Swine Flu

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Godsdrummer, Apr 28, 2009.

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  1. Godsdrummer

    Godsdrummer Guest

    Ok so here we go.

    Is this the big one? Or will this thing fizzle out? Watching an interview on Lou Dobbs/CNN last night, a Doc at the Univ Of New York mentioned that influenza doesnt like warmer weather. Since we are heading into the summer months here in the states, this thing might not be as bad as some are thinking. But it could rear it's ugly head in the fall. But by then, they could have a vaccine for it.

    Then again, we are dealing with an entirely new strain of this virus. It is being spread from human to human, and this could be the big one.

    Here is the latest from MSNBC;

    Swine flu spreads to Asia, Middle East
    Cases confirmed in Asia, Middle East as virus spreads beyond Mexico
    msnbc.com staff and news service reports
    updated 8:56 a.m. CT, Tues., April 28, 2009

    The swine flu epidemic crossed new borders Tuesday with the first cases confirmed in the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region, as world health officials said they suspect American patients may have transmitted the virus to others in the U.S.
    Most people confirmed with the new swine flu were infected in Mexico, where the number of deaths blamed on the virus has surpassed 150.
    But confirmation that people had become infected outside Mexico would indicate that the disease was spreading beyond travelers returning from the country, World Health Organization spokesman Gregory Hartl told reporters on Tuesday in Geneva.
    Hartl said the source of some infections in the United States, Canada and Britain was unclear.
    Hartl said WHO was waiting for U.S. authorities to announce that a number of students at a New York high school have passed the virus on to one another after their return from a spring vacation in Mexico. "I think we might have one other instance in the U.S.," he said.
    Pressed by reporters to elaborate, he declined, saying it was up to U.S. authorities to provide further information.
    Possible scenarios include students getting infected who did not travel to Mexico, or students who traveled there but became infected only after returning to the United States, or family members getting infected from returning students.
    WHO calls this "community transmission" and says it's a key test for gauging whether the spread of the virus has reached pandemic proportions. The swine flu has already spread to at least six countries besides Mexico, prompting WHO officials to raise its alert level on Monday.
    "At this time, containment is not a feasible option," said Keiji Fukuda, assistant director-general of the World Health Organization, which raised its alert level on Monday.
    New Zealand reported Tuesday that 11 people who recently returned from Mexico contracted the virus. Tests conducted at a World Health Organization laboratory in Australia had confirmed three cases of swine flu among 11 members of the group who were showing symptoms, New Zealand Health Minister Tony Ryall said.
    'Mild illness'
    Those infected had suffered only "mild illness" and were expected to recover, Public Health Director Mark Jacobs said. There are 43 more suspected cases in the country, officials said.
    The Israeli Health Ministry on Tuesday confirmed the region's first case of swine flu in the city of Netanya. The 26-year-old patient recently returned from Mexico and had contracted the same strain, Health Ministry spokeswoman Einav Shimron.
    Meanwhile, a second case was confirmed Tuesday in Spain, Health Minister Trinidad Jimenez said, a day after the country reported its first case.

