Skip to main content

Combining two favorite topics of mine (bird flu and polling), here's a bird flu poll, courtesy of Harvard School of Public Health. Some of the interesting findings:

More than half of Americans (57%) report that they are concerned about the potential spread of bird flu in the United States (Figures available here in .ppt). However, only 15% are very concerned at the moment. A higher proportion of African Americans report that they are concerned about this than whites (70% versus 54%). Similarly, the majority of Americans are not currently concerned that they or a family member will get avian flu within the next twelve months; only one in five (21%) people are worried about this possibility. Six in ten people are concerned about a pandemic outbreak of avian flu, that is, an outbreak in many countries (62%), but only 20% are very concerned. In addition, the American public does not believe avian flu will ultimately spread widely among wild birds (only 28% think so), poultry (24%), or humans in the United States (14%) in the next 12 months.

If the U.S. were to experience human cases of the avian flu virus currently circulating in Asia, there would be significant public reaction. If such cases were to occur in their state, most people said that they would reduce or avoid travel (75%), avoid public events (71%), try to get a prescription for Tamiflu or other antiviral drugs (68%), and stay at home and keep their children at home while the outbreak lasted (68%).

"If the public were to respond this way to human cases in their state, it would likely slow the spread of the disease, but it would also have major impact on the state's economy and health care system," said Robert J. Blendon, Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis at HSPH. "Because of this, it is important to prepare for a prompt and effective public health response."

Buried within the survey is the observation that 80% of respondents' info came from television, 11% from non-governmental websites (like Flu Wiki) and only 5% from govt. sites (q. 8). And that the CDC is far more trusted (by 73%) than DHS (by 32%) of poll responders (q. 40).

Meanwhile, H5N1 is becoming endemic in Europe. This means that the poultry may be exposed again and again to the virus, as has already happened in Hong Kong. The longer term approach may be a better vaccine for poultry and humans; short term, culling and other methods must be used. But senior flu researcher Robert Webster in this paper warns against killing migratory birds:

Although culling domestic poultry to contain the spread of highly pathogenic H5N1 virus is considered an acceptable agricultural practice, culling migratory birds is not acceptable to any international authority (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO], the World Organization for Animal Health [OIE], the World Health Organization [WHO]). The idea of culling migratory birds must be strongly discouraged, for it could have unknown ecologic consequences.

Instead, since highly pathogenic H5N1 has been demonstrated in migratory birds, the poultry industries of the world must adapt measures such as increased biosecurity (Figure 1), the use of vaccines, or both.

And Webster also makes a strong case for flu prep:

We cannot afford simply to hope that human-to-human spread of H5N1 will not happen and that, if it does, the pathogenicity of the virus will attenuate. Notably, the precursor of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-associated coronavirus (31) repeatedly crossed species barriers, probably for many years, before it finally acquired the capacity for human-to-human transmission, and its pathogenicity to humans was not attenuated. We cannot wait and allow nature to take its course. SARS was interrupted by early case detection and isolation, but influenza is transmissible early in the course of the disease and cannot be controlled by similar means. Just 1 year before the catastrophic tsunami of December 2004, Asian leaders rejected a proposed tsunami warning system for the Indian Ocean because it was too expensive and the risk was too remote. This mistake must not be repeated in relation to an H5N1 avian influenza pandemic. We must use this window of opportunity to prepare and to begin prepandemic implementation of prevention and control measures. 1

Waiting until the virus hits is way too late to prepare. The suggestion is for small business and individuals alike:

"Take incremental steps and build on that."

That's sound advice that will serve you in an earthquake, ice storm, or flu pandemic. And with luck, your preparation will never be needed.

How Academic Flap Hurt World Effort On Chinese Bird Flu

And if you think DC or primary politics are vicious, stay out of the way of academic politics (WSJ, search for Nicholas Zamiska):

China's efforts to maintain control over samples of avian flu taken on its soil, as well as the research done on them, have put it at odds with international health officials trying to defeat the disease.

