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NEWS: US Medical Care for H5N1 Bird Flu: Your Options

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posted on Mar, 6 2006 @ 03:57 PM
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The US strategy is two-pronged. Some US hospitals now offer luxury accommodations to rival 5 star hotels, in competition with the most luxurious international medical spas. Rich folks in America can pay $200 to $250 a night more for all-new hospital extras like full suites with larger rooms, gourmet meals prepared by a personal chef, bathrooms with Jacuzzi tubs, separate showers, fax machines, Internet access and valet parking. This compares very favorably with $2,116.US per night for a single room in Germany's Brennan Medical Spa, for example. Capitalization for the new US luxury hospital suites appears to rely on the usual combination of corporate tax breaks and hidden subsidies. On the other side of the tracks, ordinary Americans will find emergency medical services in portable or "temporary" facilities built under a no-bid contract awarded to Halliburton subsidiary KBR, the company infamous for cashing in on Katrina and in Iraq.



More and more, hospitals across America are offering swank, hotel-like accommodations to patients who have the money to spend for added comfort and convenience. ...People who stay at the Amenity Suites at Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree, Colo., enjoy larger rooms, dinners prepared by a personal chef, bathrooms with Jacuzzi tubs, separate showers and lavender toiletries. The out-of-pocket cost: $200 a night. ...In Louisville, Ky., Jewish Hospital's Trager Pavilion offers valet parking, gourmet meals and rooms with fax machines and Internet access to patients willing to spend an additional $200 to $250 a night.

Forbes: Healing In The Lap Of Luxury

***

Finding the Money for Luxury Hospital Suites:
Corporate Tax Breaks and Hidden Subsidies


FY 2006 US Budget. Medical Surge Capacity: The Budget includes $70 million to improve emergency health care by allowing the Federal Government to purchase and store deployable medical care units, including medical supplies and equipment that can be delivered to an affected area. ...The Budget also proposes nearly $1.3 billion in investments to bolster hospital preparedness and State and local biodefense preparedness. Included in the total for hospital preparedness is $25 million for a targeted, competitive demonstration program to establish a state-of-the-art emergency care capability in one or more metropolitan areas. These emergency care centers will be designed to meet the demands of a terrorist attack or other incident requiring mass casualty care and containment of infectious agents.

[Q: If only $25 million out of $1.3 billion is going to expand emergency care in city hospitals, where's the other $1.05 billion going?]

The President has laid the foundation for healthy innovation with tax relief that rewards those who create jobs and invest capital in new ideas.

Medicare is financed by two separate trust funds, the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund and the Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund. ...The Administration supports a unified trust fund for Medicare...

[Q: Would this allow funds to be redirected from insurance coverage into construction?]

Since 2001, the Administration will have raised defense spending by more than 40 percent and more than tripled funding for homeland security.

***

The Halliburton Deal: "Temporary" Facilities for Emergency Medical Services

KBR announced today that the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) component has awarded KBR an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contingency contract to support ICE facilities in the event of an emergency. KBR is the engineering and construction subsidiary of Halliburton (NYSE:HAL - News). ...ICE, the largest investigative arm of the DHS, is responsible for identifying and shutting down vulnerabilities in the nation's border, economic, transportation and infrastructure security. ...The contract may also provide ...the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster.

***

...it was announced recently that Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root had been awarded a $385 million dollar contract by Homeland Security to construct detention and processing facilities in the event of a national emergency. ...The language of the preamble to the agreement veils the program with talk of temporary migrant holding centers, but it is made clear that the camps will also be used "as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency."




H5N1 bird flu is spreading rapidly around the world. Over the past few months, more than 35 countries reported confirmed cases, 20 of them new on the list of affected nations. The European Union just issued safety advisories for pets. H5N1 also may be mutating more quickly, and some authorities acknowledge it is endemic in Asia, at least. No country has enough laboratories for routine molecular diagnostic testing, or the doctors and medical facilities needed to handle the expected influx of bird flu patients.




Over the past few months the geographic spread has taken on a new speed, like a snowball going down a hill gaining momentum. Now (28 February, 2006) 35 countries have been hit by the bird flu virus. See The List

[NOTE: Both the USA and Canada have reported H5N1 cases, but neither country is included in this list from Medical News Today. Most related news articles tend to disappear quickly from the Net. Here are a few surviving reports and articles, and links to related ATS threads.]