    The number of U.S. cases doubled to 50 early Tuesday, the result of further testing at a New York City school. Other U.S. cases have been reported in Ohio, Kansas, Texas and California. The U.S. also ordered stepped up border checks in neighboring states.
    No one has died outside Mexico but cases have also been confirmed in Canada and Scotland, prompting the World Health Organization on Monday to raise its alert level for the outbreak.
    The WHO lifted its pandemic alert to phase 4, meaning there is sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus causing outbreaks in at least one country. It also indicates the risk of a deadly global outbreak.
    A 51-year-old South Korean woman also tested positive for swine flu Tuesday after traveling to Mexico but officials said final tests were still necessary. All 315 others on the same flight from Los Angeles were being tested but none have turned up positive, officials said.
    In Asia, financial markets were on edge over the risk the flu could develop into a pandemic and kill off fragile signs of recovery in the global economy.
    Mexico, where the number of deaths believed caused by swine flu rose by 50 percent on Monday to 152, is suspected to be ground zero of the outbreak.
    But Mexican Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova late Monday said no one knows where the outbreak began, and implied it may have started in the U.S.
    "I think it is very risky to say, or want to say, what the point of origin or dissemination of it is, given that there had already been cases reported in southern California and Texas," Cordova told a press conference.
    Travel alerts
    Governments around the world have taken steps to tighten monitoring of their airports or advised against non-essential travel to Mexico.
    Britain, France and Germany issued travel alerts for Mexico. Japan advised its citizens in Mexico to consider returning home soon, saying they might find themselves unable to leave and not be able to get adequate medical care.
    The swine flu bug is curable if treated quickly with antiviral medicine but no one is naturally immune.

    The virus poses a potentially grave new threat to the U.S. economy, which was showing tentative early signs of a recovery. A widespread outbreak could batter tourism, food and transportation industries, deepening the recession in the U.S. and possibly worldwide.
    Putting an alert at phases 4 or 5 signals that the virus is becoming increasingly adept at spreading among humans. That move could lead governments to set trade, travel and other restrictions aimed at limiting its spread.
    Phase 6 is for a full-blown pandemic, characterized by outbreaks in at least two regions of the world.
    The last pandemic, a Hong Kong flu outbreak in 1968, killed about one million people around the world.

    'Critical moment'
    In Mexico, nearly 2,000 people are believed to be infected. Mexican Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova said the epidemic was entering an extremely dangerous phase, with the number of people infected mushrooming even as authorities desperately ramped up defenses.
    "We are in the most critical moment of the epidemic. The number of cases will keep rising, so we have to reinforce preventative measures," Cordova said at a news conference.
    It could take four to six months before the first batch of vaccines are available to fight the virus, WHO officials said.
    Russia, Hong Kong and Taiwan said they would quarantine visitors showing symptoms of the virus amid global fears of a pandemic.
    President Barack Obama said the outbreak was reason for concern, but not yet "a cause for alarm."
    Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that so far the virus in the United States seems less severe than in Mexico. Only one person has been hospitalized in the U.S.
    "I wouldn't be overly reassured by that," Besser told reporters at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, raising the possibility of more severe cases in the United States.
    "We are taking it seriously and acting aggressively," Besser added. "Until the outbreak has progressed, you really don't know what it's going to do."
    U.S. customs officials began checking people entering U.S. territory. Millions of doses of flu-fighting medications from a federal stockpile were on their way to states, with priority given to the five already affected and to border states. Federal agencies were conferring with state and international governments.
    "We want to make sure that we have equipment where it needs to be, people where they need to be and, most important, information shared at all levels," said Janet Napolitano, head of the Homeland Security Department.
    "We are proceeding as if we are preparatory to a full pandemic," Napolitano said.

    (to be continued)

    (to be continued)
  2. Godsdrummer

    Godsdrummer Guest

    Schools shut
    She said travel warnings for trips to Mexico would remain in place as long as swine flu is detected.
    Mexico canceled school at all levels nationwide until May 6, and the Mexico City government said it was considering a complete shutdown, including all public transportation, if the death toll keeps rising. Labor Secretary Javier Lozano Alarcon said employers should isolate anyone showing up for work with fever, cough, sore throat or other signs of the flu.
    Amid the warnings, the Mexican government grappled with increasing criticism of its response. At least two weeks after the first swine flu case, the government has yet to say where and how the outbreak began or give details on the victims.
    The health department lacked the staff to visit the homes of all those suspected to have died from the disease, Cordova said.
    Cordova said 1,995 people have been hospitalized with serious cases of pneumonia since the first case of swine flu was reported April 13. The government does not yet know how many were swine flu.
    He said tests show a 4-year-old boy contracted the virus before April 2 in Veracruz state, where a community has been protesting pollution from a large pig farm.

