Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

The pigs' revenge: The intensive farming of animals is at the heart of the swine flu pandemic

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
Triana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:55 AM
Original message
The pigs' revenge: The intensive farming of animals is at the heart of the swine flu pandemic
(I realize this isn't "new" news to anyone here, but it's just a different article on it from non-US media, which I often find of value, personally. Sometimes there is different / new info or viewpoints in the various write-ups)
_ _ _ _ _

Just as an unsustainable financial system caused the current banking crisis, the intensive farming of animals is at the heart of the swine flu pandemic

In modern disaster management theory, when any large system experiences a major shock or failure, you assess the risk, activate an ordered emergency response, and manage the after-effects. In the world of real people hit directly by the real shock, you look for someone to blame.

For ordinary Mexicans this week, who faced the shutdown of their country by swine flu and an unknown number of deaths, it was a culprit that was needed.

The Fred Goodwin of the epidemic was easy to identify in their eyes. Just five miles from the town of La Gloria, which appears to be the epicentre of the flu outbreak, is a giant industrial pig complex jointly owned by the world's largest pig processor, Smithfield Foods.

Smithfield is adamant that the swine flu is not of its making and has no connection to its factory farms in Mexico or in any of the countries where it has established its powerful presence. By the end of the week, the company had, like a besieged banker, gone into shutdown mode and declined to give interviews, but it issued a statement: "We have found no evidence of the presence of influenza virus in any of our pig herds or any of our employees at any of our worldwide operations. All our herds are tested regularly for disease including influenza. We routinely administer flu vaccines to protect them and conduct monthly tests to examine the presence and identity of different flu strains."

Smithfield's predicament has not been helped by the fact that, like Sir Fred, it has made itself somewhat conspicuous with its habits. It operates on a grand scale. The volume of its pig waste is extravagant. But just as RBS did not alone cause the financial crisis but merely conformed to the latest banking type, so it is the very nature of today's globalised meat industry that is at the heart of this emerging swine flu pandemic.

...MORE...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/may/02/swine-flu-p...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. Agriculture in general
is responsible for many diseases crossing over to humans. Those groups of humans which had domesticated the greatest number of species of animals became immune to their diseases over many generations, and those diseases led in the conquering of the rest of the world's peoples by groups from the Eurasian land mass.

Grab a copy of "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Jared Diamond from your local library, you'll have a whole new perspective on world history because of it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Triana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Are you saying this is all somehow a "good" thing? n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. The poster is simply saying that this risk isn't specific to factory farming.
The last swine flu outbreak that we had in the 70's was blamed on non-industrial farming practices in Asia -- farmers living in close quarters with their swine.

Any exposure to untreated swine waste puts people at risk.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. If anything, factory farming
puts us in more limited contact with animals, for better or worse. There will always be some "caste" of society that will handle farm animals, and will develop resistance to their diseases, but there will be an ever-growing segment of the population that never has direct contact with those animals while living.

It's when people from the latter group get in contact with either the former group, or the animals, that there is a danger of animal diseases becoming epidemic within a society. Modern means of transportation have the ability to make any such illness into a pandemic faster than ever seen in human history.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Insects have been vectors in other flus. And factory pig farms all...
use untreated fecal waste holding ponds rife with insects. Decent waste treatment would destroy the economics of converting 500 widely scattered farms of 200 pigs each into a factory farm of 100,000 animals.

Now, when humans created cities without sanitation, disease was the result. Can we really be surprised when disease results when we forgo sanitation at factory farms?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. We've also been able to control insects
in modern societies. People living and working in air-conditioned buildings and transportation have much less chance of catching diseases from insects than people did a mere sixty years ago.

You have a great point there about sanitation at factory farms, but surely policing a small number of very large farms is more efficient than policing a large number of smaller farms.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #18
40. Insects are rife everywhere there is waste -- whether small ponds or large ponds.
Smaller farms just means the untreated waste and insects are more spread out. They don't lower the risk. Only treating the waste lowers the risk.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #16
47. Fascinating
In my area, two schools have been shut down because of sick students who contracted Swine Flu. Both are private, upscale establishments.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
15. I'm just saying it is an inevitable thing
One of the things that creating manufacturing and service economies has done is to isolate large groups of people from the farm animals that Euroasians have been side-by-side with for ten thousand years, it mimics the isolation that oceans provided in prehistoric times from animal diseases.