***

Federal authorities said yesterday they have detected a potentially virulent strain of avian flu among wild ducks in Manitoba and Quebec, but cautioned there is no evidence it is the bug that has killed millions of Asian birds. ..."If you sample enough waterfowl, it would be unusual if you did not find H5," said Dr. David Halvorson of the University of Minnesota, an avian flu expert. ...In fact, researchers in the United States have found H5N1 at least a couple of times in the past, Dr. Halvorson said. ...Flu viruses, even of the same sub-type, tend to be different in the Eastern and Western hemispheres, perhaps because there is little or no intermingling of migratory flocks from East and West, he said.

***

2001: The virus most recently left its footprint in Michigan in 2001, when turkeys routinely tested for avian flu at a processing plant tested positive for antibodies to an H5N1 strain. ...Living samples of an apparently harmless H5N1 virus were also found in 1986 in ducks killed by hunters at a marsh in northern Ohio. ...The strain he found is called A/Mallard/Ohio/184/1986 (H5N1). ...University of Minnesota veterinarian Dr. David Halvorson isolated two harmless strains of H5N1 in "sentinel ducks" in 1981 and 1985.

H5N1 in Michigan
H5N1 in British Columbia and Manitoba

***

H5N1 virus detected in about 20 new countries over the past month alone: European Union announces safety precautions for pets.

***

Masato Tashiro, director of the Department of Viral Diseases and Vaccine Control at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo, warned that cases in which the virus transmitted from birds to humans had begun to rise recently and human-to-human virus transmissions are likely to be seen in the near future. ..."Avian-human transmission happens sporadically, but the number of cases are increasing," Tashiro said, "Flu viruses are constantly undergoing mutations,..."

...an avian flu case needs to be contained within three weeks. After three weeks, the infection will accelerate to the extent that makes it difficult to contain.

***

...a stubborn and deadly strain of bird flu, H5N1, ...has been entrenched in Asia for almost 20 years...

***

A global network of laboratories is urgently needed to detect outbreaks of bird flu, scientists warned on Thursday. ...Researchers have asked the World Health Organization to investigate the possibility of building the labs to avert a pandemic with $1.9 billion funding from developed countries...




In short - we're facing one mother of a crisis. The records show that H5N1 bird flu has been in the USA -and North America- since 1981, at least. Most likely, we already are dealing with low-level outbreaks from various mutant strains. And rest assured, the truly nasty stuff is on its way.

When it gets here, rich Americans will get state-of-the-art medical care in new luxury hospital suites subsidized by your tax dollars. Ordinary Americans will get triage in temporary portable emergency care facilities built by Halliburton - and maybe a few useless shots of Tamiflu.



More Tamiflu Ordered for Federal Stockpile
Report: Tamiflu "Useless" Against H5N1 Bird Flu
The prospect of a bird flu outbreak may be panicking people around the globe, but it's proving to be very good news for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other politically connected investors in Gilead Sciences, the California biotech company that owns the rights to Tamiflu

Feds warn of possible 6 week quarantine.
The CDC's Police State

Bird Flu Update
Bird Flu: Why Worry Now?
Mutated H5N1 Breeds More Effectively in Mammals
2004: H5N1 detected in pigs in China.


Thanks to Nakash: No Bid Halliburton contracts for....concentration camps




[edit on 6-3-2006 by soficrow]





[edit on 6-3-2006 by Thomas Crowne]

[edit on 7-3-2006 by Thomas Crowne]




posted on Mar, 6 2006 @ 04:31 PM
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Excellent post, soficrow!
Way Above. Thanks for keeping us informed.


Originally posted by soficrow
When it gets here, rich Americans will get state-of-the-art medical care in new luxury hospital suites subsidized by your tax dollars. Ordinary Americans will get triage in temporary portable emergency care facilities built by Halliburton - and maybe a few useless shots of Tamiflu.


I know this is true and I won't go anywhere near the death camps called "emergency care facilities". If I get this flu, which I am doing everything I can to prevent, I will medicate myself, and I'd rather die from it in my home before I trust some government run camp with my life. It's just not going to happen.

I think it's important to be prepared for this.



posted on Mar, 6 2006 @ 05:25 PM
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Thanks BH.

"Death camps" is a good description I suspect...

I take it you won't be springing for a luxury hospital suite? Wonder how many ATSers will be turning down that exceptionally good deal...





posted on Mar, 6 2006 @ 05:51 PM
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Wow,
I have little doubt that these "emergency camps" (that we somehow need now, but did fine without for centurys) can be dual use...

Concentration camps, detention centers for immigrants, clinics for the poor, and maybe even housing for UN troops...

The bird flu is a baddy... but biologicals have their own limits... the sicker people get, the less they roam, to make others sick. It is when there are silent carriers that the true doomsday comes to pass...
The bird flu shows every possibility to hide like that...

