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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:10 PM
Original message
Is Avian flu the next national disaster?
Folks, I am scared. According to last night's national news the U.S. isn't on the short list of countries scheduled to get the Tamiflu serum from Switzerland. Other countries have snapped to ahead of us, surprise, surprise.

Are Americans going to die in vast numbers because of yet another F*ck up by our federal government (HHS and the CDC)? Are Bush's cronies in top slots there, too?

Maybe it's time to move to France or Italy.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. Remember how they handled the anthrax attacks?
That was a little dust in the mail, which killed 7 people. The person still has not been caught yet.
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Blue Belle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. Off Topic... but I SO love you're bumper sticker!
If only Santos/McGarry '08 were an option. :)
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jeff30997 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
2. We're doomed I tell ya! Dooooomed ! It's the gay's fault !!!
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Benhurst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
3. Maybe, but we have to make it through the hurricane season
first. Then avian flu will probably be the next national disaster. The Bush Crime Family seems only to be stocking enough serum for itself and its cronies.

:hurts:
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. There's no reason to think we can't be hit by both at once.
Nature doesn't give a hoot about being fair. Maybe we get hit with avian flu while we're still digging out from Hurricane Wilma.
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Benhurst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. But America is home to God's anointed. Surely he wouldn't
be so cruel. :hurts:
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. After all, Bush is the Faith-Based President(tm).
Clearly, their approach to disaster preparedness is "let's just hope nothing happens!"
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Marlie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:13 PM
Response to Original message
4. As I mentioned once before
It creeped me out that one of Bush's summer vacation books
was about the Flu Epidemic in the early 1900's. Don't believe for
a minute he reads anything but the funnies, however the fact
that it was mentioned made me more than uneasy. We seem to always
get these flu scares but this one really is frightening.
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Mandate My Ass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #4
24. Yes it was a book about how the gov't covered up how serious the flu
epidemic was because they didn't want the people to turn against putting all the gov't's resources into the war effort.

I've been thinking of the Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man" ever since I heard that was the book he was reading.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
5. Sadly, yes. Imagine a Katrina in every city of the U.S.
FEMA and DHS couldn't handle one mid-sized city. This would be everybody. New York, LA, right on down to Main Street USA.

My main hope at this point is that other more responsible countries will be able to prevent a pandemic this season. But I'm preparing for the worst, and everybody else should too.
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AValdoux Donating Member (738 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
7. When my husband was overwhelmed..
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 04:18 PM by AValdoux
..by all the hurricane stuff, he asked, "What's next?" I freaked him out when I explained to him about pandemics & the bird flu.


AValdoux
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
8. It's my internist hubby's biggest fear.
He knows just how we're not prepared at all, and in our small city, we'd get no help at all. He knows we don't have the resources for it, and it keeps him up some nights, trying to figure it out.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #8
22. tell yr hubby to talk to some vets, talk to the usda, talk to poultry ppl
it is not good to lose sleep at night, let him talk to those who deal w. avian flu & put his mind at ease

usda is VERY aggressive abt controlling poultry disease

avian flu is a recurring reality in this country, they have plenty of experience keeping it under control

the claims that it will mutate and spread like wildfire among humans are, in my humble opinion, abt as realistic as the claims that swine flu would do the same

this is not 1918, the ppl who die from flu are ppl who are going to die from something anyway, the immune-compromised, the elderly

we all gotta go sometime, for my money, the flu is prob. a better way to go than stomach cancer
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #22
50. It's not that easy.
We're due for a major flu epidemic, actually, and the vaccines only ever work only so far. All of the internists we know are worried about it, and that's from reading the CDC's pronouncements. Swine flu has jumped to people and killed many before, and so has avian flu. It's that H5N1 is quite deadly and quite mutatable.