It is quite possible that a new disease can be carried from agricultural people who are immune to the disease (from repeated exposures to the disease as it has mutated) to an "outsider" who makes contact with the farm and catches the disease as it has evolved into a more potent strain. That outsider then goes back to his/her world, and spreads the disease rapidly across a concentrated group of people who are similarly without immunity to the new superbug.

Going from hunter-gatherer societies to agricultural societies had a very big influence on our species, going from an agricultural society to a factory/office worker society will have outcomes that we have only begun to experience.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Aragorn Donating Member (784 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. Animal Farm Redux
I'm thinking of a new sc-fi, post-apocalyptic sequel with a conspiracy by the pigs to control humans (former master/oppresors) with an engineered bio-weapon. The ending is already writing itself - the bio-weapon (H1N1) turns on its makers, and the sheep inherit the earth. I stole that last part from the bible.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Triana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
2. bytheway - I hardly think this swine flu thing is all that serious, however
...I DO think the fact that its existence is likely a result of large-scale factory farming is a warning shot across the bow about the problems inherent in such operations - largely unregulated, I might add (or what few regulations there are are unenforced or unenforceable). Nevermind that corporations OWN our gov't - and well, you see where that goes...

Will hoo-mans or grok and listen? Will they MAKE their government listen?

Probably NOT. Either the will or the possibility to do so isn't there. WE are not Goldman Sachs, Citibank, Halliburton or Smithfield Farms after all, and WE don't have hundreds of lobbyists we can pay to swarm "our representatives" in Washington.

And THAT is what concerns me.

We've been warned. Again.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
4. Lesson of history: No sanitation for large cities = plagues
So of course we turn family pig farms into large cities of pigs with no sanitation.

Plagues and surprise follow. :banghead:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Triana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Question is: how many warnings will we get before it's
too seriously unsanitary and unmanageable to contain? (both the bacteria or whatever - and their mutations).

Duh.

I really think these things are wake-up calls. Not that anyone is paying attention.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #4
20. Hopefully human beings will learn
but when massive profit is involved I doubt it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. It's not the problems that lead me to despair...
Human beings are remarkably adept at solving problems.

It's the fact that the "problems" are generating obscene profits for a few while dooming us all.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
uncle ray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #4
28. you are wrong about no sanitation.
modern hog farms are much more sanitary than the old smaller farms. hogs used to be kept in pens that had to be manually cleaned of the pig shit, now the pigs walk over grates where the shit falls right through the holes into the holding tanks. their pens get hosed down on a daily basis. the modern farms are the cleanest any have ever been. human and animal contact with the waste is almost nonexistent. FWIW i grew up on farms and very much welcomed the new, almost surgically clean barns when they were built. gone are the days of climbing into the pens and getting covered in pig shit while shoveling it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Riiight....
Edited on Sat May-02-09 07:51 PM by Junkdrawer

...

Smithfield's pigs live by the hundreds or thousands in warehouse-like barns, in rows of wall-to-wall pens. Sows are artificially inseminated and fed and delivered of their piglets in cages so small they cannot turn around. Forty fully grown 250-pound male hogs often occupy a pen the size of a tiny apartment. They trample each other to death. There is no sunlight, straw, fresh air or earth. The floors are slatted to allow excrement to fall into a catchment pit under the pens, but many things besides excrement can wind up in the pits: afterbirths, piglets accidentally crushed by their mothers, old batteries, broken bottles of insecticide, antibiotic syringes, stillborn pigs -- anything small enough to fit through the foot-wide pipes that drain the pits. The pipes remain closed until enough sewage accumulates in the pits to create good expulsion pressure; then the pipes are opened and everything bursts out into a large holding pond.

...

