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CRZ
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Since: 9.12.01
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.51
Via an email from my father (really)!

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Leroy
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Since: 7.2.02
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.53
Given that approximately 800 people die every week, in the United States, from the "regular" flu, I am still not entirely convinced that this isn't mostly hype.

And on that note, an email from my girlfriend:






We all have ways of coping. I use sex and awesomeness.
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.23
    Originally posted by Leroy
    Given that approximately 800 people die every week, in the United States, from the "regular" flu, I am still not entirely convinced that this isn't mostly hype.


I don't really know a lot about pandemics, but it would seem to me like this is not a very good comparison. The 800 (assuming that number is correct) people dying each week from the flu is probably pretty consistent and doctors have a pretty good idea how to handle it. This current outbreak is the result of a new strand of a virus, so that the entire world isn't dropping dead yet means nothing. It didn't become a public issue until this month, and yet its presence has already been confirmed or suspected in like 40 countries. Yeah, there haven't been a lot of deaths yet (nine confirmed, with another 152 suspected in Mexico, according to Wikipedia), but as it is a new virus, how can we know if that means anything?

That said, there's certainly no evidence yet that it's the end of humanity either. I'm not particularly scared yet.

EDIT: Also, that people die from the flu, to me, says "we need to find a way to prevent people from dying of the flu," not "oh, we shouldn't worry about other, unrelated diseases because there is this other disease that kills more people." Should we drop the campaign against HIV/AIDS? I mean, the common cold kills more people than AIDS, right?

(edited by TheBucsFan on 30.4.09 0806)
Mr. Boffo
Scrapple








Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.24
This maybe a crazy leap (and if so, please let me know) but does this show a weakness in our food production system? Wikipedia has article on outbreaks of bird flu, swine flu, human flu, and more rarely, horse flu and canine flu.

Obviously what all these animals have in common is that there are many of them in the same location, easily allowing a disease to spread. Then add on the mechanism by which a virus in a pig or bird may adapt itself into a virus which can infect humans, and therein lies the trouble.

Given that, is it possible to prevent the spread of flu in these non-human populations? I think it's doubtful, given that we can't even prevent the spread of flu in humans. Therefore, are these mutations of swine and bird influenza into human population inevitable? We can have all the farming regulations we want to prevent pig to human infection here in the United States, but the current outbreak is believed to have started in a pig farming operation that produces a million pigs a year in La Gloria, Mexico (owned by Smithfield Foods of Smithfield, VA). Once humans get infected, we see how hard it is to prevent transmission. Is there anything we can to prevent these epidemics from reaching this stage? Are large farms that house thousands of pigs or chickens part of the problem, and if so, can anything be done to minimize those issues?
DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.44
Try to answer several things cogently here.

Bucs, between 35,000 and 40,000 people die each year in the US from the flu. They tend to be the very young, the very old, and those with compromised health. Even if every one was vaccinated for the flu each year, the vaccine is a guess of what the strains that year will be and sometimes we guess wrong. So no matter what we do people we die from it. But we can minimize deaths. The last real pandemic for comparisons sake was in 1918 when millions died worldwide from the flu. And it really isn't a "new" strain but pretty new. I am old enough to have been in college for the swine flu of the 1970s.

Boffo, it's not a weakness in "our" food production system but as you pointed out, outside our country. These flus (bird and swine)actually originated in Asia where farm families might have actually been sleeping above their animals. Anyway, their close contact with humans is what allows for these viruses to cross over into human populations. And as viruses mutate rapidly, yes it probably is inevitable. And it isn't necessarily the size of the farms (most Asian farms are quite small) but the human/animal proximity that matters.

(edited by DrDirt on 29.4.09 2206)

(edited by DrDirt on 29.4.09 2207)

Perception is reality
Leroy
Andouille








Since: 7.2.02
From: Huntington, NY

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.53
    Originally posted by DrDirt
    Try to answer several things cogently here.

    Bucs, between 35,000 and 40,000 people die each year in the US from the flu. They tend to be the very young, the very old, and those with compromised health.


Because I couldn't stop editing my damned post before hitting "Submit", Doc beat me to it. But I have links, so...

According to the CDC, about 36,000 people die from the flu every year. So that puts the number more around 700, give or take. However, the 800 figure is from this CNN article, referencing the CDC's 2009 stats, which puts this year's mortality rate at no less 800 per week.

    Originally posted by DrDirt
    And it really isn't a "new" strain but pretty new. I am old enough to have been in college for the swine flu of the 1970s.