Since it's my husband's job to help people live long, healthy lives (as much as a doctor can, as people make their own choices), and especially since he's run many codes and helped on over a hundred others and worked ICUs and all, meaning he's seen many people die from the flu and pretty much everything else, he's not going to just throw up his hands and think, "Well, they were going to die eventually anyway." I know some doctors do that, but they don't tend to be the good, conscientious doctors most people want.
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ClintonTyree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
10. World disaster.............
the Unites States will take a very big hit as we are one of the hubs of the world. Scientists say anywhere between 10 and 200 million world-wide could die from the next pandemic. Believe it or not, I ordered a case of N95 Surgical face masks this afternoon. I'm probably being too reactionary but I'd rather be safe than sorry. I hope I never have to use them.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. I also stocked up on some face-masks and rubber gloves.
What are "N95" masks? Are they industrial strength or something?
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Marlie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Also
Stocking up on water and canned goods applies here too. You want
to just stay home and avoid contact or put it this way, you may be
forced to stay in your homes. They will surely quarantine.
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bostonbabs Donating Member (465 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. The Center for Disease Control
complained that Homeland Security was going to "handle" this and said they were not trained to "handle" it....they said this before Katrina hit too.....
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. In other words, NOBODY is going to "handle" it.
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YouthInAsia Donating Member (806 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #12
49. I bought 3 gas masks (all for biological protection)
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alittlelark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 01:35 AM
Response to Reply #49
77. WOW... the Dept of Homeland Security/Paranoia
has your address.
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 01:13 AM
Response to Reply #12
74. No
They are particulate masks meant to keep out viral particles. They need to have a very good fit though and need to be paired with assiduous handwashing technique and they are all for naught if you have someone in your house who brings the flu home (unless you are wearing the mask all the time and as someone who has had to wear these from time to time, I can tell you they are highly uncomfortable).

When this comes around, and it will come around eventually, I will be wearing a particulate mask out in public and may even quarantine my family for a time if it's feasable. But mostly when that time comes, hope and prayer and having ones affairs in order is about the best one can do.
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bonito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #10
44. Get some ionic silver and a nebuliser.n/t
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alittlelark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 01:37 AM
Response to Reply #44
78. Colloidal Silver is indeed the way to go.
Edited on Mon Oct-03-05 01:37 AM by alittlelark
Allergies at 0% this year.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #10
47. I think world disasters will come in the form of something directly
related to global warming; major droughts,massive forest and crop failures, soaring killer summer temps and deep freezes in the winters, spreading ocean dead zones that lead to a lack of oxygen (ocean flora provides 65%, the rest comes from rainforests, which are disappearing fast) which would kill many life forms, including us.

10-200 million isn't that many in the context of SIX BILLION souls. That's probably far less than the number of people who die from smoking related illnesses worldwide each year. I live in a huge tourist destination that's known for it's heavy concentration of bird species AND I have a weakened immune system; but I can't say that I'm any more worried about this than I am about being killed on the freeway by a reckless driver.
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Blue Belle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
15. I suppose all the funding to "Faith Based" organizations...
was a better option than getting on the Tamiflu list when it was advantagous. John Edwards was right, the only health care the Bush administration allows for is "pray you don't get sick". Only those who can afford Tamiflu are the ones who'll survive if this outbreak occures... we're in serious trouble folks. :(
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
17. no
the hub goes into chicken plants, he knows lots of ppl in this industry

it's so under control, it's so NOT a problem

you would be surprised at how aggressive the usda is investigating and controlling any avian flu found in this country

if this be yr biggest worry in life, relax, you have found paradise, because it is not an issue

the next nat'l disaster will be another tropical event, an earthquake, or a huge fire like san diego county multiple fires of 2003

it will not be the avian flu which the usda handles quickly, efficiently, & w.out much notice or appreciation from the public

tamiflu does NOTHING to contain avian flu & never has
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. That isn't how it will happen
American chickens aren't the problem. It's the Asian chickens, pigs, ducks, etc.

It will begin in Asia. Viet Nam, maybe China. Once it breaks out into the human population, then it will spread to other countries.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. well it just doesn't seem to be that problematic
they do have a few human cases in asia among ppl who live & work w. poultry but it just isn't an epidemic

this is being v. intensively watched & monitored

at some point we have to trust that ppl know what they are doing
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. Not yet. It must mutate first, into a human-transmissible strain.
It's that mutation they're scared of. WHO is seriously worried about this. They're paying as close attention as they can, but they can't monitor 2 billion people.

I saw a PBS program on avian flu last week. "Wide Angle" was the program. I watched folks in VietNam eating raw duck's blood soup. In a big, big city.