    The farm is run by Granjas Carroll de Mexico, a joint venture half owned by Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, Inc. Spokeswoman Keira Ullrich said the company has found no clinical signs or symptoms of the presence of swine flu in its herd or its employees working anywhere in Mexico.
    The best way to keep the disease from spreading, Besser said, is by taking everyday precautions such as frequent handwashing, covering up coughs and sneezes, and staying away from work or school if not feeling well. He said authorities are not recommending that people wear masks at work because evidence that it is effective "is not that strong."
    China, Russia and Ukraine were among countries banning imports of pork and pork products from Mexico and three U.S. states that have reported swine flu cases, while other countries, such as Indonesia, banned all pork imports.
    The CDC says people cannot get the flu by eating pork or pork products.
  3. Godsdrummer

    Godsdrummer Guest

    So...with this bug apparently coming at us, and we have no natural immunity against it, perhaps it would do us good to track this thing.

    I suggest that members here post when the flu hits there area or close to it.
  4. Disease

    Disease New Member

    This going to be no worse then sars, bird flue etc have been.

    I remember when bird flue was meant to kill us all.

    Nothing but media propaganda
  5. Godsdrummer

    Godsdrummer Guest

    I wouldnt be so sure about that one, disease.

    The bird flu never morphed itself into an easy human to human transmission. The swine flu has.

    This disease has killed a lot of people in Mexico already. As a matter of fact all the schools in Mexico have closed.

    I'm not saying that we are all gonna die from this. I hope not. Thruth is, they dont know for sure.

    But what is known, is that the frickin World Health Organization is close to calling this thing a PANDEMIC.

    That's not media hype.

    I would be careful with that line of thinking, Disease. If this thing does get ugly you will need to take steps to protect yourself and your family.
  6. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Nope, the species is going to go on much as it has... Only the Black Death has really been able to put a dent in our population - temporarily. Flus aren't especially lethal, but spread fast. More lethal diseases spread slower [their lethality prevents new infections; ebola is a good example. Just a few days to death, and no time to spread], so they can be isolated and stopped quickly.

    We've got 6 billion people over a very wide area and we know what we're doing. We're not going down any time soon.

    Edit: And it's not a pandemic according to the WHO. It's currently phase 4:

    Phase 4 is characterized by verified human-to-human transmission of an animal or human-animal influenza reassortant virus able to cause “community-level outbreaks.”

    Phase 6, the pandemic phase, is characterized by community level outbreaks in at least one other country in a different WHO region in addition to the criteria defined in Phase 5. Designation of this phase will indicate that a global pandemic is under way.

  7. shades

    shades Staff Alumni

    I think this is a fizzler. It will get a bit worse initially, but I don't think it will be around as long as the last couple of "major viruses" like SARS. This is just based on the information I've been hearing on the news. By the way, heard a doctor in Los Angeles last night talking about the fact that most of the masks being used are not effective against this virus.
  8. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Instinctively, I would doubt this. Dust masks keep water droplets from being inhaled, and flu viruses are contained in water droplets expelled during sneezing. So, unless this one isn't respiratory [...but it's flu...] the masks should be effective. I should like to see a source either way, though.

    Edit: got one. http://www.homedefensehq.com/selecting-bird-flu-masks/

    Masks are effective.
  9. Godsdrummer

    Godsdrummer Guest

  10. Crue-K

    Crue-K Well-Known Member

    I doubt this is going to erupt into a pandemic or near to it. The number of cases outside of the infected region is minimal compared to population size and the cases that have been identified seem to be well contained. The 2 confirnmed cases here in Scotland have been described as mild cases and both are making an excellent recovery.
  11. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    No, 40 million died, of a population of 2 billion... The world didn't end, and it was ravaged to begin with. If this were as severe as the Black Death [it won't be], we'd still have a 3/4 chance of living.

