Nobody likes to be called a dummy by a dummy.

Avian Flu

Everyone is saying its going to be the next pandemic. Can't we stop this crisis by not allowing travel to and from Asia? The death rate is startling and I don't want to get it.
Permalink Healthy for now ... 
March 8th, 2005
---" Can't we stop this crisis by not allowing travel to and from Asia? The death rate is startling and I don't want to get it."----

Slightly higher than being killed by a falling coconut at last count, and much, much less than being hit by lightning.

Or were you referring to the death rate among birds. Perhaps we could use the Star Wars technology to zap any illegal asian immigrant migratory pigeons. particularly any with an olive branch in their mouth.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 8th, 2005
Don't most of our flus start in birds and migrate to humans?
Permalink MarkTAW 
March 8th, 2005
A worrying amount appear to start that way.

People in the far east appear to live in very close proximity to their birds and hence cross-contract the viruses.

It seems to be fairly normal for people to pick up flu from their animals and die from it. {Normal in the "happens all the time" sense. Frankly I find that worrying in itself} The crunch thing is when the flu picks up genes for human/human transmission... and how transmissable it is.

H5N1 is extremely transmissable, has about 10 days incubation and is 30% fatal. The point where we realise it's human/human contaigious, pretty much the whole planet will have been exposed.

Previous flu epidemics arrived in waves, I think the thing WHO are worried about is that the higher rates of international travel means we won't get much warning if any.
Permalink Katie Lucas 
March 8th, 2005
I posted awhile back on China's open food markets being breeding grounds for such a plague. It was mostly culled from an article in Discover. Scientifically, it sure made a whole lot of sense.

I think it would be worthwhile to offer China some sort of funding assistance in making such environments less likely to produce the next Black Death.

Some of these flu strains have had up to 80% death rates. Nasty stuff... The only thing that has kept us from already witnessing an all-out plague is that the most virulent strains thus far have been fairly limited in their capacity to transfer from host to host. Almost all infected with the most deadly strains were infected directly from poultry to human contact.
Permalink I am Jack's pending plague 
March 8th, 2005
As I said at the time, the past several thousand years of history tend to show markets have a greater positive effect than negative.

It may not be coincidental that the first successful flu pandemics coincided with the first adult generation of those inoculated against one or more diseases.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
March 8th, 2005
Yes it's a worry. Are you seriously proposing to ban all travel to Asia - has it escaped your notice that Asia is connected to Europe and Africa by land and is no great distance over water from the rest of the earth's dry surface apart from Antarctica? Birds do fly.

Better to POUR money into vaccine research.

Or take the long view that those within bomb shelters could ride out the pandemic in perfect safety and emerge to find the real plague organism has vanished along with its mortal virus in an agnostic Rapture. Given current ecological policies, that could be a good outcome for our species.

Research your government's mass vaccination policy and see who gets it first - and who gets it at all.
Permalink trollop 
March 8th, 2005
Don't forget the swine flu epidemic. Pigs are genetically "close" to humans, and it's pretty easy for germs to jump between the species.

After reading "The Hot Zone", I got all freaked out about virii, but now I just don't care.
Permalink example 
March 9th, 2005
I'm not saying get rid of them, Simon. I'm just saying take some precautions. It is like a damned petri dish for perfecting pathogens as it stands.

Truly, I wish the states had more open markets like that. Around here, and where I just moved from they do have similar places, but nothing like where you buy a live chicken and they wring its neck and pluck it in front of you or anything. Mostly it is just produce.

Bleh... I'm just jealous :P
Permalink I am Jack's pathogen perfection 
March 9th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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