If it's all the same, I think I'll withold my trust :-)

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etherealtruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #25
46. WHO is massively worried about this ...
I'm with you ... I have no particular trust in the capabilities of the "powers that be."
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #25
51. Everyone in medicine is worried about this.
The CDC, WHO, the American College of Internal Physicians, the AMA, the Infectious Disease Society of America, and the editors of the New England Journal just to name a few.

I understand that the meat industry is worried, but that's most likely not where the transmission will come from. All it takes is one vector--one patient to infect one planeload--to cause a major outbreak if it becomes as infectious as experts fear.
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Gyre Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. Do you have anything to offer except weirdly phrased hot air?
Like source articles supporting your claims? Just asking.

Gyre
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #21
26. my claims come from talking to ppl in the industry
i strongly urge ppl to do their own homework

that is the only way you are going to sleep easy

investigate the usda, research how aggressively they control poultry disease

check out how aggressively they de-populated any potentially infected poultry from the newcastle's outbreak in so. cal in 2002

if you investigate for YOURSELF, if you look at the evidence for YOURSELF, you are going to calm down & see these ppl know what they are doing

i can't do it for you, if you prefer fear, you can be afraid

but the evidence from SARS, Newscastle's, and other similar events is that the ppl working w. these type of diseases work tirelessly to contain them

there are not going to be any millions & millions of dead, look at SARS, we do have effective means from stopping the spread of infectious disease


who profits from saying otherwise? what was the point of SARS hysteria or any of the rest of it? a lot of fear, a lot of panic, yet, in the end, the illness was contained, there were no millions of dead, more like hundreds

yes, i would prefer that no one ever die but that ain't ever gonna be reality
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. I'm not related to anybody in the poultry industry.
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 05:01 PM by Bridget Burke
Since you are, perhaps you could point us to some online resources. In short, do the homework YOURSELF!

"Regulation" of any industry is not that important in Bush's America. Somehow, I'm not filled with trust.


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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #26
52. The meat industry is not the vector everyone's worried about.
You say you've done your homework, but it seems limited to the meat industry. My husband's done his, and that is through the medical journals (especially the CDC's weekly reports in JAMA and online), and he's worried. Once this thing mutates enough to spread easily from person to person, which there's some evidence that's it's already doing but not easily yet, that's when it's going to get bad.
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Suich Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #52
53. Avian flu and SARS are two completely different things, right?
(I thought this would get lost if I posted at the end of this thread.)

Wasn't it about a year ago that a big fear was SARS? I'm having a hard time keeping up! Thanks for any info you can give me.
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gkhouston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #53
56. yes, they are two completely different things
They were able to contain the SARS outbreak, but it was a close-run thing. The thing that has a lot of medical professionals worried is what's going to happen when H5N1 (avian flu) mutates into a strain that is highly contagious among humans. There have been a few cases in Asia that were probably human-to-human transmission, but it wasn't highly contagious; I believe it was a matter of people taking care of flu victims becoming ill themselves, so perhaps extended close exposure or contact with bodily fluids is currently necessary for transmission. Most of the people who have had avian flu so far have gotten the disease from handling or eating diseased birds. They have also found H5N1 in other animals; deer and also pigs, I think.

Sooner or later, and no one knows when, the virus will mutate into a form that is highly contagious human-to-human, and that's when things get scary. We don't know when or where that will happen and with the speed of global travel, the virus could spread fairly quickly. It's important to isolate sick people as soon as possible. Quarantines will probably do more to limit a pandemic than either a vaccine or antiviral medication, but you can't quarantine people until you know there's a problem -- and that, I believe, is why WHO is devoting so much scrutiny to what's happening in Asia. To some folk here, it may seem like a handful of cases on the other side of the world, and therefore insignificant, but our only hope of short-circuiting the pandemic is to catch it as it's beginning and isolate people who have been exposed to the virus.
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Suich Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #56
59. Thanks a lot for the info.
"Pandemic" is a terrifying term. I sincerely hope the WHO stays on top of it.
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gkhouston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #59
60. they're doing their best
and I have confidence in them. I'm just worried about whether the CDC's been gutted in the last 5 years in the same way that FEMA has. The federal government's response to Katrina and Rita doesn't give me a warm fuzzy about how the US is likely to fare in a pandemic.
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Suich Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #60
61. I heard a couple of stories about the CDC post-Katrina that did not
inspire any confidence at all! I don't know anything about where NIH is on this. WHO has my vote (of confidence.) Here's hoping.....
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 07:41 AM
Response to Reply #61
68. The WHO bureaucracy has no power whatsoever to find out what's....
...happening in countries that refuse to allow the WHO to monitor emerging diseases. They depend, instead, on what they are told, not what they can verify themselves.