I am personally worried... but i can tell you... this is one illness, that i doubt i will go to the hospital for, if it hits me...

OJ, the good lord, and lots of positive thinking do as well as anything against a virus...



[edit on 6-3-2006 by LazarusTheLong]



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 07:49 AM
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...unless, of course, we're all rounded up for quarantine in the death camps...

-Forestlady



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 09:24 AM
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They gotta find me first...
Also, I think the first command to go out in pandemic areas will be to "stay home" and if the populace doesn't abide by a martial law order...
then they will round us up...

which makes sense... but sucks anyway...
i really hope it doesn't hit here...
there is no "good" outlook if it does...



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 10:21 AM
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We are only now one step away. This is really getting scary folks..

The world is one step away from a bird flu pandemic that cannot be averted by quarantine or vaccination, a Russian expert said Tuesday.

"One amino-acid replacement in the genome remains to make the virus transferable from human to human," said Dmitry Lvov, the director of a virology research institute at the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences.

en.rian.ru...

I am still trying to find the link that stated about a month ago that we were 2 mutations away. Now we are down to one. Its' bound to find a viable host that is carrying another flu virus to swap with. Then all hell breaks loose.



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 10:50 AM
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It'd be no different in communistic countries; the members of the state get the best, the rest get lines.
The best way to survive the flu is to not get it. preventive maintenance is the key.



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 01:03 PM
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Good time to post "holistic cures"

In case you get hit, and you dont want to go wait in line with the rest of the snifflers...

Tamiflu only works in cases where you are given a 20times dose... (almost same as placebo)
the other options are not better...

My Personal tips (not a doctor, just a student of holistic and alternative treatments)
megadoses of Vitamin C seem to build up the parts of the body that get hit the most...
I have also heard that other countries are saying that SauerKraut seems to help... (dont know, but hey, get some hotdogs just in case)

I am looking into the various home remedies of the Spanish flu outbreak years, and some ancient Chinese possibilities... will post those if I find anything...



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 01:26 PM
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Originally posted by LazarusTheLong
Good time to post "holistic cures"



There is a lot of excellent information on various cures and prevention already in the H5N1 Forum here on ATS. It would be great if there was a centralized area for just those links. Here are some:

Lobelia
Masks
Shopping and Countermeasures
Home Air Filters
Plans

And, of course...

Sauerkraut



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 01:36 PM
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Originally posted by LazarusTheLong
Good time to post "holistic cures"

Tamiflu only works in cases where you are given a 20times dose... (almost same as placebo)
the other options are not better...




Also, Tamiflu needs to be given within 6 hours of symptoms appearing.

Will check my files for natural/holistic treatments too.

...The key is to minimize exposure - a small exposure seems to allow the body to adapt, but a large exposure overwhelms the body's systems.

.



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 02:52 PM
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Budget also proposes nearly $1.3 billion in investments to bolster hospital preparedness and State and local biodefense preparedness. Included in the total for hospital preparedness is $25 million for a targeted, competitive demonstration program to establish a state-of-the-art emergency care capability in one or more metropolitan areas. These emergency care centers will be designed to meet the demands of a terrorist attack or other incident requiring mass casualty care and containment of infectious agents.

[Q: If only $25 million out of $1.3 billion is going to expand emergency care in city hospitals, where's the other $1.05 billion going?]


Isn't 1.3 billions - 25 millions = 1.275 billions?



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 05:43 PM
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Nice post.

As Vitchilo points out the calculation points to a pittance going towards the intended purpose.

I'm also not surprised about the luxury hospital suites. As TC pointed out, it doesn't really matter what kind of government system you have the rich always get a better deal. Especially in a country where being rich means you're better than everyone else, where money is worshiped and the gap between the classes is growing with no end in sight. But some people will still argue that there is no class division in the US :shk: .
.



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 07:05 PM
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As always Soficrow you do excellent research before posting an article; however, I'm at a loss to see the connection between the spreading availability of luxury hospital suites and the rest of the article. The only purpose I can see for including the luxury suites information is to piss people off because they can't afford them.

As for the bird flu, as many have already pointed out, the best defense is prevention. Besides scrupulous cleanliness in your own home and of yourself, simple air filtration masks and ultra-violet lights would seem to be prudent safeguards to take. Strong ultra-violet light will kill viruses and bacteria and you (if you don't use common sense in using it). If you can incorporate an ultra-violet source within the air stream of your HVAC system it could offer substantial protection against viruses. Secondary air filtration systems with ultra-violet light sources are also good (but not as good).



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 07:19 PM
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Yeah Im failing to see the connection to the luxury box appraoch to health care myself. Its always been there mind you especially to the wealthy who can basically move the hospital to thier estate.