The standoff pits a high-ranking veterinarian in China's Ministry of Agriculture named Jia Youling against international health authorities leading the fight against bird flu. Their conflict surfaced after wild birds began dying by the thousands last spring in a remote region of western China. At the ministry's headquarters in Beijing, officials from the World Health Organization and the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization asked Dr. Jia to share with them the samples of bird flu that scientists under his ministry had collected from the birds.

He didn't provide them. Instead, Dr. Jia -- a professorial-looking 58-year-old who had risen steadily through the ministry's ranks since he joined it in 1979 -- began to talk about a recent research paper he had noticed on avian flu. According to Julie Hall, the WHO's top communicable-disease expert in Beijing and a participant at the meeting, he had a complaint: Months earlier, a team led by American scientists published a paper in an academic journal using China's samples, but without crediting or consulting their Chinese counterparts. The occasion, Dr. Hall says, "was used to express their deeper concern about ensuring that Chinese scientists were duly recognized." Dr. Jia declined to comment, saying, "I don't want to mention those things because they are all in the past."

All in the past, but samples have been tough to get from the Chinese ever since. Note that the lab in question is also Dr. Webster's, who ably defends himself later in the article (the man is in the middle of everything flu). But just as with HIV and the French vs the US, international prestige trumps saving lives, apparently. Was it Stephen Colbert who said about the Olympics, "It's not about winning... it's about rubbing it in"?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 04:07 AM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  It'll (none)
    be funny, in a retarded kid getting hit by an special ed bus kinda way, if and when this shit hits, to ehar the BushCo excure industry crank up the volume. "No one could have predicted ..."

    Read UTI, your free thought forum

    by DarkSyde on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 04:16:31 AM PST

    •  that sad thing is that Chertoff still thinks (4.00)
      he's in charge of pandemic prep.

      "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 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 04:24:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Could your comment have been any more (none)
      offensive?

      Economic Left/Right: -6.63 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.85 That makes me more Gandhi than Stalin

      by TomDuncombe on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 04:41:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sorry (none)
        Tom. You're right, that was a pretty stupid thing to post, especially right off the bat like that. I can only beg mercy and say that in my defense, after spending all night writing and researching how science is being manipulated and people are put in danger in a heartbeat by this Admin, the end result come morning is a rather brusque, fatalistic sense of gallows humor. The idea there is that a kid being hit by a bus isn't funny, and neither is BushCo making a bullshit excuse after a bunch more people die from their ineptitude, except in the most tragic, Sam Kinnison kinda twisted way.

        Read UTI, your free thought forum

        by DarkSyde on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 05:08:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Just What Were You Thinking? (none)
      funny, in a retarded kid getting hit by an special ed bus kinda way

      If you request zeros to hide this, I'll gladly give you one.

      This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

      by Mr X on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 05:10:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  meanwhile... (4.00)

    "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 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 04:30:52 AM PST

  •  Incremental steps for all of us (none)
    Waiting until the virus hits is way too late to prepare. The suggestion is for small business and individuals alike:

    "Take incremental steps and build on that."

    That's sound advice that will serve you in an earthquake, ice storm, or flu pandemic. And with luck, your preparation will never be needed.

    DemFromCT, thank you for bringing this information to us in such an easily understood way.  The Bird Flu issues are so complex but your diaries on the subject make me feel like I've got a tiny grip on it.

    I like bit I've quoted here because I've been thinking about the incremental adjustments that I can make.  

    Not that I've thought of anything in particular that I can do.  But, I'm thinking.  And that's a start, I guess.

    Eat 4 Today: Just today I'm not going to take seconds & not eating between meals

    by katiebird on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 04:34:58 AM PST

    •  People used to dismiss this topic (none)
      but the poll shows that anyone who does is now in the minority and shrinking fast.

      There's no need for panic, but ejumication is always relevant.