IMHO, that is a recipe for worldwide disaster.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 07:31 AM
Response to Reply #56
67. Thank you for a thoughtful post.
You said exactly what I'd been trying to say. Thank you.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #17
45. As the Jewish saying goes, "From your mouth
to God's ear." I just hope and pray you are right.
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
19. Maybe. However anytime may be the right time to move from Amerika
to a Free-World Nation.

Me? It might be as stupid as a Jew remaining in nazi Germany 1935, but I'm staying!
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
27. I keep on hearing
what I can only characterize as wild-eyed exaggerations about a coming flu epidemic of some kind or another. And I've been hearing them as far back as I can remember, which dates back at least to the Asian flu epidemic of 1957.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm very clear on the nature of flu and how it mutates constantly, and the fact that Chinese farmers continue to raise pigs and ducks together is a primary source of new flu epidemics. But I just don't place a lot of credence in the latest "OMIGOD there's a flu virus on the horizon that's going to kill millions and millions!". Least of all in the developing world where we have good sanitation and running water to help us out.

Yes, running water. Frequent hand-washing is the single biggest public health measure and has saved uncounted lives over the years. In the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-20, hand-washing simply wasn't as common. In this country many people still did not have running water. It makes a difference.

Oh, and I would strongly recommend the John Barry book The Great Influenza. There's another book out there, even better, that I read about ten years ago, so of course I have no idea the name or the author, but it goes into careful detail about the three main different types of flu viruses, A, B, and C, and how the flu virus evolves its way through all three types. As I recall it's the A type that causes the worst epidemics. The Spanish flu was an A type. And the reason that old people didn't get sick or die in great numbers back then was that they had all lived through a previous type A flu epidemic about 50 years before, and if they'd gotten flu then they were immune now.

If some terrible disease kills lots of people and causes a breakdown of society as we know it, it won't come from some place we're looking. It will be completely unexpected and will spread widely before anyone realizes what's happened.

Every single year I see panic out there about the coming flu season, with genuine hysteria when there's even a hint of a shortage of vaccine, let alone an actual shortage such as last year's. And every single year the flu season is nowhere near as bad as was predicted. I'm getting tired of hearing the cry of "Wolf, wolf!" Or perhaps I should say, "Influenza, influenza!"
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. I don't think anybody is predicting a slate-wiper. At least, I'm not.
They do seem to be predicting something like 1918. It was pretty scary. As you say, aggressive hygiene goes a long way.

Here's the latest from WHO:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050930/ap_on_he_me/un_bird...
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gkhouston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. with BushCo's cronies around to "manage" the response
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 05:04 PM by gkhouston
it could become a slate-wiper. Or it could be that a lot of us will be miserably sick and some of the weakest will die. Only thing WHO seems pretty confident of is that sooner or later a human-to-human strain will pop up. Here's hoping we stomp on that sucker quick, before it spreads.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. Suppose it's stats are similar to 1918: 25% infection rate, 2% death rate
For an area like the Phoenix metro area (about 4 million people), that's about 20 thousand people dead, in the space of a few months. About a million people actually infected, with varying degrees of severity. Many people will experience only normal symptoms. Some will be asymptomatic. Others will become seriously ill.