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/12840743/por...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
uncle ray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. so you read an article about pig farms.
i grew up on them, granted not a smithfield farm, but i can guarantee you that modern farming practices are cleaner than the days of old.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. I'm talking about the waste lagoons...They're a new feature of factory farms...

...

Even light rains can cause lagoons to overflow; major floods have transformed entire counties into pig-shit bayous. To alleviate swelling lagoons, workers sometimes pump the shit out of them and spray the waste on surrounding fields, which results in what the industry daintily refers to as "overapplication." This can turn hundreds of acres -- thousands of football fields -- into shallow mud puddles of pig shit. Tree branches drip with pig shit.

Some pig-farm lagoons have polyethylene liners, which can be punctured by rocks in the ground, allowing shit to seep beneath the liners and spread and ferment. Gases from the fermentation can inflate the liner like a hot-air balloon and rise in an expanding, accelerating bubble, forcing thousands of tons of feces out of the lagoon in all directions.

The lagoons themselves are so viscous and venomous that if someone falls in it is foolish to try to save him. A few years ago, a truck driver in Oklahoma was transferring pig shit to a lagoon when he and his truck went over the side. It took almost three weeks to recover his body. In 1992, when a worker making repairs to a lagoon in Minnesota began to choke to death on the fumes, another worker dived in after him, and they died the same death. In another instance, a worker who was repairing a lagoon in Michigan was overcome by the fumes and fell in. His fifteen-year-old nephew dived in to save him but was overcome, the worker's cousin went in to save the teenager but was overcome, the worker's older brother dived in to save them but was overcome, and then the worker's father dived in. They all died in pig shit.

...

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/12840743/por...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:41 PM
Response to Original message
5. I think the genetics of factory farming contibuted as well
You have masses of thousands of animals that are almost genetically identical. Therefore you have the ideal situation for the spreading of a single pathogen that the animals have no defence against.

Or maybe the virus has little or no effect on the pigs, but they can still be incubated in the pigs. And that virus may be deadly to other species - namely us.

Smithfield may claim that their practices are safe - but that means safe for the pigs. It's the MODEL of large industrial farms that is the culprit here, not the practices of individual farms.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
6. If we didn't have people in contact with each other it would help control the flu as well
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
8. People have been calling agriculture "unsustainable" for as long as I can remember
Yet there it is.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. There's a whole industry devoted to hiding the early warning signs....
and all that means is that when the system fails, it will be catastrophic.

Maybe in our lifetime. Maybe in our children's lifetime. But I don't think it will be much longer than that.

But that's a grim thought, so here's an illusion to ease your mind:

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Triana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #9
34. Exactly junkdrawer...
...we know about that industry - and the lobbyists - devoted to hiding the warning signs and keeping up the status quo - until it finally collapses beneath the sheer weight of itself - inevitably - and at great human expense.

We're just playing roulette . . .
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Olney Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #9
38. well it could have been worse for this kid
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Continuing for several decades does not make a practice sustainable.
Driving individual petroleum fueled internal combustion vehicles across widely distributed communities five days a week isn't considered sustainable in the long term by anybody with a brain, but it's gone on all of your life.

Think, then post. Thanks.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 05:25 AM
Response to Reply #10
42. I have seen the Year of the Red Bird 17 times
Do the math.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Yo_Mama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
13. Really?
The OP article claims that intensive factory farming causes flu pandemics.

How do you account for the 1918 flu epidemic, which was H1N1, and like this one, a virus which with multiple inclusions from avian and swine virus strains?

In recent times, there have been about 3 flu pandemics a century. Flu is suspected to have caused epidemics in earlier times, but cannot of course be confirmed:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,189495...

This seems to be more of a natural cycle, and it seems to have predated modern farming techniques. The frequency of pandemics hasn't increased so far as we know. And since pigs easily get both avian and human flu, they do serve as a mixing vessel for viruses. But actually, modern intensive farming probably offers less mixing of fowl and pigs than the more traditional small homesteads that usually kept fowl and pigs.

