutated [yet], it's reasonable to figure that Mexico's real number of people who have had the virus is more like 1.5 million than the 15k quoted.

We know the virus has a lower death rate than seasonal 'flu, so unless there's some inexplicable anomaly which makes it more lethal in Mexico, the numbers are just wrong.

While I'm using the 250k people as consistent with the WHO, I really think the number already infected is in the millions. That would make the maths work out as you'd expect from a "mild influenza" (WHO's words)

That sounds like a reasonable analysis and not inconsistent with what I characterized as over blown hype. ;)

The Atheist
06-12-2009, 01:45 PM
I personally think they need to stop this Quarantine nonsense and just let it take it's natural cycle and spread. And well, may the strong survive!

*joking.
Still, i think this quarantine nonsense is just delaying the inevitable..


ALSO, i was watching I am Legend, and the virus in that infected humans in the year... 2009! maybe we'll all turn in to pigs and consume each other.


Lets hope.

It's all nonsense to me. People are dying all over the place because of starvation and we're all worried about swine flu? pretty pathetic and selfish

Bravo!

Just a guide - since the outbreak of A-H1N1 was first recorded in April, 144 people have died of swine 'flu.

During that same period, 140 THOUSAND children have died of "cluster" diseases. Those are diseases which kids can be immunised against*

210,000 - mostly very young children - have died from diarrhoea.

56,000 have died from malnutrition/starvation.

Source. (http://www.poodwaddle.com/worldclock.swf)

* and we're messing around with worries about a vaccine against a disease which amounts to little more than the common cold. Selfish? The west? No way!


That sounds like a reasonable analysis and not inconsistent with what I characterized as over blown hype. ;)

Now, now, all those thousands of people employed in western health regulation departments have to justify the enormous salaries they earn.

Virgil
06-12-2009, 02:10 PM
Now, now, all those thousands of people employed in western health regulation departments have to justify the enormous salaries they earn.

:lol: I always enjoy your sense of humor A.

blazeofglory
09-11-2009, 05:14 AM
This planet is already burdened with too many sinners, and greedy people and we are exploiting resources beyond measures and harnessing everything the planet can offer greedily beyond capacities, and if this keeps on going anything unthinkable may happen. The earth is really a beautiful place to live in and it is home to not only humans but to the rest of others, but we ruthlessly and ruthlessly engage in destroying everything that is conducive to other animals and plants colonizing or monopolizing everything the mother earth graced us, and this greediness has to come to an end and the pandemics we do have now and we had in the past as a reply or response of Mother Nature to us. We must pretty understand this fact.

AlaskaDan
10-18-2009, 10:46 PM
If a person searches the records, on line, of things that people die of, you will find that falling off of ladders is very high on the list, as is choking. There are many things that one can die of that kill far more people than any current flu virus. Just wash your hands and cook your food along with other reasonable precautions, and all should go well. If you get sick and die, well, you were probably going to get sick and die anyway.
Life is extremely fragile and people die from crazy stuff all the time.
The News media gets far more mileage out of their "sky is falling" attitude than by adopting a more measured approach.

Jozanny
11-05-2009, 02:24 AM
Thanks Dan. I was never really worried about H1N1, even though cerebral palsy gave me a vulnerable respiratory system and I have emphysema-- at a stage which pisses me off, because I am behind enough, but one day I'd like to return to the issues raised in the book that I started the thread with, which reminds me that I have to dig it out of the box.