      "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 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 04:49:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cotton Gloves and Masks (none)
        And I work it a public library -- and we get everything going through town.  So I've been thinking about ways to minimize our contact with viruses of all sorts.  

        I know that when the SARS thing broke out Masks became pretty popular in the affected cities.

        Do you know: were they effective?  And is it more effecitive for the sick person to wear a mask, or the well?  Or both?

        And would gloves help?  Something like cheap archivist gloves that you could buy by the bushel and wash a couple of times?  You'd want to switch them off pretty often through the day. . .

        But, would it only give the illusion of protection?  I just know that a lot of viruses are spread through hand contact.  And I'm wondering if there are ways we can protect ourselves and our families.

        Eat 4 Today: Just today I'm not going to take seconds & not eating between meals

        by katiebird on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 05:12:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  all good questions (none)
          no good answers. Masks were vwerry commonly used in SARS. The stig=ma of wearing a mask when sick was conquered by edit in Singapore: no mask, no access to mass transit. Everyone then wore one.

          It kept your fingers out of your nose. Whether it otherwise worked is an open question. More here.

          "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 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 05:15:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is as good a place as any for this comment (4.00)
            My father doesn't shake hands with people anymore.  If forced to he has a way of shaking arms, not the hands.  It's funny to see the reactions of people.

            They look startled at first, then grateful.

            Eat 4 Today: Just today I'm not going to take seconds & not eating between meals

            by katiebird on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 05:24:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  masks (none)
          I did substantive research on the mask question a few days ago.  My family is doing the stock-up recommended by the dept of Health & Human Services.  I'll post more about that if anybody wants to read it.

          Masks:  Ordinary surgical masks are designed to keep the doctor's/nurses/s germs off the patient, especially out of an exposed surgical wound.  They do little, if anything, to keep microbes from entering the lungs of the wearer.  The reason is that an exhale is an focused stream of air, but an inhale draws air through the path of least resistance.  If you are wearing a mask that isn't sealed (as surgical masks aren't) the air comes in from around the sides of the mask and no filtering takes place.

          If you want to keep OUT the microbes you need a mask with a tight seal.  The test suggested was put on the mask, adjust it, put your hand over the breathing hole, and breathe in.  If you can't get any air, you've got a tight seal.  Apparently the only masks that are good for this are the ones sold to protect workers in chemical plants and the like.

          The reason EVERYBODY wore them during SARs in East Asia, is that the governments realized that if they only required people who were sick or who had been exposed, which is the only population who's mask makes any difference, no one would wear them, because of the stigma.  So they required everyone to wear one.  If you wanted to get on the subway or a bus, for example, you have to have on a mask.

          The bottom line on the mask:  Surgical masks protect others, Darth Vader-types of masks protect you.

        •  Frequent hand washing (none)
          Is supposed to help, also learning to cough into ypur elbow not your hands, which can then spread germs.  

          What about all the new alcohol-based and other products that you squeeze or your hands and rub for when you can't wash hands immediately, say after entering and leaving a facility with crowds?

          "False language, evil in itself, infects the soul with evil." ----Socrates

          by Mimikatz on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 08:55:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  they're very good (none)
            but should be used no more than 3 times, then soap.

            "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 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 09:56:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  soap AND water (none)
              The soap brings the microbes to the surface of your skin.  The water is necessary to wash them down the drain. If you don't have water, don't use soap.

              The gov'mint reminds us that we may be without public services (such as running water) so stockpile water for washing as well as drinking.

              Washing water can be stored in clean bottles and stuck in your freezer until, well, hell freezes over, or we get a pandemic, whichever comes first.

              •  soap without water (none)
                is cookies without milk. Yeah, you can do it, but what's the point?