Salon has a great article about that epidemic, and how it was very much blown out of proportion. The last great swine flu epidemic (Salon.com)

As happy I am that there are knowledgeable people monitoring this strain, when I see health alerts reminding people to "wash their hands" lest it get all 28 Days Later up in here, I tend wonder if people aren't getting more hypochondria and less swine flu.

(edited by Leroy on 29.4.09 2042)



We all have ways of coping. I use sex and awesomeness.
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.23
I wasn't questioning the number of people who die from the flu. I'm saying "it's not as deadly as X, so it's not that big of a deal" is a dangerous mentality in any medium, on any subject. That's especially true when "X" is one of the world's leading causes of death.

Using this standard:


    Given that approximately 800 people die every week, in the United States, from the "regular" flu, I am still not entirely convinced that this isn't mostly hype.


... anything that kills less than 36,000 people annually isn't too much of a concern. I don't think the rate of AIDS-related deaths in the US ever reached that level (I really might be wrong about this; I try to check on Wikipedia and it won't load on my computer). I guess we shouldn't have worried about that one.

Perhaps the reason it is "mostly hype" and not (yet) a deadly outbreak is because of the media attention and expert warnings? I do believe the bird flu scare is largely a creation of the industries profiting from it, so I'm no dismissing that theory here, but the comparison to the flu is irrelevant. You could have achieved the same point while using actual good logic by simply saying, "this thing has killed less than a dozen people worldwide. I'm not worried yet." That's all I was saying.

(edited by TheBucsFan on 30.4.09 1135)
CHAPLOW
Morcilla








Since: 14.5.04
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.01
    Originally posted by CRZ
    Via an email from my father (really)!

    Click Here (maps.google.com)


you cant zoom in really close and see the people panicking
Leroy
Andouille








Since: 7.2.02
From: Huntington, NY

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.57
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    That's especially true when "X" is one of the world's leading causes of death.


If X = influenza, then X is NOT a leading causes of death in the world or the U.S.: The top 10 causes of death (World Health Organization)

    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    I don't think the rate of AIDS-related deaths in the US ever reached that level (I really might be wrong about this; I try to check on Wikipedia and it won't load on my computer).


AIDS related deaths topped out at 50,000 in the mid-1990's. I'd cite it, but looking this stuff up is starting to get depressing. (Ah, what the hell: UCSF: U.S. Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS in the United States)

    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    You could have achieved the same point while using actual good logic by simply saying, "this thing has killed less than a dozen people worldwide. I'm not worried yet." That's all I was saying.


See, the fact that it's killed less than a dozen people worldwide is meaningless without a context. If, in two weeks, it's killed a dozen healthy people in their mid-twenties who were treated early and had good medical care, I think that would be pretty disconcerting.

However, if, in two weeks, it's killed 160 people who are suffering from chronic illnesses and/or are malnourished and live in very rural parts of a developing country that lacks basic resources - as terribly tragic as that is (and keeping in mind that I adore southern Mexico and still have friends there) - that's not exactly something about which I am going to worry contracting.

And I'm not suggesting that these deaths are "okay", either - just to head you off at that pass. Nor am I suggesting that there isn't sufficient reason to follow the strain or that there isn't sufficient reason to provide some resources for the people most likely to have a lethal reaction to this illness.

(edited by Leroy on 29.4.09 2239)



We all have ways of coping. I use sex and awesomeness.
Peter The Hegemon
Lap cheong








Since: 11.2.03
From: Hackettstown, NJ

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.03
    Originally posted by Leroy

    And on that note, an email from my girlfriend:




ROFLMAO! That was hilarious!
redsoxnation
Scrapple








Since: 24.7.02

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.72
Will be as clear and succinct as possible: WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE. WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE. But, then again, that was the case before the swine flu and it will be the case after the swine flu, except for perhaps Lazarus. Anyone ever know what happened to him? Is he wandering around the Middle East at the age approaching 2,100 going 'Oy vey, this stopped being funny 1,500 years ago. And, if you were going to bring me back from the dead, you could have brought all of me back from the dead. Oy vey.'
Only one person should be doing any of the reporting/commentary on media outlets in regards to the swine flu. It should be a man who has won the coveted Silver Sow Award. Les Nessman would be the voice of reason on this matter.
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.23
    Originally posted by Leroy
      Originally posted by TheBucsFan
      That's especially true when "X" is one of the world's leading causes of death.


