05-21-09, 09:44 AM #1
swine flu: danger or beat up
alot of people around here have been suggesting swine flu is a huge beat up. i had a really intersting lecture today on respitory infections taken by the medical director of the ambulance service who also happens to be the guy in chargd of the pandemic plans if it all goes pear shaped.
anyway a huge section of the lecture was dealing with flu and specifically swine flu. he brought up 3 main points:
1) major pandemics occur every 10-15 years and we are well over due
2) spanish flu was H1N1 just like swine flu
3) during the spanish flu there was a very mild, rapidly spreading epidemic (really it was a small non lethal pandemic) which spread around and people shruged it off. the next year that virus tured into the spanish flu and killed millions without any change to its NH protines.
the important thing about this is that swine flu is following the exact same patten with the extra risk of it in infecting someone who has the more lethal bird flu and teaching it how to spread more rapidly from human to human.
05-21-09, 11:46 AM #2
My medical friends say that this form of flu is relatively mild, and that "regular" flu kills about 4000 people a year from related complications -- that's just to give some perspective on the actual deadliness of swine flu.
Some other "enlightened" friends say that this whole media blitz about this is basically orchestrated by drug companies so they can sell us more pills.
Will I take extra precautions against it? No. Will I cover my mouth if I see someone sneezing in the subway next to me? Prolly yes. My general attitude as an Idontgiveafucker (tm), is that it's good to be exposed to bugs/viruses etc., so your body develops natural immunity to it. So overall I don't REALLY care about this so-called pandemic.
05-21-09, 12:19 PM #3
Mild can paradoxically mean more deadly. If you aren't incapacitated rapidly by the virus, you will tend to spread it around more.
05-21-09, 12:29 PM #4
If you spread it and it does not incapacitate you, so what's the big danger?
05-21-09, 01:02 PM #5
Because the effects on some people may still be more severe than the typical flu. Also, it may mutate like the Spanish flu.
05-21-09, 02:09 PM #6
05-21-09, 02:13 PM #7
It an interesting dynamic, more virulent diseases spread more slowly, but milder ones spread faster. I don't know enough to evaluate what's worse.
05-22-09, 02:03 PM #8
I would say it is rather mild as well! Most people in Mexico are very scared though, flew through Mexico City last week and everyone and I mean everyone was wearing a mask (not like they help much).
BTW does anyone know if tamiflu can prevent it? Like if you take it as soon as you feel any sign of flu symptoms? Wanted to stock up on some but no pharmacy locally sells it, where can one buy it?
05-22-09, 07:35 PM #9
acording to the medical director who gave that lecture: no, tamiflu might make it slightly milder, might slow the spred but apart from that its useless and it MUST be taken within 48 hours of becoming symptomatic.
further more its one drug the gov has direct control over because its the stratigic surply.
lastly of course the masks arnt working, they are sugical masks not duckbill masks. there are huge gaps around the side of the mask
05-23-09, 11:04 PM #10
Any virus that kills 200 people in a single country over the space of a few weeks is something worth worrying about.
05-24-09, 01:30 AM #11
05-24-09, 07:58 AM #12
That is typical of the sort of ill-informed nonsense that many people are spouting. That traditional flu (or car accidents or whatever) kill more people than the current swine flu is irrelevant.
Here are the facts.....
We know from history that every 30 or so years there is a major influenza pandemic that kills many people.
In the past century it has been avian flu that has been the biggest pandemic culprit. Here are the biggest avian flu pandemics during the past century:
--- 1918 - Spanish Flu pandemic (caused by an H1N1 virus like the current swine flu) kills more than 40 million.
--- 1957 - Asian flu pandemic kills 100,000 (caused by H2N2 variant).
--- 1968 - Hong Kong pandemic kills 700,000 (caused by H3N2 variant)
These flu viruses are far more infections and far more lethal than any standard human flu virus. They can spread and kill much quicker than any standard human flu.
These flu viruses do not come from the normal pool of human flu viruses; they come from animal influenza viruses (typically birds and pigs, but other animals also). How they gain the ability to infect humans can vary. Sometimes they gain the ability through random mutation, other times through hybridization with an existing human flu virus.
Because they have never previously been seen by the human immune system means they have a high virulence. Unlike standard flu viruses which are only a serious danger to the very old and very young, these swine/avian pandemic flu viruses are most lethal to middle aged healthy people. This is because they use they immune response against the person. The healthier the immune system of the infected person, the more lethal they are.