    Humanity will continue, no matter the opposition.
  12. Breathe

    Breathe Well-Known Member

    Apparently our government (UK) have enough medicine that seems to effect it but we do not have enough masks to prevent it.
    We have two known cases in Scotland and 25 who are showing symptoms, but the two are recovering as Grahamd said. And are quarantined

    I hope its not serious.
  13. Godsdrummer

    Godsdrummer Guest

    There is no vaccine for this flu at this time. The meds you are talking about is a drug called Tamiflu. Tamiflu helps relieve the effects of flu. The reason that there aren't many cases so far, is that we are just in the beginning phases of this disease.

    No one is saying it's gonna wipe us all off the earth. What no one knows is whether this is gonna be a big one or not. But it has the potential.
  14. shades

    shades Staff Alumni

    TO:AOEU; yes, in some ways, a mask would be helpful in preventing water sized molecules (such as from sneezing or coughing) thus giving some protection, but they also refer to the mask in that article as a "bird flu mask" which implies that it was specifically designed for that flu.

    The doctor in question, Sanjay Gupta, who was considered for the position of Surgeon General in the U.S. before he opted out stated that the virus is too small for the masks that most have been using thus far. There are however, more expensive and more reliable masks that are coming to the forefront as we speak in case this thing "blows up" into a whopper. I'll look for a link; the interview was a couple of days ago.
  15. smackh2o

    smackh2o SF Supporter

    Someone told me the cure to swine-flu is oinkment. I think the real disaster here is british humour...
  16. Abacus21

    Abacus21 Staff Alumni

    -smirks- Nice one Pete...

    I agree with the others - basically, it's just a lot of media hype and sensationalist reporting. It's like the [quite fantastic] headline, by the [quite fantastic] British tabloid, 'The Sun', about bird flu...

    Headline: BIRD FLU IS HERE! And now, to quote Dara O'Brien: "Bird flu isn't here!''

    As I say, folks are getting their (to coin another typically British phrase) knickers in a twist, about this. I saw a quite fantastic little grey box in a corner of the 'The London Paper' (an absolutely fantastic, informative, hugely well written, free paper :tongue: ) that said something like this:

    A quite fantastic bit of media there. I have a cold, currently. Do I have swine flu?! No! It's a common bloody cold! :rolleyes:

    To my mind, unless you have regular contact with pigs, then you'll live. I don't base that on anything, but from what I've read, I'd say that's about right. Unless, so it seems, you live in Mexico.

    ... Sorry for the sarcasm, but it has to be said. I also love being sarcastic every once in a while. This is that while. -nod-
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2009
  17. Issaccs

    Issaccs Well-Known Member

    Remember Bird Flu, SARS?

    If you fuck pigs and catch a cold maybe you should worry, for now its scare mongering BULLSHIT.
  18. Colourful

    Colourful Well-Known Member

    Is it silly and pointless to be scared about this? I can't seem to help it..
  19. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Oh, no, Colourful: this is a real disease, it's spreading quite rapidly, and it's being transmitted easily from humans to other humans based upon near contact - there's no pig-fucking involved.

    Not end times, and probably nothing to worry about... Flu tends to have about a 5% lethality, higher in young, old, and weak... And swine flu will be no different. However, without human intervention, this would spread far and quickly, much like the Spanish Flu of 1918, and kill perhaps 2.5% of all humans alive... 160 million people. 5 Canadas. Dead.

    No need to panic... but that's a lot of dead people if public health measures [such as quarantines] aren't implemented.

    Wash your hands frequently. Use alcohol sanitizer on your hands whenever you get the chance. And wear a mask if this disease is in your area.

    Quite simple, quite fast, and quite cheap... Why not?
  20. ~PinkElephants~

    ~PinkElephants~ Senior member

    So when you get the swine flu don't bitch and cry to us....lol. Oh btw that wasn't sarcasm. That was me being one serious bitch :smile:
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