                "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 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 12:23:42 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  DemFromDC (none)
                  I'm sorry if I'm bugging you, but not everybody knows that.  I mean, it was news to me when I learned in chemistry that you're doing more harm than good if you rub your hands with soap and can't rinse them.  I had always assumed soap and a wipe was better than nothing, but learned it's not.  I'' go away quietly now.
                  •  DC?? Thank you kindly, I hail from CT (none)
                    but in any case, soap makes you slimy and most people don't feel clean just using soap. ;-)

                    "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 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 01:49:01 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

    •  One incremental step (4.00)
      is to stockpile several weeks of food, supplies (T.P., paper towels, prescription drugs, etc) in case you get into a quarantine situation. Or just don't want to risk going to work/school/the grocery with empty shelves.

      Frankly, I haven't done this yet, but it does make sense to me to attempt something like this. Go a little Mormon, so to speak.

      Keep the propane tank full for the gas grill.

      Buy soapless hand sanitizer.

      Stockpile pet food as well, if you have pets.

      Have some amount of gasoline at home, not just what is in the car tank.

      Maybe some of the gulf coast people who are surviving the aftermath of Katrina could weigh in on what they think is important to cache.

      •  plenty of info on that (none)
        here.

        "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 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 05:22:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  lol, you should see... (none)
        ... our back room, a.k.a. "The Bunker".

        Although, being in Europe, we can't stockpile ammo and guns, heh.

        But seriously, we've been buying as much survival stuff as we can carry every time we go to the grocery store.

        We figure that the panic ensuing from the discovery of one dead swan on a canal here in Amsterdam will wipe out the stores, so we're going to be as ready as possible.

        And if it doesn't happen, we'll save the supplies for any other emergency.  It's always good to be prepared.

      •  survival supplies (none)
        The difference between flu prep and hurricane prep is that hurricanes knock out electrical service right away and it takes days to weeks for repair crews to get it restored.  For normal hurricane prep you want food that can keep without refrigeration -and- doesn't need cooking (pop tarts, granola bars, peanut butter, graham crackers, etc.)  Even if you're cooking on the grill you don't have hot water to wash up.

        I'd hate to think a flu epidemic would knock out power.  If you're stockpiling specifically for a flu epidemic you could choose more food that requires cooking.  If you have a freezer you can stockpile some perishables like milk and bread.

        Just don't waste your money by stockpiling a lot of food that you don't like.  Ideally you'd want to use food out of the stockpile on a regular basis and then replenish it when you go grocery shopping.

        IMO, it's a good idea to stockpile gasoline if you have a place to store it.  As long as the oil companies can get away with their disaster profiteering, any disaster will cause shortages and a spike in prices.  Just don't forget to use the gas you've stored within the year.  

        If you're considering this, go ahead and buy your gas cans now.  They disappear from the shelves really fast.  You can fill them when the prices start to rise.

        Offended by the Swiftboating of Coretta Scott King? Join the NAACP.

        by sagra on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 11:32:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  electricity (none)
          We are warned that we may be without electricity, water, public transportation, and school.

          If a community has planned ahead for the flu, and has gear for the people running the water treatment plants the power plants, it might not be a problem.

          But generally people are not going to want to leave their homes, or aren't going to be able to, so you should at least prepare for not having water and electricity.  Buy foods you don't have to cook.

          In case it doesn't come, buy foods that you do use, so you can do a first in, first out inventory management.  That way if a pandemic takes two more years to happen, you're not faced with a shelf of expired products.

          •  Also stock (none)
            basic medicine for easing flu symptoms. We don't know how severe this could get, or if the health care system will get overwhelmed, but the general recommendation is to have supplies on-hand of:
            Anti-diarrheal medicine
            Fever reducers like Tylenol
            Gatorade, Pedialyte or other drinks with electrolytes
            A thermometer (so you'll know if someone really needs to get to a hospital)

            I would also guess a good supply of books, DVDs and crossword puzzles would help.  One of the biggest problems during the SARS quarantines was that people just got bored and stir-crazy and broke quarantine when they couldn't take it anymore. Sad, but true.