Flu vaccines to standard human strains will not confer immunity to new animal flu pandemic strains when they arise.
Epidemiologists consider that the world is overdue for a major animal flu pandemic, hence the concern over the recent avian flu scare in Asia.
So, when a never-before encountered swine flu emerged in Mexico with the same HN type as the Spanish Flu and with the ability to infect humans and be transmitted from human to human, it was essential that large scale world-wide flu pandemic protocols were activated. It was critical that precautions were put in place in case this new swine flu was “the big one”.
Fortunately, this has turned out not to be the case. But this does not render the precautions that were activated as unnecessary and these precautions do not constitute an overreaction, especially as there is a chance the swine flu will further change to become more virulent. I'd bet real $$$ that the same uneducated fools who are whining about how the swine flu is a giant beat-up and overreaction would be exactly the same people whining about how the authorities didn’t do enough to combat the virus if it turned out to be a large-scale killer.
05-24-09, 10:05 AM #13
HR one further point the killer spanish flu was precided 1 year before by a N1H1 mild pandemic with a low mortality rate. the next year a very slight mutation to that virus turned it from a mild inconveniance to the disease which spread around the world in a few months and wiped out millions. now that was because of all the young men coming back from being huddled together in the trenches. thats not nessary now because of planes and shoppinf centers and football games. the moden world has given rapidly moving viruses all they need. that 48 hours where your infectious but not symptomatic is enough now to be across the world at a football game with thousands of people.
i suggest everyone look at the epidemological maps of SARS.
05-24-09, 03:18 PM #14
The problem will start next winter flu season in the Northern Hemisphere. That is what experts say...
05-24-09, 08:01 PM #15
http://www.accessrx.com/tamiflu.htm and although I do not buy much online I could not find it anywhere else even walgreens and based on this site http://www.edguider.com/ed_pharmacie...rmacies/0.html they have a 4 star rating a a few good reviews.
I guess I am a hypochondriac but I cannot help it, have to prepare myself and my family.
05-24-09, 08:10 PM #16
Yes, good points Asguard. I forgot to mention that today’s rapid international travel is precisely why worldwide pandemic preparations needed to be activated quickly. And the conversion of mild animal flu viruses into pandemic killers capable of killing 100,000’s of healthy people within a year (a la the Spanish Flu) is also precisely why stringent precautions and controls need to be implemented even though the current swine flu seems quite mild. Once a swine flu or avian flu manages to infect humans, the chances that it will hybridize with a common human flu strain increases greatly.
I’ve been reading through journals like Science and Nature that are covering the swine flu response in great scientific detail. In contrast to the know-it-alls in the media and in every supermarket, the opinion from the actual scientists involved and experts in the field is that there is great concern that the response was too slow and not rigorous enough.
And all this despite the fact that currently (and hopefully permanently) the 2009 H1N1 swine flu symptoms are less severe than most normal human flu strains.
Last edited by Hercules Rockefeller; 05-24-09 at 09:17 PM.
05-24-09, 09:32 PM #17
i agree with them, i was watching australia's responce and to be honest i was shocked at how little the goverment was willing to do. Only yesterday was it anounced that children returning from high risk countries will be required to stay home for 6 days as a manditory quarentine even if not symptomatic. yet there parents are STILL free to go where ever they like including football games with 80,000 people. This was exactly what happened recently in victoria where a person infected with swine flu went to an AFL game probably the MCG with 75,000 people in attendence. That is IMPOSSABLE for the health department to track and contain.
The scanners were only put in weeks after the outbreak started into the airports and they wont tell you if a person is infectous if they are in the 48 hour window.
We could have prevented the spread but we had to be willing to pay the price, ie shut down ALL airports in all countries, limit travel between states when a case is detected and strict quarentiene for 1 week. If this was done world wide with such a short incubation period we would have been able to contain the disease but no goverment (let alone them all) is prepared to do this even if it means stopping a viralient form of something like ebola (which oviously this isnt but thats the worst case senario)
05-24-09, 10:10 PM #18
05-24-09, 10:14 PM #19
not nessarly, (and i didnt mean ebola itself i was using it to make a point, ie a highly virilent virus with a high mortality rate, SARS would also have been a good example as it had a 50 % mortality rate). If we could close the boarders and keep people home for the incubation period plus some (maybe 2 incubation periods) then we could contain ANY virus but you have to be WILLING to take that pain
05-25-09, 12:00 PM #20
We need to start designing organic protein particles that the virus would think for host and latch on to them that can be safely removed by body excretion....just a thought...
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