Of course, it's always the unknown that's most frightening. Nobody knows what the infection rate or the death rate will be, until it arrives. We know that the outbreaks of H5N1 have had a death-rate of 50%. A pandemic mutation will have a lower death rate. Probably much lower. But it's the sort of thing you can lay awake at night, wondering about.
:hide:

There's also the possibility that good hygiene and modern communications will help to lessen the impact. I hope so, but I was interested to see that the WHO guys on PBS didn't seem very impressed by optimistic theories about modern hygiene and communications.
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gkhouston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #33
38. yeah, I think rapid global travel offsets modern hygiene, myself
but it's all a guessing game at this point.
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #33
69. According to some of the latest research, the 1918 Pandemic....
...appears to have infected 50% of the 1.8 billion humans alive at that time, killing omewhere in the range of 50 to 100 million people worldwide.

For instance, New York City stopped counting the dead when the number of dead reached 33,000 people, even though the Pandemic was not even half over.

Adding to the mass cofusion and panic was the fact that doctors diagnosed the 1918 Influenza as a variety of OTHER illnesses:

From pages 234-236 of "The Great Influenza" by John M. Barry:

"Patients would writhe from agonizing pain in their joints. Doctors would diagnose dengue, also called 'breakbone fever'.

Patients would suffer extreme fever and chills, shuddering, shivering, then huddling under blankets. Doctors would diagnose malaria".

Dr. Henry Berg at New York City's Willard Park Hospital--across the street from William Park's laboratory--worried the patient's complaints of a 'burning pain above the diaphragm' meant cholera. Noted another doctor, 'Many had vomiting; some became tender over the abdomen indicating an intra-abdominal condition'".

In Paris, while some physicians also diagnosed cholera or dysentery, others interpreted the intensity and location of headache pain as typhoid. Deep into the epidemic Prisian physicians still remained reluctant to diagnose influenza. In Spain public health officials also declared that the complications were due to 'typhoid', which was 'general throughout Spain'.

But neither typhoid nor cholera, neither dengue nor yellow fever, neither plague nor tuberculosis, neither diptheria nor dysentery, could account for other symptoms. No known disease could.

In 'Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine', a British physician noted 'one thing I have never seen before--namely the occurrence of subcutaneous emphysema'--pockets of air accumulating just beneath the skin--'beginning in the neck and spreading sometimes over the whole body'"

Those pockets of air leaking through ruptured lungs made patients crackle when they were rolled onto their sides. One navy nurse later compared the sound to a bowl of rice krispies, and the memory of that sound was so vivid to her that for the rest of her life she could not tolerate being around anyone who was eating rice krispies".

Extreme earaches were common. One physician noted that otitis media--inflammation of the middle ear marked by pain, fever, and dizziness--'developed with surprising rapidity, and rupture of the drum membrane was observed at times in a few hours after the onset of pain'. Another wrote, 'Otitis media reported in 41 cases. Otologists on duty day and night and did immediate paracentisis on all bulging eardrums...'. Another: 'Discharge of pus from the external ear was noted. At autopsy practically every case showed otitis media with perforation....This destructive action on the drum seems to me to be similar to the destructive action on the tissues of the lung.'

"The headaches throbbed deep in the skull, victims feeling as if their heads would literally split open, as if a sledgehammer were driving a wedge not into the head but from inside the head out. The pain seemed to locate particularly behind the eye orbit and could be nearly unbearable when patients moved their eyes. There were areas of lost vision, areas whwere the normal frame of sight went black. Some paralysis of ocular muscles was frequently recorded, and German medical literature noted eye involvement with special frequency, sometimes in 25 percent of influenza cases.

The ability to smell was affected, sometimes for weeks. Rarer complications included acute--even fatal--renal failure. Reye's syndrome attacked the liver. An army summary later stated simply, 'The symptoms were of exceeding variety as to severity and kind'.

It was not only death but these symptoms that spread the terror."
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 01:34 AM
Response to Reply #33
76. Yep
Look at who are sounding the alarm and you get a much better idea about how serious this is. It's very serious.

I don't lay awake at night wondering about this because it serves no purpose. That said, the dialogue really, really needs to be opened up in the daytime about what we need to do to get prepared.
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #29
34. Thank you for the link
to the very sensible article. Note that the original posting in this thread asks if Americans are going to die in vast numbers.

Laurie Garrett in a recent interview (http://www.emagazine.com/view/?2826 )
somewhat feeds into those fears. Now, I respect Ms. Garrett a great deal and have read Both The Coming Plague and Betrayal of Trust. But she indulges in a lot of speculation about a flu virus making a mass jump from animal hosts to humans, and I'm not so sure that's a reasonable possibility.