250 per night may be more affordable to many but the reality is that these rooms are much fewer than the demand would be in an all out epidemic. In addition, the basic assumption is that the Doctors and nurses will all be at work. Its a full blown outbreak. Most of us will be hunkered down with our families, isolating ourselves as best we can rather that put ourselves and them at risk.

This goes to another point. Alot of these suites are in private, for profit hospitals. I simply refuse to get my healthcare in one of these facilites. You are far far better off in a university based medical center / teaching hospital. The practice tends to be more current and MD coverage is greater.

Astronomer is dead on with the prevention mantra: Handwashing Handwashing Handwashing is the first line of defence.



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 08:20 PM
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astronomer68

I'm at a loss to see the connection between the spreading availability of luxury hospital suites and the rest of the article. The only purpose I can see for including the luxury suites information is to piss people off because they can't afford them.




My concern about the luxury hospital suites has to do with federal budget priorities. ...Capitalization for the new US luxury hospital suites appears to rely on the usual combination of corporate tax breaks and hidden subsidies.

That would be our tax dollars getting siphoned off to help out the needy rich.

So the budget cuts medical/social supports and programs for needy Americans right to ribbons - and redirects the funds to support the wealthy instead?

Did I bring it up just to get people mad? No. I brought it up because it made me absolutely furious.

Think about it. Veterans benefits are cut, school programs, the works - the big plan for bird flu is portable emergency wagons, quarantine and temporary detainment camps - for ordinary Americans. While the federal budget funnels our hard-earned tax dollars into subsidies for luxury hospital suites so wealthy Americans have another option when the poop hits the fan?


.


[edit on 7-3-2006 by soficrow]



posted on Mar, 11 2006 @ 06:13 AM
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Developed in Japan, a new bird flu test identifies H5N1 genetically - in 15 minutes. Current tests take 6 hours in a lab.

Patients must get Tamiflu within 6 hours after symptoms start for the treatment to be effective.

Early indication to detect bird flu possible



A group of Japanese researchers say they've developed a quick and easy way to test for the virus in humans and the birds that carry it. The test ...is especially designed to identify the gene makeup of the potentially deadly bird flu strain. The researchers say their test detects it in both humans and animals in just 15 minutes.

That’s a big upgrade from current tests, which take six hours to test for the virus.




posted on Mar, 11 2006 @ 06:56 AM
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Recent reports say bird flu will hit North America within a few months to a year. Found a good overview of bird flu in the Toronto Star.

Bird flu targeting the young



With the World Health Organization set to announce the 100th death from bird flu any day now, data compiled by the Toronto Star lead to one particularly compelling question: Why does the H5N1 virus attack the young? ...The Star's analysis shows that all but six of the 97 people who have died globally so far from bird flu were under 40. ...People, in other words, with the strongest immune systems and not, as one might expect, the elderly and those already sick. The median age was 19, and a quarter of them were under age 12. ...Children, teenagers and young adults are the unfortunate victims of the deadly H5N1 bird flu sweeping through poultry farms in Asia, Africa and now Europe.

Hooked up to breathing tubes and dialysis machines in local hospital beds, bodies soaked in sweat, and blood oozing from their nostrils and mouth, they have a mere 50 per cent chance of pulling through. The rest die in a matter of days.

Although human cases are uncommon, it is now apparent the H5N1 will eventually reach North American shores, possibly via migratory birds in Alaska within six to 12 months. So what health experts know about how and whom it strikes is crucial. ...In a study published in the online medical journal Respiratory Research in November, Hong Kong scientists noted the H5N1 was creating what's called a "cytokine storm" in its healthy victims, causing their immune system to overreact to the virus, flood the lungs with an overabundance of antibodies and cause extensive lung damage, eventually shutting them down. It's the same response scientists believe caused so many deaths during the Spanish flu. ...WHO officials said this week there are three confirmed cases of suspected person-to-person transmission: ..."But we haven't seen any substantial change in the virus and that is really the trigger we're watching for."




posted on Mar, 11 2006 @ 08:44 AM
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Originally posted by soficrow
Recent reports say bird flu will hit North America within a few months to a year. Found a good overview of bird flu in the Toronto Star.



Great links you've been providing Sofi. Any sites showing or projecting the expected migration in North America once it hits?



posted on Mar, 11 2006 @ 09:01 AM
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On reflection, the question asked by the Toronto Star (above) is misleading. H5N1 - not just N1 - has been around for 50 years, at least. So of course older people probably have been exposed, and likely have some immunity.

