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Avian Flu World's No. 1 Threat, CDC Head Says!

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posted on Feb, 21 2005 @ 08:11 PM
I don't know about you but this makes me nervous, mankind is overdue for a big one and some say the the 7 years has already started (I do not think so) but this is very spooky nonetheless....

Avian Flu World's No. 1 Threat, CDC Head Says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Avian flu poses the single biggest threat to the world right now and health officials may not yet have all the tools they need to fight it, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday.

Vaccine efforts are still focused on garden-variety influenza, which kills 36,000 Americans every year, and it would be impossible, in case of an avian flu epidemic, to switch gears quickly to make a special avian flu vaccine, CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding said.

"This is a very ominous situation for the globe," Gerberding told a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, calling it the "most important threat that we are facing right now."

"I think we can all recognize a similar pattern probably occurred prior to 1918," she said, referring to the 1918 pandemic of influenza, which also passed from birds to people and killed between 20 million and 40 million people globally.

The H5N1 avian flu, which first appeared in Hong Kong in 1997 and has since popped up twice, is evolving and can jump directly from birds to people, killing an estimated 72 percent of diagnosed victims, Gerberding said. Officials have documented 45 deaths so far from avian flu.

Gerberding said influenza was far more infectious than severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS, which swept out of China in 2003, killing 800 people and causing global concern before it was stopped.

Health experts have also pointed out influenza kills much faster than diseases such as AIDS, taking tens of millions of lives in the space of weeks or months.

The "high season" for the avian flu was just starting in Asia, Gerberding said.

posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 07:33 PM
This is intend scary Ed. I read somewhere today that flu scientists (viral specialists i suppose) have now found cases of bird to cat showing up more frequently and then they started seeing cat to cat jumps of the virus. This means the virus is making quick gains in it's ability to jump species. I imagine it will only be amatter of moths before it makes the final leap from cat to human and then muman to human with relative frequency. Then we are in trouble!

posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 07:44 PM
Indeed it is and how do we fight this? I guess the population control folks will love the outcome unless it affects them.

It is spooky. Thats why there is not much said the CDC is damn spooked about it.

posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 07:46 PM

WASHINGTON - The Earth may be on the brink of a worldwide epidemic from a bird flu virus that may mutate to become as deadly and infectious as viruses that killed millions during three influenza pandemics of the 20th century, a federal health official said Monday.

Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said scientists expect that a flu virus that has swept through chickens and other poultry in Asia will genetically change into a flu that can be transmitted from person to person.

The genes of the avian flu change rapidly, she said, and experts believe it is highly likely that the virus will evolve into a pathogen deadly for humans.

She made the remarks in a plenary lecture at the national meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

[edit on 22-2-2005 by edsinger]

posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 09:11 PM
The problem is WE CAN'T TREAT IT!! The flu shot is just a random selection (though scientifically random) of the most likely candidates to pop up in the NEXT year. So if they are seeing the development of a new strain, as yet unseen, we would not even be able to make an intiviral until a year after it ravages the earth.
I work on a university campus so I am constantly exposed to sick students, and I also have a 20 month old son, so this type of flu creeping up really gives me the willies.
I hope that like SARS, this is being blown out of proportion. Though I am guessing it is not, I have been seeing things about this for months now.

[edit on 22-2-2005 by observer]

posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 10:47 PM
Well the 'quiet' is what gets me, this link is from the CDC so you can see how serious they take it....

I mean come on , a conspiracy board?? Wheres the conspiracy?

posted on Mar, 1 2005 @ 06:59 PM
Its back! Man I sure hope this thing can be contained!

The world is poorly prepared for a future influenza pandemic, with only a dozen countries purchasing significant quantities of antiviral drugs and just 50 with contingency plans on how to cope with such an outbreak.

A Financial Times analysis on the eve of a World Health Organisation meeting on preparing for a pandemic shows widely differing approaches between countries that already have plans, and a sharp divide between richer countries and many poorer nations, creating splits that could hinder efforts to curb disease. The analysis comes as concern rises about the likelihood of a pandemic linked to widespread outbreaks of bird flu in south east Asia, which have killed at least 42 people. The WHO, which meets in Luxembourg on Wednesday with 52 countries from the European region, estimates that up to 8m people could be killed and 30m could be hospitalised. Klaus Stöhr, WHO global influenza co-ordinator, said a dozen countries led by Australia, Canada, France, the US and Sweden had bought strategic stockpiles of the antiviral drug Tamiflu, while Singapore and Thailand have bought smaller amounts. Most of the developing world including other Asian countries on the frontline of the bird flu outbreak is well behind

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