Here's more food for thought concerning the anthrax scare shortly after 9/11. It was almost immediately after 9/11, not more that two or three days later it seems, and well before they actual "attacks" that there was open speculation that anthrax would be used as a biological weapon. I remember at the time thinking, How bizarre. Why is anyone even thinking about this?

Anthrax is not the best of biological weapons. Note how few people actually died. Note also the even more mysterious case of the New Jersey woman who died of it and they could never figure out how she was exposed. It was all more than strange.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. I've always thought bio-weapons were a kind of dumb idea.
If they are infectious enough to do a lot of damage, they can't be controlled. They're as likely to infect you as your enemy. If they aren't infectious, they just can't do very much damage. They're too hard to weaponize. Like anthrax.

I suppose they make a good psychological weapon.
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 01:29 AM
Response to Reply #27
75. You're right about handwashing being very, very important
You are also right that every year people worry about this and say that a huge pandemic is coming. But, that's where you make your logic mistake. That it hasn't happened yet doesn't equal that it won't.

They are right about the pandemic. It's coming and it will likely be the avian flu. Will it be this year. Probably not. Next year? Possibly. Within the next ten years. Almost inevitably. Will it kill millions? Almost for sure.

Are we ready for it? No.

There's where all the discussion about this needs to go. What does prepared look like and how do we get there?

See, the wolf is almost at the door and all we really have is this little amount of time to discuss the what ifs and how do we do this or that.

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Mandate My Ass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
31. They have a plan to deal with it
The plan will be the Katrina plan. Let it go until all hell breaks loose and then sends troops and mercs in to "restore order" IOW martial law. Enforced quarantines (not necessarily home quarantines but stadiums), confiscation of private property and weapons, enforced innoculations of untested vaccines, etc.

They tried to bully the governors into passing MEHPA but most of the govs weren't buying it so they just enacted it into federal law under DHS.

Google Model Emergency Health Plan Act if you have nerves of steel.
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Marlie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #31
35. Mandate My Ass
I mean I know how we have "crazies" running our country now but
wouldn't this be the final blow? How could our economy sustain
such a thing? Even they must know we could not handle this, the
financial blow would be devastating. The Country would come to a
stand still.
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Mandate My Ass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #35
39. It would be the final blow and it would also make them appear faultless
It was the flu that wiped out the economy and decimated the population, it couldn't be helped. :shrug:

We saw how they reacted to terrorism in 2001 and we saw how they reacted to natural disaster earlier this month. Both were exactly the same. Seize more power, do nothing to help, blame the victims and those who were actually trying to do something useful and crack down on anybody who dissents.

IOW, it would kill two birds with one stone. They know the people are starting to wake up and so they need an event that would sharply reduce the population, preferably poor and working class, and provide them with cover for doing whatever is necessary to restore order under the guise of preventing the spread of sickness.

They want the economy to collapse and for America to be a two-class, third-world economy. THey just need a way to do it that gives it the appearance of being accidental. IIRC, the UK has prepared a massive plan to combat an outbreak of the flu with genuine, sensible, medical intervention and anti-infection procedures. We have implemented a plan to grant the government dictatorial powers.

http://www.attackonamerica.net/MEHPA.htm
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Marlie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. Thanks for your explanation
It is too awful to even believe. Again it brings to mind the fact
Bush's reading on vacation was about the flu epidemic of the 1900's.
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
32. If you accept the theory of evolution, you know avian flu is coming.
It's a matter of when, not if. Just consider the number of viruses reproducing daily. Sooner or later, some of them are going to mutate into something that can jump from bird to person to person. Sooner or later, one of them will make the jump. The sad thing is, we don't have enough vaccine to handle "normal" influenza, let alone a species crossing variety that's going to hit a naive population. Until our government starts guaranteeing to buy vaccines or else start making them there is going to be a shortage.