H5N1 bird flu was first identified in Scotland in 1959 and has been used in experiments since then - first at the Addlestone laboratory. The 1959 H5N1 strain from Scotland is called "chicken/Scotland/1959." We do not know who Addlestone shared the samples with or sold them to, although the CDC and US military do jump to mind. We have no guarantee that genetic materials from these experiments did not escape into the environment - or that "modified" versions of the virus were not used in secret "clinical trials," perhaps in Africa, or maybe given to unsuspecting soldiers in "vaccines" or used in military "wind dispersal" experiments.




"Scientists tracing the history of the H5N1 virus have traced its first recorded episode to an Aberdeen farm. ...A scientist identified only as Dr JE Wilson, of the Veterinary Laboratory in Lasswade, outside Edinburgh, is recorded as having worked on the case - sending the chicken to Addlestone, where the strain was medically isolated so it could be used in experiments. The Scottish H5N1 has been used in experiments, named "chicken/Scotland/1959".

No medical agency in Scotland or England was able to give many details - except to say that the disease has become heartier and deadlier since it was found in Scotland. There is also no sign of Dr Wilson. The Moredun Research Institute at Penicuik said that it had no record of him and that he was likely to have passed away."

Scientists discover deadly H5N1 bird flu began in Scotland, 1959




Like other type A influenzas, H5N1's claim to fame is that it jumps species without requiring species-specific genetic material. H5N1 bird flu infects birds, people, whales, seals, cats, horses, dogs, ferrets - almost any animal. Sometimes it's deadly; sometimes it's not. If it's not fatal, the infected victim might become a carrier. Current bird flu information campaigns focus on the lethal forms. But what about the non-lethal so-called "harmless" strains?




Mayo Clinic ...type A influenza infects both people and animals, including birds, pigs, horses, whales and seals.

***

Several studies have shown that a small number of mammalian species, including pigs, seals, whales, mink, and ferrets, are susceptible to natural infection with influenza viruses that are purely avian in their genetic make-up.

Avian influenza A(H5N1) - update 20 February 2004




Both birds and whales migrate - so obviously, H5N1 has been spreading around the world and mutating in the natural environment for almost 50 years. No country can say it has no H5N1 bird flu - that's why information campaigns focus on "strains" and insist that the H5N1 reported in certain countries are "harmless."

The problem is, any strain anywhere can mutate into a virulent fatal form - or else, into a strain that circulates freely to cause low level infection and chronic disease.

Right now, one of the biggest problems is widespread H5N1 contamination of the environment - and the fact that the virus spreads through soil and water.




H5N1 virus replicates in the intestines as well as the respiratory tract of birds. In the present outbreak, very large quantities of
virus are being excreted in the faeces of infected birds, resulting in widespread contamination of the environment. This wide presence of the H5N1 virus in the environment creates one of the most important risks for human exposure and subsequent infection.

Avian influenza A(H5N1) - update 20 February 2004

***

...Bird flu... can be spread through water...





Relentless - most scientists do not consider migrating birds to be the key vector, although that is the media focus. Again, H5N1 has been around for a long, long time and it's probably endemic everywhere. Each locale will likely develop specific strains, and the important thing is that all microbes have entered a "phase" of rapid mutation.

As far as "spread" - H5N1 sheds through bodily fluids - so soil and then runoff and ground water take the germs to waterways. Birds defacate and urinate over oceans. ...And the virus lives for several days.

Some scientists think fish are the most important route of transmission - others say humans are, because we can carry it -on our clothing, if not inside our bodies- while travelling.

Either way, migrating birds are just one more factor - and probably not the most critical one.


Will check my files and see what I can pull up for you. I do have a quote from one well-known German scientist saying that we've probably been living with H5N1 for a very long time and just didn't know because we never tested for it.

...Later.


ed to add:



A German scientist said Tuesday the entry of faeces from infected poultry into the food chain via fish was a likely cause of the global spread of bird flu - and not migrating wild birds.

'We are moving away from the assumption that migrating birds are the cause,' said Josef H. Reichholf, a zoology professor at Munich's Technical University, in a comment published by the newspaper Die Welt.

'We will have to live with bird flu in the future,' said Reichholf, adding: 'Perhaps we already have been for years and just didn't know it because ...dead birds ...were not tested.'

***

Virologists know infection occurs through contact with blood, feces and other body fluids, and WHO officials recently reiterated the flu virus is also airborne, posing even a greater threat than AIDS.

Cheng said there may be other cases in which people became infected through human-to-human transmission, but there isn't enough evidence to prove it. There may also be many less severely ill people going unnoticed.




[edit on 11-3-2006 by soficrow]





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