    If X = influenza, then X is NOT a leading causes of death in the world or the U.S.: The top 10 causes of death (World Health Organization)

      Originally posted by TheBucsFan
      I don't think the rate of AIDS-related deaths in the US ever reached that level (I really might be wrong about this; I try to check on Wikipedia and it won't load on my computer).


    AIDS related deaths topped out at 50,000 in the mid-1990's. I'd cite it, but looking this stuff up is starting to get depressing. (Ah, what the hell: UCSF: U.S. Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS in the United States)

      Originally posted by TheBucsFan
      You could have achieved the same point while using actual good logic by simply saying, "this thing has killed less than a dozen people worldwide. I'm not worried yet." That's all I was saying.


    See, the fact that it's killed less than a dozen people worldwide is meaningless without a context. If, in two weeks, it's killed a dozen healthy people in their mid-twenties who were treated early and had good medical care, I think that would be pretty disconcerting.

    However, if, in two weeks, it's killed 160 people who are suffering from chronic illnesses and/or are malnourished and live in very rural parts of a developing country that lacks basic resources - as terribly tragic as that is (and keeping in mind that I adore southern Mexico and still have friends there) - that's not exactly something about which I am going to worry contracting.

    And I'm not suggesting that these deaths are "okay", either - just to head you off at that pass. Nor am I suggesting that there isn't sufficient reason to follow the strain or that there isn't sufficient reason to provide some resources for the people most likely to have a lethal reaction to this illness.

    (edited by Leroy on 29.4.09 2239)


Well I'm obviously wrong about all those numbers. I guess wake me up when this thing kills some more people.

I don't know enough about the coverage this is getting in the West to decide if I think it's getting overhyped the way bird flu did/does or not.
DrewDewce
Bratwurst








Since: 2.1.02
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.67
    Originally posted by redsoxnation
    Will be as clear and succinct as possible: WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE. WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE. But, then again, that was the case before the swine flu and it will be the case after the swine flu, except for perhaps Lazarus. Anyone ever know what happened to him? Is he wandering around the Middle East at the age approaching 2,100 going 'Oy vey, this stopped being funny 1,500 years ago. And, if you were going to bring me back from the dead, you could have brought all of me back from the dead. Oy vey.'



He became a megalomaniac and was thwarted by the Elementals from unleashing "Shadowspear" on the world . . . sort of. (That's some great comic book readin' right there my friend)

On a somewhat more serious note . . . I almost get a "Jaws" vibe for Derby this weekend. The local CDC is saying that "Any rumors you hear about Derby events being canceled are false and everything is fine, go about your business." I'm certainly not afraid or worried to go, but it will be interesting to see if the large crowd of peeps from various points of the globe will bring/carry this thing around. Of course, if "Mother Nature" has her way, large crowds might not be a concern (grumble).



You are going to get a certain amount of snarkiness on the Internet no matter what, and my rule is that you don't post anything that you wouldn't say to someone's face.
Marc Andreyko (Writer of DC Comics Manhunter)
Lise
Mrs. Guru








Since: 11.12.01

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.60
Bird flu HPV51 (I believe) crossed over into transmission to humans from birds, but human to human contact was not confirmed. All the hype and worry was on the threat of it mutating into human to human transmission.

This current swine flu is confirmed in human to human transmission and FAST (as viruses go). Also the way that pigs are raised in large farms means that pigs are usually pumped full of anti-biotics on a regular basis to make sure they get to market instead of dying from pig only or human diseases (this street goes both ways) prior to market weight. The current flu is resistant to a few different anti-biotics (there are others that it is not currently resistant to). However since it is spreading rapidly, and mutation is possible in each new host, they're worried.

Pandemic is based on transmission rate, not fatality.

So to sum up, Swine flu is more worrisome than bird flu. It is spreading rapidly, the rapid spread leads to more mutations and more mutations means it may turn into something more worisome. The plan is to limit the spread as much as possible and hope mutations are not more hazardous to humans or any of our food supply animals.

TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.23
    Originally posted by Lise
    Bird flu HPV51 (I believe) crossed over into transmission to humans from birds, but human to human contact was not confirmed. All the hype and worry was on the threat of it mutating into human to human transmission.

    This current swine flu is confirmed in human to human transmission and FAST (as viruses go). Also the way that pigs are raised in large farms means that pigs are usually pumped full of anti-biotics on a regular basis to make sure they get to market instead of dying from pig only or human diseases (this street goes both ways) prior to market weight. The current flu is resistant to a few different anti-biotics (there are others that it is not currently resistant to). However since it is spreading rapidly, and mutation is possible in each new host, they're worried.

