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View Diary: H5N1: A Teachable Moment, And An Open Letter (124 comments)

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  •  Rumsfeld's Avian Flu is BULLSHIT (0+ / 0-)

    C'mon, Avian Flu is BULLSHIT.

    Rumsfeld's TamilFlu is USELESS.

    Avian Flu appeared back in the 1990s also.

    Back then, the media was less influential and did not have the scrutiny that it has today.

    Here:

    WHO spokeswoman Maria Cheng said it was unlikely the agency would raise the alert level in the immediate future.

    "We haven't seen evidence from Indonesia that the disease is passing easily from human to human," Cheng told The Associated Press.

    She said WHO had considered convening a meeting of experts to debate whether to raise the alert level, but had decided that the current situation did not merit that step.

    "We had discussed that," she said. "But that is not going to happen."

    The agency has suspected that in rare cases bird flu may have passed from one person to another, but it usually has been caught by people from chickens and other poultry.

    WHO said that testing indicated there had been no significant mutations in the virus. Experts have feared that a mutation of the virus into a strain that could easily pass among humans could set off a deadly flu pandemic.

    [snip]

    So far health workers have found no sign that the case has moved outside the family and there is also "no evidence that efficient human-to-human transmission has occurred."

    Laboratory testing has completed full genetic sequencing of two viruses isolated from cases in this cluster. That has found "no evidence of genetic reassortment with human or pig influenza viruses and no evidence of significant mutations," WHO said.

    More:

    There is no indication the Sumatra infections had spread to anyone outside the family.

    "We are not seeing it pass on a more casual basis which would be the trigger for us to go to a higher pandemic alert level," Cheng said.

    [snip]

    "No matter what's going on at this stage, it's a limited transmission between members of the same family," Cordingley said.

    "What we are looking out for is any sign of this virus going outside of this family cluster into the general community, that would be very worrying. We haven't seen any signs of that yet."

    •  Darwin Award! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemFromCT, deepintheheartoftx, tzt, mhw

      You are the proud recipient of today's Darwin Award.

      Congratulations!

      <applause>


      Want to know who's attacking Al Gore? Click here!

      by Page van der Linden on Thu May 25, 2006 at 05:37:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ah yes the 1990s (5+ / 0-)

      I remember them well

      Back when "the media was less influential" and everyone could be exposed to bird flu but it didn't hurt anyone.

      And the levees held.

      And no one lied.

      And we all rode on unicorns.

    •  Utterly uninformed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, snakelass

      Influenza is one of the most mutable viruses on the planet.  A virus incapable or only rarely capable of H2H transmission one day can undergo mutuation the next and attain the transmission rate of the common cold.  And H5N1's mortality rate is something we need to worry about; if it does acquire easy H2H transmission abilities, it will become another 1918, but on a much larger scale.

      The avian flu that showed up in the '90s wasn't the same disease, and you are mistaken to lump them together.  It's like saying that we have E. coli in our stomachs, so we don't need to worry about E. coli on our food; different strains, completely different effects.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Thu May 25, 2006 at 08:04:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  H5N1 been around since the 1980s and 1990s: Yawn! (0+ / 0-)

        Phoenix Rising: The avian flu that showed up in the '90s wasn't the same disease, and you are mistaken to lump them together.

        The avian flu that showed up in the '90s was H5N1.

        H5N1 has actually been around since at least the 1980s!

        These are well-know FACTS.

        See

        Epizootiology of Avian Influenza: Simultaneous Monitoring of Sentinel Ducks and Turkeys in Minnesota, D. Halvorson; D. Karunakaran; D. Senne; C. Kelleher; C. Bailey; A. Abraham; V. Hinshaw; J. Newman, Avian Diseases > Vol. 27, No. 1 (Jan., 1983), pp. 77-85

        Virus Isolations from Pet Birds Submitted for Importation into the United States, D. A. Senne; J. E. Pearson; L. D. Miller; G. A. Gustafson, Avian Diseases > Vol. 27, No. 3 (Jul., 1983), pp. 731-744

        Sequence Offers Clues to Deadly Flu, Gretchen Vogel,
        Science > New Series, Vol. 279, No. 5349 (Jan., 1998), p. 324

        Infectious History, Joshua Lederberg, Science > New Series, Vol. 288, No. 5464 (Apr., 2000), pp. 287-293

        Pathogenicity of a Hong Kong-Origin H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus for Emus, Geese, Ducks, and Pigeons, Laura E. Leigh Perkins; David E. Swayne
        Avian Diseases > Vol. 46, No. 1 (Jan., 2002), pp. 53-63

        •  actually it's been around since the late 50's (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          snakelass, tzt

          but it's undergone genetic change since then, becoming much more pathogenic.

          The H5N1 of today (2003 on) is far more virulent than the one that appeared in Hong Kong in 1997. More people have died from it so far in 2006 than all of 2005.

          This is about its potential, and the downside there is huge. That's because viruses evolve. it's also because Indonesia is doing a poor job in controlling it.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Thu May 25, 2006 at 10:52:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually it's been around since the late 50's (0+ / 0-)

            Thanks!

            Source?

            This should be great.

            •  it should be great! I can't wait! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tzt

              WHO, see table. It was first described in Scotland in 1959.

              Also, see Wikipedia, or google it and you'll verify.

              The first known strain of HPAI A(H5N1) (called A/chicken/Scotland/59) killed two flocks of chickens in Scotland in 1959; but that strain was very different from the current highly pathogenic strain of H5N1. The dominant strain of HPAI A(H5N1) in 2004 evolved from 1999 to 2002 creating the Z genotype.[7] It has also been called "Asian lineage HPAI A(H5N1)".

              It took a while to get to where it is. Why do you think it's done evolving?

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Thu May 25, 2006 at 11:08:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Evolving (0+ / 0-)

                I never wrote or suggested that "it's done evolving".

                This attempt to preempt the Avian flu is schizophrenic and ultra-paranoid.

                In method, it parallels the rationale for the attack Saddam Hussein before he attacks us.

                FUCKING WEIRD!!!

                Pure bull shit!

                As of today, it is physically and statistcally not a problem.

                •  who are you trying to convince of that? (0+ / 0-)
                  yourself? Read the other comments in this post, especially the ones trying to enlighten you.

                  "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                  by Greg Dworkin on Thu May 25, 2006 at 11:28:37 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  This guy is Troll-like (0+ / 0-)

      This guy doesn't know the facts or is twisting things to fit his Rumsfeld theory.  The funny thing is, it just proves the point that the weirdos come out in diaries like this.

      abhinavagupta, please read up on the Spanish Flu for clues:

      Wikipedia: Spanish Flu

      I also appears you have little understanding of long run probabilities.  If that sounds harsh, sorry, but your comments here are silly and trollish.

      We all understand that the current avian flu is of little relative danger, the danger is the potential mutation of the future. All of you arguments seem to be based on the present.  Hopefully, with knowledge of what happened in the past ("Spanish Flu"), you might change your stance.

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