        •  STABIL (none)
          If you're storing gas, and not cycling it through on a regular basis, you'll want to get fuel stabilizer.  Anyplace that sells snowblowers, mowers, etc. should have it.  One brand is Stabil.  It's not as much of a big deal if it's for a car, but for a generator or other appliance, it's a good idea.  The explanation I got, which was from a guy who works with small engines for fire/rescue equipment, was that gas starts to 'go bad' in the presence of O2 within a couple of weeks.  Basically it'll gunk up your engine pretty quickly if it's allowed to sit too long.  Even with the stabilizer, you should cycle fuel through your stash just as you would food.  

          history shows..that the party with the tough primary usually wins Bob Casey, Jr

          by Austin in PA on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 01:45:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  how long? (none)
        I dug deeeeep into the CDC's site to figure out how long was long enough.  Eventually I found the information (which I did not save the link to, sorry) that while the nation is expected to be affected for 18-24 months, each community will probably be in disaster mode for 6-8 weeks.  At the end of 8 weeks, the worst should be over for your town.  So store enough for 8 weeks.
  •  Health care will grind to a screeching halt (4.00)
    I've been thinking about this. Not only would pandemic flu paralyze our health care system at the bottom, through just plain overcrowding of health care facilities with patients . . . but think about the importance of paperwork processing to receiving any health care in this country.

    Unless hospitals and doctors' offices decided to start ignoring their bottom lines in the name of mercy and compassion, a lot of people who came for health care would be SOL just due to the number of people in health care administration elsewhere in the system who were brought low by the flu themselves.

    Economic Left/Right: -6.63 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.85 That makes me more Gandhi than Stalin

    by TomDuncombe on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 04:47:39 AM PST

  •  Much ado... (none)
    about the inevitable.

    Humans are setting up for wide-scale pandemic.  It doesn't have to come in the form of bird-flu, but it will happen.  Vaccinations and culling the carriers only postpone the inevitability of a killer disease mutating from existing strains.  Stronger resistance to anti-biotics is a fact.  Vaccine immunity is a fact as well.

    The way we manipulate the natural order via vaccines and anti-biotics means that our species must increasingly rely on these vaccines and anti-biotics.  This is bad for our future as a species since we're breeding out natural immunities.  We're setting up for an eventual and major death-toll by avoiding individual deaths now.

    •  Eh... (none)
      You do know, that there were epidemic diseases with huge death tolls even before vaccinations and antibiotics existed, do you? Like.. well, lets say influenza? Or Black Death, or any plague? Or smallpox? Natural immunities did not help people much then. And on top of that, people kept dying of diseases nowadays easily cured by antibiotics, or prevented by vaccination.
      •  stop that (none)
        just lay down and die like you're supposed to.

        "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 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 05:10:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  So you're saying... (none)
        that people who survive plagues won't pass on their genes to the next generation?  Basically that no one was able to recover from these onslaughts... The fact that we're typing this right now proves that there are subtle genetic differences in people that allow them immunity and resistance to diseases.  What we're doing is postponing the inevitable - there will be a culling of something, but it won't be birds.

        Overuse and dependance on medicine is weakening the human race, not strengthening.  From an evolutionary standpoint we are breeding weaker and weaker offspring because the natural afflictions are not allowed to inflict their damage.  That's the idea behind natural selection - that those individuals capable of surviving naturally pass those genes on.  

        I would much rather have evolutionary dead ends wiped out than to see natural immunities wiped out via interbreeding, that's setting up for disaster and hypothetically extinction.  Long-term use of vaccines and anti-biotics is detrimental to us.  We should give it up.  That's all I'm saying here.

        •  whiule there's truth in some of this (4.00)
          (routinely feeding antibiotics to animals, etc), I suspect much of this is extreme thinking not likely to be adopted. Giving up childhood vaccines is not going to happen. Eradicating polio and smapplox is agood thing.

          Learn to adapt to the modern world, or you'll be the evolutionary dead end, my frined.

          "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 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 05:37:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Farm management (none)
    How much of the bird flu is influence by modern mega-farming techniques?