    Pandemic is based on transmission rate, not fatality.

    So to sum up, Swine flu is more worrisome than bird flu. It is spreading rapidly, the rapid spread leads to more mutations and more mutations means it may turn into something more worisome. The plan is to limit the spread as much as possible and hope mutations are not more hazardous to humans or any of our food supply animals.




Yeah all this was the point I was originally trying to make. It shouldn't be dismissed so easily just because it's numbers aren't comparable yet to other diseases. But I also wasn't aware of the 1970s swine flu "scare" before it was linked to in this thread.

In reality, if this were to mutate and become more deadly, we wouldn't know it until it was too late, which is why the coverage of it doesn't bother me. And that deadly mutation seems more likely here than it does with bird flu. Bird flu, while a threat to people who eat poultry in some parts of the world, isn't nearly the threat this seems to be, which is why I think the coverage there is overblown.
Lise
Mrs. Guru








Since: 11.12.01

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.60
Aaron of course helpfully pointed out that anti-biotics don't do anything to viruses. That was a total brain fart on my part.

There was an interesting article on CNN (also has the best historic photo I've seen in awhile) http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/30/swine.flu.1918.lessons/index.html?iref=newssearch and it mentions that the first waves of previous pandemics were also quite mild. It was the waves that came a few months later that were fatal.

The flu will mutate. What that mutation is, and if it will be more deadly or even more mild, no one knows and won't know until it it shows up. The good news is that the CDC and everyone are scrambling to get a vaccine and make it available as soon as possible. So far the estimates are that it won't quite be ready for the normal flu vaccine time, but perhaps a little while afterward.

Bird Flu was the same thing, it had the potential to mutate and cause a pandemic. I'd much much rather that the CDC and other health organizations take each of these things waaay too seriously, and work on the infrastructure a little more each time, so when something really bad does show up, we're a lot better able to deal with it.
CRZ
Big Brother
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.51
It's now at flutracker.rhizalabs.com, so change your bookmarks, kids!



The Thrill
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Since: 16.4.02
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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.25
Godspeed, men of the 2nd Bn, 127th Infantry, 32d "Red Arrow" Brigade, Wisconsin Army National Guard! Victory in Iraq!

    Originally posted by redsoxnation
    Les Nessman would be the voice of reason on this matter.


No, Les is more of a turkey expert. Except for flight capabilities.










NWAWisconsin.com...Live, Local Pro Wrestling!

dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.64
    Originally posted by Lise
    Bird Flu was the same thing, it had the potential to mutate and cause a pandemic. I'd much much rather that the CDC and other health organizations take each of these things waaay too seriously, and work on the infrastructure a little more each time, so when something really bad does show up, we're a lot better able to deal with it.


I totally agree with the "better safe than sorry" attitude as far as the CDC and the like go, I just wish we could get through it without the usual media hype ("2.4 MILLION LONDONDERS WILL DIE" being my favourite so far) and accompanying morons who now think it's not safe to leave the house without a bio-suit.

Over here, anyone who gets it seems to develop an unhealthy addiction to photo-shoots and tabloid interviews. Given the choice between that and enduring more Susan Boyle coverage though......tough call.
DrDirt
Banger








Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.42
    Originally posted by dMr
      Originally posted by Lise
      Bird Flu was the same thing, it had the potential to mutate and cause a pandemic. I'd much much rather that the CDC and other health organizations take each of these things waaay too seriously, and work on the infrastructure a little more each time, so when something really bad does show up, we're a lot better able to deal with it.


    I totally agree with the "better safe than sorry" attitude as far as the CDC and the like go, I just wish we could get through it without the usual media hype ("2.4 MILLION LONDONDERS WILL DIE" being my favourite so far) and accompanying morons who now think it's not safe to leave the house without a bio-suit.

    Over here, anyone who gets it seems to develop an unhealthy addiction to photo-shoots and tabloid interviews. Given the choice between that and enduring more Susan Boyle coverage though......tough call.


Agreed. The trouble is people get the "boy who cried wolf syndrome" and quit paying attention. More from the media hype than the government response.



Perception is reality
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I was sitting in my mother's bedroom as she channel-surfed just a couple nights ago; we went to Larry King as Mom tends to do, and there was Tammy Faye. I commented that she looked like death warmed over, and yeah... the cancer took a lot out of her.
- ekedolphin, RIP Tammy Faye (2007)
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