On another topic, consider this. If the "Big One" really is coming, each day brings it one day closer. Better see California now, because it won't be the same afterwards.
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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #32
42. Right...but the same theory suggests it will become less deadly...
Viruses survive by moving from host to host. If the virus is too virulent, it kills the host before it can spread. That is why most viruses, it is my understanding, mutate to a less deadly form to increase its ability to migrate.

The bird flu everyone is worried about evolved genetically to infect birds...in order for it to effectively spread throughout the human population it will have to mutate to migrate from human to human, but also in such a way that its does not immedietely kill its host.

Also, like the poster above said, it is not the virus we hear about that will cause problems, it is one we do not hear about. If this does mutate, it will start in Asia. Efforts to contain it, while they may not wipe it out, will likely lessen the severity!
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 01:39 AM
Response to Reply #32
79. Throw in chaos theory and if course, it is coming
Well, some sort of flu pandemic is coming. I'm 90% on board that it will be avian flu but it may not be. But a flu pandemic will come and likely soon.
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mainer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:24 PM
Response to Original message
37. You can buy tamiflu on your own, you know. $50 -75 for a course
But you need a doctor's prescription.
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #37
65. I hate to tell ya
but I just read today that that H5N1 is showing resistance to Tamiflu.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/09/30/birdflu.dru...
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
40. remember sars adn west niles, both were going to wipe us out n/t
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Terry in Austin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #40
43. Bzzt!
Logic alert!

The likelihood of its "wiping us out" is not dependent on disease alarms that have gone before, but on the nature of this particular disease.

Over.
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 01:41 AM
Response to Reply #43
80. Saved me the trouble
Thanks. I gave out the same logic alert to a previous poster, albeit in a much wordier fashion.

Another Terry(i) in Austin.......

We're taking over.......
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
48. If Vird Flu hits at full strength, (70% mortality + highly contagious)
then it will be a Global Disaster, and Tamiflu will be of little help. To be effective, Tamiflu must be taken about within the first 24 hours of exposure. Since you won't know when that is, you will have to take it DAILY. I don't think the Swiss are making enough for any one country to have that much. And without that much, it won't do any good.

So it doesn't matter.

The best defense against the flu is compulsive hand washing. Don't bring your hand to your face for any reason without first washing it, or at least wiping you hands with an antiseptic.

Wearing a surgeon's face mask is of some help in filtering out the airborne water droplets that contain the viruses. Kleenex make a tissue with a middle layer of antiseptic. Using it inside the surgeon's mask may help. It certainly would not hurt.

I have a supply of masks, tissues, and antispetics stockpiled. Didn't cost much. If Bird Flu hits hard, the stores will be sold out of those in no time.
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nodehopper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 01:51 AM
Response to Reply #48
81. the mutated virus will have a lower mortality rate
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 01:51 AM
Response to Reply #48
82. Actually, if it has that high a mortality and contagiousness rating
it would be an amazing blessing (not, of course, to those infected) because it would burn out without causing a worldwide pandemic. A virus needs living vectors to spread efficiently. Though, as a counterpoint to my own point, if it killed slowly, even if that efficiently, it could go pandemic.

The N95 respirators are far more efficient than the face mask you recommend, though any face mask will remind people not to touch their faces which is highly important. That kind of mask though, is next to useless for airborne droplet spread.

I travel a great deal on planes and when the flu season hits, I start wearing a respirator mask whenever I fly. I've stopped getting my usual cluster of viruses in the winter that way and I haven't picked up the flu either. I no longer get the flu vaccine (though I will get it this year because they are finally marketing a thimerosal free version for adults. About damn time!) but the only time I got the flu was when my son got it and coughed on me. I knew the moment I got it and even though I did all my hopeful ministrations, I got it.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
54. I say the earth gets nailed by an asteroid or meteor first n/t
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Marleyb Donating Member (736 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
55. WHO backs away from death toll estimate
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 09:29 PM by Marleyb
The US Senate voted yesterday to provide $4 billion for antiviral drugs and other measures to prepare for a feared influenza pandemic.

Almost $3.1 billion of the money would be used to stockpile the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu), and the rest would go for global flu surveillance, development of vaccines, and state and local preparedness, according to a Reuters report. The government currently has enough oseltamivir to treat a few million people, with a goal of acquiring enough to treat 20 million.