    I'm not too edumacated about farming, but it seems like packing together a bunch of over-bred chickens pumped full of medicine with no evolutionary controls for healthy immune systems is a practical way to breed all manner of viri. Add the regular exposure to people and now you have a factory for species-jumping virii.

    •  the great debate (none)
      Wendy Orent says that's the culprit. Actually, latest research (see Webster paper cited in article) implicates Chinese 'bad vaccines' for selecting killer strains.

      However, remember that in 1918 and in previous centuries there were pandemics before there were factory farms.

      "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 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 05:12:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  nice take on the virus sharing (none)
    here by the reveres.

    "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 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 05:22:11 AM PST

  •  more flu stories (4.00)
    older news, but still of interest, imo.

    weather forecast

    The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

    by Cedwyn on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 05:38:15 AM PST

  •  Epidemic Distrust (none)
    The importance of this diary to me is the repetition of the theme that people do not trust the current government. We don't trust their response to disasters, we don't trust their assurances about port security, we don't trust their reasoning for waging war in Iraq, we don't trust them for much of anything. Why would we begin to believe them or the so-quick-to-hysterical major news outlets that function as their mouthpieces??

    This corrupt government is a TOTAL MAN-MADE DISASTER waiting to glom on to the next natural disaster. Bush and his team can't even handle the simple everyday shit. In a panic or pressure situation OUR government will muddle through at best, or they will perform like they did with Katrina. They will exacerbate the problems, cause suffering, AND glorify whatever tiny news-piece sized examples of success that they can find.

    Bush and Cheney are basically unfit for office and we will be lucky as a nation if we can survive their 8-year stint and the lasting effects of their foul legacy.

    •  ..and v. interesting that African American's rate (4.00)
      much HIGHER in concern in this poll about the possibility of pandemic.

      "A higher proportion of African Americans report that they are concerned about this than whites (70% versus 54%).

      That is a pretty big margin of difference. African-Americans saw what happened (and is continuing to happen) with Katrina, saw the Oprah tape with the faces that all look like grandmas and grandpas and beloved aunts, and this has left a deep impression and awareness. Republicans take note.

      Or better yet: continue to NOT take note.

  •  36000 (none)
    36000 people in the US wil die from the regular flu this year (CDC).  80 people have died from the bird flu worldwide.  This bird flu thing is the biggest load of fear mongering doo doo going today !
    •  these diaries always attract people (none)
      who can neither read nor think.

      Stink tank is a regualar on all accounts, who shows up with the same comment in all the flu diaries.

      Doesn't matter how much data or new information is provided. Doesn't amtter what either in the news or the literature. Doesn't matter how calmly you discuss the issue.

      Closed minded people who have already made up their mind are uneducable.

      "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 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 07:02:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some of this is understandable... (none)
        Every few years we do seem to get bombarded by the media with  the next "major killer." If the media would do their job and report balanced articles, without the excessive, IMO, fearmongering, this attitude would not be so prevelent.
        •  actually the poll suggests it's not very prevelant (none)
          at all. Most of the attitudes expressed there are quite reasonable, and very different than our pal Septic Tank.

          see also H5N1: The Risk Communication Dilemma, which i wrote since last we spoke. ;-)

          "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 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 07:46:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Of course I would not include you in this... (none)
            Assessment...and I was really thinking of it as a more world wide phenomenon. Type in "Bird Flu" on google and hit the News link. Alarmist story after alarmist story, followed by stories of local panic, followed by the realization that the outbreak was not as bad as first reported, followed by stories of new apathy. Bipolar coverage is going to lead to bipolar reaction.

            I haven't been on Kos as consistently as I used to. Have you published a diary entry highlighting the views of those who do not believe this will go pandemic - including those you mentioned in the article you linked, plus others I could suggest?

            btw I do not agree with Sandman that it is necessary to induce a panic in people to get them to act in this situation.

            •  Sandman's thesis is being proven (none)
              in real life, both internationally and in the US. But yes, I have highlighted the skeptics as part of many of my diaries, including Ewald, Siegel, Butcher and Orent.

