Skip to main content

View Diary: H5N1: Another Country (Or Two) Heard From (64 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  The threat of H5N1 is in its potential. (0+ / 0-)

    One trouble in talking about both H5N1 and seasonal flu (what you refer to as "human flu") is illustrated by your post above.

    If everyone took a flu shot, we'd save lives. A flu shot protects you and keeps you from carrying it to others, many of whom like the elderly, newborns and those with chronic health problems like asthma and diabetes could die from it.

    In a diary on H5N1 (which is a type of flu), I will pretty much guarantee you that some readers looked at your intial paragraph and misunderstood it to say there was (or will be) a vaccine for H5N1. There is not, nor will there be one for the first 6 months of pandemic unless there is major sceintific breakthrough and related growth in manufacturing capacity.

    (All news reports that reference a vaccine for H5N1 are either bird vaccines, very limited production pre-pandemic vaccines that only protect against current (primarly bird-versions) of H5N1 or the beginning steps of brand new technology that will provide help, if at all, years from now.)

    Bird flu is mainly a problem of birds and a few humans who live/work close to them and their family members.

    Absolutely true, for the moment.  But that's like saying it is not the fall that kills you, its the sudden stop at the end.

    H5N1 is at present, primarily a bird disease that can be contracted by humans under limited circumstances.  So, at the moment, it is a problem of birds - right up to the point it mutates or combines with seasonal flu to become a disease that passes easily and effectively from human to human (like the seasonal flu.)  Then it suddenly becomes a problem for humans - a big problem for all humanity - and by then it is way too late to do much of anything to plan or prepare.  

    While it does not appear that H5N1 has made that full jump in the recent cluster of cases in Pakistan, the threat to assess for your family and community is in this question: What if it had been?

    Think of the constitution as a levy. Think of our democracy as New Orleans.

    by Into The Woods on Mon Dec 17, 2007 at 11:34:16 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site