Yeah, sure, on the face of it the theory advanced in the article makes sense, but where's the evidence? There were 3 flu pandemics in the 1700s, 3 in the 1800s, and 3 in the 1900s. In the 1990s it was proven that avian flu could pass from wild birds to domestic fowl and directly to humans. In one of the European outbreaks they traced over one thousand people who tested positive for antibodies for a straight avian virus.

There's another theory which is that this mixing occurs all the time, but pandemics only break out when the population has lost enough immunity to make it possible. That would account more easily for the level incidence of pandemics observed over centuries. As it is, the authorities are guessing that senior citizens now will have far more immunity to this virus than younger people.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. The evidence is two fold:
1.) The epicenter of the outbreak was right next to a factory farm.

2.) The virus is a rare bird-swine-human hybrid the CDC has matched to viruses that originated in 1998 at factory farms of the parent company.

The company says they can't find the virus in their pigs, but the company has been found guilty of falsifying records in the past. And, as the article says, the last mutation of this particular virus may have happened in pigs or in the nearby human residents.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Yo_Mama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #14
35. Not TRUE
1.) The epicenter of the outbreak was right next to a factory farm.

2.) The virus is a rare bird-swine-human hybrid the CDC has matched to viruses that originated in 1998 at factory farms of the parent company.


First, there was no H1N1 in pigs ever seen before that had these sequences. Some of these pig sequences have been seen in NA in a triple reassortment, but that was H3N2. I also remember reading a few years ago about a novel H3N1 found in one pig in NA. Helen Branswell's timeline article incorrectly calls the triple reassortment seen in 1998 H1N1, but that is an error according to the CDC.

The idea that the pig farm was somehow the source is a hypothesis, and they are looking at it. However, it is an increasingly unlikely one. Check out this ScienceMag interview with a CDC virologist for more related to the relationship to prior viruses:
http://blogs.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2009/04/excl...

Note that he comments that the virus may well not have originated in Mexico at all.

There are other interesting factors. Of the Mexican samples they have tested, most are negative up till the end of March. Then abruptly this new virus pops out in early April. The virus was first found in the US on March 31st in a special surveillance program in San Diego.. That is the date that an untypeable virus was found, but the 10 year old got ill on March 30th. Then there was another CA girl who was treated for flu on March 28th, who was later found to be carrying the virus.

The reason that it took so long for the US to notify WHO was that they did the standard - sequenced it, realized it was a swine flu virus, and then went through their standard check to ensure that it was traced back to a human/swine interaction. But it wasn't.

The "index case" everyone's talking about in Veracruz, Mexico (La Gloria) is April 2nd. People were getting sick in La Gloria before then, but so far NONE of the other samples have tested positive for this new flu strain. So right now the kid is the index case for Mexico, but the fact that two earlier cases were found in San Diego makes it IMPOSSIBLE that the La Gloria five-year old was the index case for the epidemic.

Right now there is NO evidence at all that La Gloria was the epicenter and there is contradicting evidence.

Also, the US runs surveillance programs for swine flu viruses and has for years. They never picked up this virus in the parent company. No one ever has picked it up before. It's one big jump. There have to be intermediate stages somewhere, but so far no one has found them.


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. Two things:
1.) From your own link:

...

Q: What do you think about the pig farm in Veracruz?

R.D.: I dont know the details. They said they had a huge operation and the workers were not getting sick; thats what the company claims. The only suspicious thing in that story is this is the largest farm in Mexico. The fact that the index case also is from the area makes it interesting.

...

http://blogs.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2009/04/excl...

2.) I said:
The virus is a rare bird-swine-human hybrid the CDC has matched to viruses that originated in 1998 at factory farms of the parent company

Here's my source:

CDC Confirms Ties to Virus First Discovered in U.S. Pig Factories

Factory farming and long-distance live animal transport apparently led to the emergence of the ancestors of the current swine flu threat.

A preliminary analysis of the H1N1 swine flu virus isolated from human cases in California and Texas reveals that six of the eight viral gene segments arose from North American swine flu strains circulating since 1998, when a new strain was first identified on a factory farm in North Carolina.


