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NEWS: Avian Flu As A Possible Pandemic And Resulting Vaccine

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posted on Feb, 26 2005 @ 07:10 AM
Due to the rapid spread of the strain of the Avian Flu that humans can catch in the same general area as the last pandemic, various governments are initiating plans to keep the risk of infection minimalized in their countries. (Pandemic means a worldwide epidemic.) So far, 8 Asian countries (Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam) have infected poultry, with 45 human deaths among people who caught the illness (Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam (ref: supporting link 2), a strain of flu known as H5N1. In each case, the humans infected caught the strain directly from poultry on their own property. There is no evidence of this strain having mutated to a disease spread solely by humans. Until it does, a pandemic is unlikely. As of yet, the US is only beginning to test its vaccination, so there is no assurance that it will work. Europe (Flupan) is just starting to make their vaccine for the Avian flu.
US ready to test bird flu vaccine
24/02/2005 - 07:48:22

The US government is getting ready to test a bird flu vaccine and stockpiling both vaccine and antiviral drugs as the threat grows that a deadly strain of Avian influenza will begin spreading from Asia.

Two million doses of vaccine are being stored in bulk form for possible emergency use and to test whether it maintains its potency, officials said yesterday.

United Nations officials warned that the Asian bird flu outbreak poses the “gravest possible danger” of becoming a global pandemic.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I have been saying for quite a while that we are long overdue another pandemic. We had the Spanish Flu in1918-1919 (half the dead were young and healthy before the flu hit and is the closest pandemic strain to the Avian Flu (ref: supporting link 2)), Asian Flu in 1957-1958, Hong Kong Flu in 1968-1969, and now the potential for the Avian flu. Again, there is no guarantee that the precaution measures will work, at all. This is just a bunch of hope based on a fairly realistic fear.

As of right now, the best contingency plan is Canada's, as it has been in place since the SARS scare. The plan estimates that a fourth of the population will contract the disease: 14,000 deaths, 46,000 hospitalizations, and about 3 million contracting the disease. The US is copying the plan (ref: supporting link 3). While it is a relief to see governments moving on aide, as soon as they can, it may not be enough.... but then this could just be another SARS or Ebola scare, and this strain will stay mainly in Asia. This reaction was a bit late from these governments, in reference to aide for the already infected countries, and there are still countries that are doing nothing to prepare. It's also finally been proven that ducks do carry the disease, but do not have any noticeable symptoms (ref: supporting link 4). If they are just carriers, I suspect an Avian Flu vaccine may be derived from them.

Another Avian virus that so many were worried about some time back is West Nile Virus. It is in this country, especially in the New Orleans area, and it does spread to humans. Out of the majority of the humans diagnosed with it, around 75% of them die (perhaps many are not diagnosed until it's too late). The reason you do not hear about it is because so few people noticeably catch it. Yet it's left its country of origin and is lose in a densely populated area. If the West Nile Virus can make it to the US, then so can the Avian Flu. Just be sure to thoroughly cook your fowl.

Related News Links:

Bird flu has potential to kill up to 7 million
Related Discussion Threads:
Flu Epidemic Key to US Military Strategy
Illegals, an epidemic Disease on America

[edit on 26-2-2005 by Banshee]

posted on Feb, 26 2005 @ 08:34 AM
Wow I am so confused. I followed this for a little bit after it first came out on Jan 23. I remember reading that the WHO had confirmed human-to-human transmission. THey had put out a report warning the govts. There were like 48 cases just in 2005 at that time with a mortality rate of over 70%. So when I read this I was confused when it stated there was no confirmation of human to human cases. I was even more confused when I went to look up those documents I had read and they were not there anymore.

Well anyway, I did some reading up on this H5N1. Scary stuff. The bad thing is all it takes is one person who has the flu to contract the bird flu. At that point they know it will mutate to a human-to-human virus. With a mortality rate up to 90%. There is hope though. THey have found that the newer flu drug Tamiflu is very effective in treating it. China has already started their stockpile of it and the US is talking with the makers of Tamiflu so that we too can have a significant stockpile.

[edit on 26-2-2005 by mrsdudara]

posted on Feb, 26 2005 @ 08:44 AM
Believe me, I had enough confusion following much of it too.

They may have claimed that one case was believec to be human to human contamination, but the point of the above webpages was that none are proveable at this point.

The most worrying development was a report last month in the New England Journal of Medicine of the first probable case of one human passing the virus directly on to others - an 11-year-old girl who infected her mother and her aunt (only the aunt survived).
And it doesn't suprise me that a drug research company claims it as fact. Avian flu "passed between humans"
I'm going to go look at the vaccine name.....

I know that the Canadian reference is not planning on stockpiling, but making the vacciens on the go because the flu virus mutates too quickly to keep a big stockpile of what may not work in a month.

[edit on 26-2-2005 by jlc163]

posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 05:55 PM
The US is stock piling one of the smallest amounts of the vaccine.

To prepare for such an event, the federal government has already purchased two million doses of a vaccine made from a bird flu virus taken from a man who died in Vietnam. Tests haven't yet begun to determine whether it is safe or effective.

"If you wait for that, you are so far behind the eight ball it would be almost impossible to catch up," says Fauci.

Others point out that even 2 million doses is a fraction of what might be needed. And vaccine manufacturers, which have had plenty of problems of their own in the past year, would have trouble meeting the real demand.

"We've got a long ways to go yet to be able to even cover our population in a timely manner, let alone the rest of the world," says Osterholm.

As additional preparation, the United States has stockpiled about 2.3 million doses of antiviral medicine. But other countries have much more: Britain 14 million doses, France 13 million and Canada more than 8 million.

Canada has 4 times as much of the vaccine stockpiled as the US.

And the even scarier part...

Who would get the scarce drugs and vaccine in the event that a flu epidemic spread to the United States? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked a group of ethicists to try to decide.

Where are they going to get these ethicists from? Whats going to be the deciding factor in who gets the vaccine and who doesn't? Age? Income? Political Affiliations?

Two million isn't a very large number, when your facing a possible 70-75% mortality rate.


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