              They all, however, agree with prepping. They just disagree about the h5N1 virus being the 'Big One'.

              "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 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 08:14:44 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks... (none)
                I do agree that prepping is definitely warranted. As you have pointed out before, the economic harm to some of these countries whose poultry industries are being decimated is reason enough. Not to mention the poor who are being affected. Another reason for balanced media coverage!

                I think we are in danger of inducing panic far in excess of what is required. This could lead to an apathetic backlash. But you know, reaction is going to be different among those paying attention to this, and those only having a passing interest. I see the disparity in coverage with what is actually happening and it really ticks me off. But I suspect most people are not paying as close attention to it as I am.

  •  Chicken Choking (none)
      Somewhere I heard that most of these people that are getting sick actually live with their chickens.  I guess the nuns were right, you'll get sick if you choke your chicken too much.
  •  Flu... (none)
    Does anyone know if this flu is transmitted through bird excrement? I live in Germany and this afternoon I smelled the unmistakable odor of chicken shiesse, I assume being used on the farm fields. I also wondered if it might contaminate our drinking water, all the identified infected birds have been water fowl.
  •  I've Visited the Flu Wiki (none)
    There's a lot of really useful information there. But the discussion boards seem dominated by a fairly rural, conservative, home schoolin', Wal-Mart lovin' group.  I know you try to keep it politically neutral as it should be, but I feel a bit out of place with that crowd. Somebody was repeating Ann Coulter's talking points (re Joe McCarthy) the other day. It was a bit weird. Now I just look to the wiki for articles and general information, rather than try to participate in the discussion boards.
    •  that's just April (none)
      she throws that stuff in to see if I'm watching. i give her the Pew polls about ignorant Fox watchers, and we get along fine.

      Interestingly, free republic has flu threads, too. everyone is at risk. It's one of the true non-partisan issues.

      "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 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 07:42:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  In a recent survey of H5N1 viruses... (4.00)
    • 57% say Europeans taste better than Asians.

    • 89% say they are looking forward to sampling Americans.

    "I'm having trouble with my boy." -- George H. W. Bush, 2004

    by Shiborg on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 07:49:38 AM PST

  •  Interesting material (none)
    I wouldn't say this if it weren't a good diary and on the front page. But in Meanwhile, H5N1 is becoming endemic in Europe, you don't mean endemic at all. "Endemic" means "originating in" or some such construction. "Pandemic" isn't a very good word to toss around at this point either, due to the rarity in humans. Sorry to sound pedantic, but precision of terms is a tool too.
  •  Question... (none)
    Is there any solid evidence that migratory birds are primarily responsible for the spread to poultry? I find it very interesting that Australia and the Philippines are still Bird Flu free even though they are along several major migratory flyways. Seems to me that in the Nigeria and India outbreaks, poultry importation is a more likely cause.

    I am also very happy to see Vietnam got through the Tet holiday with no new outbreaks, and are allowing farmers to resume hatching chickens!

    •  no, just the opposite (none)
      migratory birds are an important vector for spread, but smuggling, poultry commerce and other non-migratory spread may be the important route. IOW, there are multiple ways.

      This wsas published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science last week by this same Webster fellow (he really is an expert, and is worth paying attention to).

      "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 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 08:22:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dem, I've been meaning to ask this... (none)
        for awhile now, has anyone looked into insects such a mites or intestinal worms and whether or not they also are a vector of H5n1?

        Fringe is the new black. - Me

        by chillindame on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 01:22:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  mosquitoes, yes (the answers no, by the Canadians (none)
          iirc. As to other crawlies and byters? Dunno, never saw anything.

          "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 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 01:47:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  best resource I've found on the worldwide situatio (none)
    •  yes (none)
      and you can read commentary and dissection at any time in the Forum at Flu wiki, at Current events flu clinic and on the other flu bulletin boards.

      "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 Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 09:58:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site