...

http://www.hsus.org/farm/news/ournews/swine_flu_virus_o...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Yo_Mama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. But that was an H3 virus
These things constantly reassort, which is one reason for the US swine surveillance program.

You read "matched to" as "the same", but it is not. This is an H1N1 virus which is novel. The bulk of sequences are matched to NA and Eurasian swine viruses, but it is not the same virus. One of the major differences is that it is very easily transmittable between humans, which is not the case for most swine flu virus strains. Because of the way viruses replicate (RNA, sloppy) they exchange genes in bodies. So coinfection between two different viruses can produce a new virus very easily. That means that a high degree of similarity in gene sequences doesn't necessarily tell you the source of the infection.

Right now what little evidence we have points more to an NA source than a Mexican source, and it is very possible that when the Mexican authorities sent the medical team to La Gloria to check the outbreak of respiratory disease there that they brought this strain with them.

Since more Mexican samples are being typed, the number of Mexican deaths attributed to this virus keeps dropping, which makes sense of the earlier puzzle about why a virus that was mild in the US was killing people in Mexico. It's possible that the epicenter was Mexico City, and that it came in from Asia. It's also possible that this virus was circulating in the US for longer than we know. The CDC testing criteria were to test for Mexican-associated flu, so those are the initial samples they have been working on.

I very much doubt the point of the original article linked here, which is that factory farming causes epidemics. The reason is that modern factory farming cuts down the number of contacts between birds, swine and humans, and that is the interaction that produces these reassortments. Because most of these viruses originate in Asia in regions where small farming still predominates, there is more evidence to the theory that intensive agriculture on a small scale generates these viruses.

However, in this case there is no evidence at all that the Mexican farm generated the outbreak although I am sure there will be some genuine research done on the question. And one of the reasons I am bothering to post on this topic is that saying it did implies that Mexico is the source, when Mexico very well might not be the source.

There is an Alberta (CA) hog farm in which the pigs have already caught this new H1N1 virus from a human. Pigs and humans pass viruses very easily. There is actually more testing of viruses that cause illness in stock than in the human population, so it is possible that a human was the source of the Carolina detection. Humans frequently convey viruses from one farm to another. Sometimes they just do it by contact, but sometimes the human gets the virus and passes it that way.

Journalists who are not scientists frequently misunderstand what they are told. There has been a lot of misinformation in the press. I don't think it is intentional, but it is feeding calls to shut the border with Mexico, etc. This current frenzy is hurting the Mexican economy and feeding xenophobia. It also may hurt the international effort to track and control this thing, because if Mexico gets the idea that it is going to be quarantined and embargoed, it is going to stop sharing samples.

The first PCR primers are just being distributed, so in the next couple of weeks it will be possible to do far more testing. Whether some countries will be honest about what they find is questionable.

Here is another article which gives the timeline in even more detail. The first known case was in the US - CA. The girl who tested positive on 3/28 likely caught it from her cousin who became ill a few days earlier. Her brother got sick three days later:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124113696409275445.html
Quote from article:
""This virus has been circulating around in the population for some time," said Gilberto Chavez, an epidemiologist with the California Department of Public Health. Its similar symptoms to a standard flu, he said, meant that "any cases that might have been around were probably seen, treated and diagnosed as regular flu."

You see, the US doesn't want to take credit for it either, and the Chinese press keeps publishing denials of the rumors that it originated in Fujian province in China. They are probably correct. There are always pigs dying there.
http://www.danwei.org/front_page_of_the_day/swine_flu_d...

The cluster of detections on the CA peninsula indicate that Chavez may well be correct. On the other hand, it could be that the virus originated in Mexico and was not detected until it got to CA. Mexico does not have the same types of testing programs the US has.

Whatever the case, the virus appears "fixed" in its current form, which is why Chavez is saying that it has been circulating for a while. As time goes by, it will mutate, but detection right after the original jump would show considerable variation between the samples. It is possible the virus has been circulating for months. Right now everyone is only testing Mexican contacts, so of course that is what they are finding.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 07:00 AM
Response to Reply #39
44. I said "matched to" and provided the article that supports that....
You twist that to "Same as", then proceed to attack the strawman.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. Clearly, the 1918 flu pandemic
was spread far and wide by the World War that preceded it. Never before in human history did you have so many people traveling to so many different places on the globe so rapidly. War has been notorious for killing more people with disease than with bombs, bullets, or swords.