The Senate funding move came the same day the United Nations' new avian flu coordinator warned that a flu pandemic could kill as many as 150 million people. But today another UN official downplayed that number, citing instead an official estimate of 2 million to 7.4 million.

Dick Thompson said pandemic toll predictions are "guesswork" and that Nabarro was just suggesting the range of expert opinion on the subject.

As quoted by AFP, Thompson also told reporters, "We can't be dragged into further scare-mongering."

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/panf...

Does this seem bizarre to anyone else? New guy put in place, grossly overstates death toll, senate passes 4$ billion for drugs we don't need... Like someone is fear mongering for their buddy in the pharmaceutical company?
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Marleyb Donating Member (736 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #55
58. Finland gets their drugs MUCH cheaper!
"Finland has told drug companies in Europe it wants to buy 5.2 million doses of an avian flu vaccine, enough to protect its whole population, according to an AFP report today. The Finnish government has asked legislators to provide 21 million euros ($25 million) for the vaccine stockpile."
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #55
85. The reason the death toll is merely guesswork
and it is, in fact guesswork, is because the important information that they don't have is how virulent and deadly the human to human variant of the avian flu will be. The bird to human transmission rate has been absurdly high and the mortality rate equally high. There is really no way it could be that high in the human to human variant and be able to travel worldwide and be uncontainable. So, once they know what the transmission and mortality rates are going to be with the new variant, they will know much closer how many of the evolved (?) monkeys are going to die.

Could be 5 - 150 million. Sound familiar?
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
57. No.
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brettdale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
62. It could be or then again
It Might be the Fear factor thing, BUY THIS DRUG OR YOU WILL DIE.
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Mr_Spock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:08 PM
Response to Original message
63. It's supposed to be
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 10:09 PM by Mr_Spock
It's a matter of when, not if...
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toddaa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
64. Influenza and industrial meat production. The virus is the least of it
It's very simple. Put a shit load of chickens in a tight space and you're asking for trouble. Asian farmers used to grow lot's of local produce. Now they are pretty much factory farms raising meat for export. Influenza isn't the problem, it's man's insatiable appetite for foods that are wrecking havoc on the environment and breeding super diseases that are growing increasingly resistant to antibiotic and antiviral drugs that our meat supply is swimming in. Think about that next time you wolf down a load of deep fried chicken tenders.

The fact remains that as devastating as the next pandemic could be, it's short term problem. Meanwhile, the shit we shovel into our mouths is killing us slowly and destroying our environment. If you choose to eat meat, that's your decision, but consider that hunk of carcinogenic red meat to be nothing more than a big old slab of SUV on a plate.
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nodehopper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 01:54 AM
Response to Reply #64
84. uh...ok
in SAT terms, this to this thread is kind of like the ANSWER rally to the anti-war protest in DC.
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cynatnite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:19 PM
Response to Original message
66. We don't know shit...
I read one article so far and they just don't have enough information on anything. It could go either way.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9547047/site/newsweek/
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #66
70. You make that assumption based on reading ONE article? Interesting.
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cynatnite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #70
72. I'm working through two more today...we still don't know shit...
from what I've read so far. More fear...it's not a matter of if, but when.
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YapiYapo Donating Member (148 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 09:06 AM
Response to Original message
71. Why should America be first on the list ?
It's only logical switzerland send it first to other european country ?

Anyways the scariest thing is that the serum may not even help if the virus mute again.They have to guess what kind of mutation the virus will have in a few month.

Some scientists said if the worste case scenario happen,half of world population will die. :(
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #71
73. Well, when it comes to my family, I am selfish
I admit it. My kids and my grandkids mean everything to me and they live in this country. I don't want them to perish from this disease because our f*cking president doesn't want goverment to work and has a bunch of hacks sitting around doing nothing to prepare for this flu.
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nodehopper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 01:52 AM
Response to Reply #71
83. I have seen no scientist say that and I follow it closely. Quote? Link?
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shenmue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 02:03 AM
Response to Original message
86. No, I don't think so
There have been similar scares and they have largely not materialized. I'm sorry, this sounds harsh but I think we have more sanitary conditions than they do in parts of the world. Just overcook anything, anyway...
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