The big thing we've got going for us in this century that we did not have in 1918 is our communications network. The common person 90 years ago did not even have radio. If literate, they might get their news from a human carrier of both papers and pathogens. Otherwise, it was most likely by word of mouth, increasing the amount of time spent passing both information and infection.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Half King Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #13
22. A pandemic needs three things.
First, the species jump. The virus must jump from one species to another. Pig to person, bird to person, bird to pig, etc.

Second, immediately following the species jump, the virus finds a way to quickly expand. It is during the period of time immediately following the species jump that a virus is must malleable, and if, during this same time period, the virus is able to expand into diverse areas, the WWI deployments the classic example--then the ground has been seeded.

Third--the germination period. Now is not the time to worry about this new flu. In the fall, after the virus has had time to increase it's immunity and toxicity, is the time to worry. See, it ain't the flu that kills people. For the Spanish influenza pandemic, mortality was due to cytokine storms, the bodies attempts to attack the virus the cause of death.

So, with everyone and their brother dosing with Tamoflu, the over utilization of antibiotics in our culture, we have created the perfect soil for that germiniation period. If not now, then soon enough, a pandemic of cytokine storm reactions is eventually inevitable.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
21. Factory farming is torture.
A civilized society would not allow the things we allow to happen to these animals.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Half King Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. It is in the taste
It really is. Sorry, but those vacum packed pork chops don't taste the same as Wilbur did. Nope, when you have eaten the home cured ham of a family raised pig it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out there is a differance. And the beef--well it ain't just the factory farms. Cows ain't made to eat corn. Their digestive systems do not process it correctly. Eventually, it will kill them. But, we eat em anyway. Madness.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. So is Obama a war criminal for not shutting them down?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
azul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. Civilized society? How little we repect the lives of any living thing reflects
the level at which we regard ourselves.




"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men." -St Francis of Assisi
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. Didn't answer my question.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #21
33. Yes it is. You're right. Too many people don't give a shit
simply because "it tastes good"

Savages.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MajorChode Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #21
36. And yet every civilized society on earth does
I guess we still have a few more millennium to go before people make the swap to carrot burgers and tofu fries.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Mike 03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:20 PM
Response to Original message
26. Well, in other ways as well, like the Red Tide, which was probably the result of hog lagoons, and
Edited on Sat May-02-09 06:21 PM by Mike 03
how groundwater is being contaminated by hog feces that leaks from these gigantic lagoons.

I don't think this is some kind of "justice," but we are a greedy, voracious and careless society, becoming increasingly compex at a rate whose proliferation are exponential.

You can think of it as karma, or you can call it what it probably is: a mix of ignorance, demand and complexity.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:27 AM
Response to Original message
41. kick
:kick:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 05:39 AM
Response to Original message
43. This is interesting.
I wonder when we'll hear about the full extent of mad cow in the U.S. under Bush?

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
cornermouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 08:33 AM
Response to Original message
45. Not to support factory hog farms however it doesn't have anything to do with pigs.
Edited on Sun May-03-09 08:33 AM by cornermouse
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/04/30/eveningnews/m...

"One thing the CDC has learned in the past week: the virus we've been calling "swine flu" has never been found in pigs.

Shaw says, "We're realizing it's not really accurate. It's a human flu. What more can we say?"

Like all flu viruses, this one has the ability to change, which is why the CDC is working so hard to unlock its secrets."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Half King Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #45
46. Still hs something to do with pigs, european pigs
asian pigs, birds, and people. It is a "quadruple reassortant virus.

This virus was originally referred to as swine flu because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs in North America. But further study has shown that this new virus is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs. It has two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia and avian genes and human genes. Scientists call this a quadruple reassortant virus.

http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/swineflu_you.htm


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Mon Sep 22nd 2014, 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC