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EXCLUSIVE: Spin and Counterspin: New Bird Flu Mutation has 91% Fatality Rate in Humans

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posted on Apr, 1 2006 @ 11:18 PM
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My Great Grandmother was a poor immigrant in Chicago during the 1918 epidemic. She lost her four eldest children to the disease, and said that funeral marches were endless in the streets, coffins going by day after day.

Its interesting. soficow, that you bring up the flu in horses. A few years back, there was an epidemic in the US of some sort of mare reproductive virus that has caused a shortage of good foals in recent thouroughbred racing events. Look at the past couple years of Kentucky Derby's and see what I mean.

I myself think that this bird flu has something to do with SARS. Maybe SARS was a test run. They both "started" in Asia, although SARS seemed to restrict itself to Asians, making me suspect manmade genetically targeted virus.

Who knows? I dont think this bird flu is the big one, tho, like you might think. I think another germy bombshell is gonna get dropped, the big one, before this is over. Perhaps the next germ is going to be something with plants. Perhaps a mold. You never know. But I doubt they will leave any of our food supply safe. First beef and pork with hoof in mouth disease, then mercury and crap in the fish. Now this. Plant food is next. Dont think it cant happen. If they can think it, they can create it.

I dont eat chicken or any meat but rarely. I think the way animals are raised in these horrid conditions and factories is disgusting, and honestly, we are reaping what we are sowing. I am not a believer in vegetarianism, but I do believe that animals raised for food should be allowed to live like normal creatures. Hamburgers from happy cows taste the best. My husband and I have been noticing that meat in the stores is not like it used to be. Less juice. Less proper flavor. More of an off taste. Hence, why we now pretty much buy from local butchers and farmers.

But it wont matter in the end anyway. If the human race is wiped out because of this, nature will recover. She will survive, and the animals will recover as well. Nature always has and always will, and without this disease called humanity screwing things up, she will thrive all the more.

If these epidemics are our doom, it is a fate well deserved, and shall claim the miserable wretches who created this mess in the end too. Even the wicked are still mortal.

Nice thread. Good work folks.




posted on Apr, 2 2006 @ 06:07 PM
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Look this bird flu has not developed to a strain that can spread human to humans. You have to be very close to the infected bird for a while to catch it. But look the normal flu kills more people than this has ever killed. The biggest killer in the world is humans we should't worry as much about bird flu but worry about human voilence against other humans.



posted on Apr, 2 2006 @ 10:32 PM
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Originally posted by macthistle
Look this bird flu has not developed to a strain that can spread human to humans. You have to be very close to the infected bird for a while to catch it.




Human to human spread will cause a rapidly virulent and deadly variant. The real problem with this flu is more insidious.

The H5N1 virus is shed in bodily fluids and spreads mainly via wastewater into waterways, and on physical contact. The virus can live for months on cold surfaces and up to 200 days in water; it infects fish, and animals that drink contaminated water. Unlike most flus, H5N1 can enter the human body through the gut as well as the respiratory system - via contaminated water and infected meat.

This is the real and present danger - infection via the gastro route, with progressive long term chronic debilitation - not respiratory infection with high fatalities.




Virologists know (H5N1) 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.

***

Birds spread the disease through droppings and other secretions, which often contaminate shared feed and water. Domesticated birds show a sudden decline in egg production a few days after they contract the illness; other symptoms include nasal discharge, ...severe internal bleeding, organ damage, and sudden death.

***

(H5N1), spread through bird feces, saliva and infected water... "You have to test the birds and test the water," Fair said. "If you find it in a lake, influenzas can hang around for a month. Some studies have shown it staying over 200 days." ...The longer the disease remains in the water, the more likely it is to find other host species, Fair said.

***

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.'

***

H5N1 9A ...severely attacks fish with particular virulence. The fish bones turn soft...




Bird flu was found most recently in Antarctica - in dead penguins digestive tracts.

This tells us that H5N1 spreads efficiently in water, and enters the body efficiently via oral routes.





But look the normal flu kills more people than this has ever killed.




It's not the deaths we need to worry about. The real problem with this flu IMO is not the fatality rate - it is the chronic debilitating disease survivors already suffer. See:

ATSNN. Bird Flu and Beyond: Chronic Disease to Kill 400 Million
ATSNN: Bird Flu, and the "Neglected Epidemic"





The biggest killer in the world is humans we should't worry as much about bird flu but worry about human voilence against other humans.



No disagreement here.



posted on Apr, 2 2006 @ 11:21 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
It's not the deaths we need to worry about. The real problem with this flu IMO is not the fatality rate - it is the chronic debilitating disease survivors already suffer.


Sick workers = social unrest and no production

A severe pandemic will send a shockwaves throughout the world. Financial markets will meltdown, goods will empty off store shelves, gasoline will dry up at the pumps, social services will be eliminated, hyperinflation will hit, utility outages and blackouts will hit, air traffic will halt, domestic violence will rise, bodies will stack up, secondary diseases will rise, and riots and looting will begin.

Normal flu doesn't collapse economies, but pandemics can.



posted on Apr, 2 2006 @ 11:26 PM
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GOD I HOPE ITS NOT TRUE, THIS IS TERRIBLE. I dont even want to be on the planet if it gets big.



posted on Apr, 3 2006 @ 08:31 AM
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Originally posted by Regenmacher

Normal flu doesn't collapse economies, but pandemics can.




I am suggesting that H5N1 already is pandemic - just not being transmitted person to person via the respiratory route or rapidly fatal. Infection occurs mainly via the gastro route, with progressive chronic debilitation and disability occuring over decades.

Because the disease is systemic, symptoms change from victim to victim so it looks like different diseases, but the pathology is the same no matter what the location in the body. Search abnormal "myofibroblasts," "connective tissue," and "tissue remodeling" or "aberrant wound healing."

The economic impacts are being felt around the world already, with rising rates of disability and so-called "diseases of aging" striking younger and younger people.

Granted, if H5N1 mutates to become transmissible human-to-human via the respiratory route, the impacts will be dramatic. However, the current impacts are equally substantial, just less apparent to the public.


.
clarity


[edit on 3-4-2006 by soficrow]



posted on Apr, 3 2006 @ 09:31 PM
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The total number of confirmed H5N1 "bird flu" cases now is 190, and deaths are at 107.

Azerbaijan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia and Iraq are reporting 70% to 100% fatalities. At present, the fatality rate in Egypt is 50%. Turkey's fatality rate is the lowest at 25%. The difference in fatality rates appear to be due to a new H5N1 variant.

See: Cumulative Number of Confirmed Human Cases of Avian Influenza A/(H5N1) Reported to WHO




April 3 - WHO confirms two human deaths in Egypt. The global toll stands at 107, with four victims in Turkey, 22 in Indonesia, five in Cambodia, 11 in China, 14 in Thailand, 42 in Vietnam, two in Iraq, five in Azerbaijan and two in Egypt.





Reports from Scotland, Ireland and Britain show that authorities are preparing for the worst, while hoping for a break. A team of scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle developed a computer projection of the anticipated pandemic using current information. The predictions are "stark."



Bird flu: Scotland's Secret Cabinet Document

The key points

• The "reasonable worst-case scenario" of repeated "waves" of infection would mean 709,300 deaths from flu. The "base case" would mean 53,700 deaths.

• Planners must not rely on the armed forces being able to help with emergency management.

• Once the flu virus mutates into a "novel" strain, widespread infection could be reached in two weeks.

• An effective vaccine would not be available until at least four-to-six months after a pandemic. Only health service staff can be sure of priority access.

• The huge death toll could swamp mortuaries. Authorities should plan to stockpile bodies then bury them en masse.

***

Using supercomputers to respond to a potential national health emergency, scientists have developed a simulation model that makes stark predictions about the possible future course of an avian influenza pandemic, given today's environment of world-wide connectivity. The research, by a team of scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, is presented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science online the week of April 3-7, and in the print issue of April 11.

"Based on the present work ... we believe that a large stockpile of avian influenza-based vaccine containing potential pandemic influenza antigens, coupled with the capacity to rapidly make a better-matched vaccine based on human strains, would be the best strategy to mitigate pandemic influenza," say the authors, Timothy Germann, Kai Kadau, Ira Longini and Catherine Macken.

Los Alamos National Laboratory: Avian Flu Modeled on Supercomputer, Explores Vaccine and IsolationOptions




The media and official statements continue to focus on the potential for human-to-human respiratory transmission, although numerous vectors are suspected including water.

The strange pattern of the disease's spread cannot be explained solely by migratory birds. Unfortunately, people are blaming birds and destroying nests.


.



posted on Apr, 3 2006 @ 10:43 PM
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According to Niman's Recombinomics blog, there now are 4 distinct H5N1 variants causing human deaths.



...at this time there are four distinct H5N1's causing fatal human infections which will likely require custom pandemic vaccines. Thus, as H5N1 evolves, the distance between vaccines under development and new versions of H5N1 cause human infections is increasing. In 2004 human cases in Vietnam and Thailand were linked to a similar H5N1. Last year Indonesia and China reported human cases and the recent release of sequence data clearly shows that the H5N1 in humans in Indonesia is quite distinct from H5N1 infecting humans in China and all three versions are distinct from the Qinghai strain of H5N1 causing human infections in the Middle East and Africa.

H5N1 is clearly rapidly evolving via recombination, as efforts to address these genetic changes continue to lag.

Recombinomics Commentary. April 3, 2006




posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 09:36 AM
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There is speculation that bird flu and HIV/AIDS for example, are genetically engineered bioweapons.

New diseases result from mutation. Some mutations result naturally, from organisms interracting with the environment; many industrial processes have incidental effects and accidentally create genetically distinct lifeforms; some diseases have been genetically engineered.

So mutation can be natural, accidental or purposefully engineered - or result from unforseen interractions and a combination of all three processes.


The Mechanics of Mutation


Genetic drift: The random change of the occurance of a particular gene in a population, genetic drift is thought to be one cause of speciation when a group of organisms is separated from its parent population.
Genetic recombination: Formation of new combinations of alleles in offspring (viruses, cells or organisms) as a result of exchange of DNA sequences between molecules. It occurs naturally, as in crossing over between homologous chromosomes in meiosis or experimentally, as a result of genetic engineering techniques.
Genetic engineering: General term covering the use of various experimental techniques to produce molecules of DNA containing new genes or novel combinations of genes, usually for insertion into a host cell for cloning. Note: Genetic engineering techniques often rely on recombination.
Genetic shift: Change in genetic constitution.

NOTE: Genetic drift takes time; recombination is rapid. Genetic drift and recombination both result in a genetic shift.




More on genetic engineering.


Genetic engineering is based on an outdated idea

The key assumption of genetic engineering is that you can "tailor" organisms by adding genes with desirable properties. But science has found that genes don't work as isolated carriers of properties. Instead the effects of every gene is the outcome of interaction with its environment. The situation is succinctly summarized by Dr Craig Venter:

"In everyday language the talk is about a gene for this and a gene for that. We are now finding that that is rarely so. The number of genes that work in that way can almost be counted on your fingers, because we are just not hard-wired in that way."

"You cannot define the function of genes without defining the influence of the environment. The notion that one gene equals one disease, or that one gene produces one key protein, is flying out of the window."

Dr. J. Craig Venter, Time's Scientist of the year (2000). President of the Celera Corporation. Dr. Venter is recognized as one of the two most important scientists in the worldwide effort to map the human genome. Source: Times, Monday February 12, 2001 "Why you can't judge a man by his genes"




Genetically engineered products become part of the larger environment and will have far reaching impacts that cannot be forseen.



Genetic Engineering: Superviruses II

Virologist in Yugoslavia warns against AIDS vaccines that can generate new viral and bacterial pathogens and trigger cancer, on account of a recombination hotspot in the AIDS viral gene. He intends to campaign against GM crops with the CaMV 35S promoter for the same reasons.

***

"Up to now, living organisms have evolved very slowly, and new forms have had plenty of time to settle in. Now whole proteins will be transposed overnight into wholly new associations, with consequences no one can foretell, either for the host organism, or their neighbors.... going ahead in this direction may be not only unwise, but dangerous. Potentially, it could breed new animal and plant diseases, new sources of cancer, novel epidemics."

Dr. George Wald. Nobel Laureate in Medicine 1967. Higgins Professor of Biology, Harvard University.
(From: 'The Case against Genetic Engineering' by George Wald, in The Recombinant DNA Debate, Jackson and Stich, Eds. P. 127-128. ; Reprinted from The Sciences, Sept./Oct. 1976 issue)




Most of the new diseases emerging in the world today likely result from the complex interraction and combination of natural, accidental and purposeful processes.


.



posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 01:08 PM
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Egypt reports its 9th case of H5N1 in humans, up from 4 reported 2 days ago. The virus is spreading quickly in Africa, and Germany reports the highly pathogenic form in poultry.



Egypt reports ninth human case of bird flu.

***

The H5N1 bird flu virus has spread at lightning speed since January, infecting birds in 30 new countries, the UN's bird flu point man said on Tuesday.

"During the last three months globally, there has been an enormous and rapid spread of H5N1," Dr David Nabarro, the UN's chief coordinator for avian influenza, told reporters in Beijing. "This is really a serious global situation."

***

Authorities confirmed Burkina Faso's first case of the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain and an international animal health agency warned Tuesday that the development marked a "progressive spread" of the virus across Africa.

***

Germany confirms case of H5N1 in domestic fowl.

***

The H5N1 virus has infected humans in nine countries across Asia and Africa. The WHO has confirmed 191 human cases worldwide; of those, 108 died - another Indonesia bird flu death confirmed.

***

WHO cumulative stats update:

2006 – 46 Cases; 31 Deaths (67% fatality rate)
Azerbaijan 71% fatality rate; Cambodia 100% fatality rate; China 75% fatality rate; Egypt 50% fatality rate; Indonesia 92% fatality rate; Iraq 100% fatality rate; Turkey 33% fatality rate.

2003 – 3 Cases; 3 Deaths (100% fatality rate)
2004 – 46 Cases; 32 Deaths (70% fatality rate)
2005 – 95 Cases; 41 Deaths (43% fatality rate)




Some good news for farmers and the agricultural industries:



Virkon, now available from Anachem, has been recognised by governments worldwide as a disinfectant of choice for the emergency disease control of avian influenza. It has been independently proven to be highly effective against the lethal H5N1 strain. Independent tests carried out by the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, Peoples Republic of China, have proved that Virkon completely inactivates the H5N1 virus following a ten minute exposure time under laboratory test conditions.

In the face of challenging farm conditions, such as heavy organic challenge, short contact time, possible dilution by rain water, low temperatures and the broad range of disease causing organisms that can exist on farms, Virkon is recommended for use at a dilution of 1:100 for preventative and continuous biosecurity measures to provide high levels of efficacy.




posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 09:04 PM
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Children are especially at risk for bird flu - and experts recommend that sick animals also be tested for H5N1.



PHNOM PENH, April 5 (Reuters) - The death of a boy of 12 in Cambodia and the case of a sick baby girl in Egypt underlined on Wednesday the threat posed to children by the bird flu virus.

In Europe, experts called for new precautions because cats, and possibly other mammals, can be infected and could spread the virus. Dr Albert Osterhaus, of Erasmus University in Rotterdam, warned that cats may help the virus to adapt into a more highly infectious strain in humans which could spark a pandemic.

...Animals such as dogs, foxes, ferrets and seals may also be vulnerable to infection, researchers said in a commentary in the journal Nature. ...They recommended that in areas where avian flu is endemic, cats should not be in contact with birds or their droppings. Cats may need to be kept indoors and if animals or other carnivores show signs of illness they should be tested for H5N1.




A dead swan suspected to have H5N1 bird flu was found in Scotland. Many birds seem to carry H5N1 bird flu without getting sick - but swans die from it. It's possible that the swan caught the disease from another asymptomatic bird - and may have spread it to seagulls or other animals feeding on its body.



Preliminary tests indicated it was a "highly pathogenic" strain of the H5 virus, ...Professor John Oxford, said: "It doesn't look too good ... it means the virus has arrived."

"We must interrogate the forensics - how did the bird get there, was this the index case or was it another bird that brought it [the virus] here?” - Dr Freda Scott-Park

The dead swan, which was understood to be decomposed or to have pieces missing, making it difficult to examine, was found at Cellardyke... Robin Forsyth, 38, said: "I was told that seagulls were dive-bombing the body of the bird."

Bird flu alert: infected swan is found in Fife
ATSNN




Cooking chicken thoroughly kills bird flu virus: Government says 165 degrees is hot enough to destroy germs in poultry



WASHINGTON - Preparing for the arrival of bird flu, the government on Wednesday gave advice for making chicken safe to eat: Cook it to 165 degrees.

While the government has always offered “doneness” advice, it has never before declared what it takes to kill viruses and bacteria that may lurk in poultry.




posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 09:11 AM
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H5N1 bird flu is spreading in Africa - and Lagos reports an outbreak. Scotland confirms the deadly variant in the dead swan. Egypt reports a third death from bird flu; medical reports describe acute gastrointestinal symptoms.



Nigerian H5N1 bird flu outbreak spreads to Lagos

ABUJA, April 6 (Reuters) - The deadly H5N1 bird flu virus has been found in backyard poultry and at a commercial farm in Lagos, Africa's largest city which is home to about 13 million people, health officials said on Thursday.

The latest discovery of the virus hundreds of miles from Nigeria's first infection indicates the disease is defeating measures to contain it and raises the prospect of much wider human contact with infected birds.

***

Fife bird flu confirmed as deadly H5N1 strain

TESTS have confirmed that the swan found dead in Fife died from the deadly H5N1 strain of the avian flu virus which can be fatal to humans, an official for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said this afternoon.

The discovery makes Britain the 14th country in Europe to have the disease in its territory. The H5N1 virus has caused the death of 108 people worldwide, most of them in Asia.

***

Egyptian H5N1 Bird Flu Fatalities Increase to Three

The above translation describes the third reported H5N1 bird flu fatality in Egypt. In this case, symptoms included “sharp gastroenteritis”.





[edit on 6-4-2006 by soficrow]



posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 11:00 AM
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Hi Soficrow,

A question I hope you can answer or provide some insight on.

With water being able to house the virus for lengths of time, would water treatment plants be able to 'purify' the water under current treatment procedures or would another practice have to be implemented.

In short, can the current city drinking water become infected or does the current water treatment ( chlorine, etc ) destroy the virus?



posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 12:31 PM
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Originally posted by Grailkeeper

With water being able to house the virus for lengths of time, would water treatment plants be able to 'purify' the water under current treatment procedures or would another practice have to be implemented.

In short, can the current city drinking water become infected or does the current water treatment ( chlorine, etc ) destroy the virus?



I wouldn't count on it. The disinfectant described above kills H5N1 - but I wouldn't want to put it in my body. I doubt any municipal water provider can boil water as part of the purification/treatment process - they all rely on chemicals, and finding a balance between poisoning people and killing the germs.

Heat destroys viruses - so boiling water would be a good back up plan. I'm looking at boiling and filtering. ...Distilled water is probably safe, but likely won't be available in a pandemic.



posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 01:33 PM
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I am very uneasy with all this, if somebody could please give me one good non conspiritorial reason why in most instances the disease has been found in swans.

Excuse the conspiritorial, i have no idea if it is even a word.



posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 02:08 PM
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Originally posted by The Links
I am very uneasy with all this, if somebody could please give me one good non conspiritorial reason why in most instances the disease has been found in swans.




H5N1 has been found in a huge variety of birds. It's just more noticeable in swans.



(Swans) seem to be susceptible to the disease, and it's easy to notice when they die. Scientists don't think swans are being infected at a higher rate than other waterfowl. In fact, migratory ducks are considered somewhat more likely than other birds to carry the disease. But ducks are also less likely than swans to exhibit symptoms of the flu.

...epidemiologists think the effects of the flu are more acute in swans...

But the sudden rash of swan deaths might have as much to do with the size and color of the bird as its susceptibility to the virus. Health officials find out about possible bird flu cases only when someone notices a dead animal. And people are more likely to notice a large, lifeless, white swan than a little dead brown duck.




posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 10:15 AM
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WHO: 109 human deaths are now attributed to H5N1 bird flu.


UPDATE: Pandemic Planning

New Zealand is one of the latest countries to add "jail" to their pandemic plans.

Shoving people together in close quarters during an epidemic is guaranteed to worsen existent cases and spread disease. So poor people who don't have food stockpiled, and can't afford to stay home to wait out the pandemic will be put in jail to get sick and die. Rich people with a few thousand in ready cash can buy their way out - and save their own lives. Interesting plan.


Jail among bird-flu measures


The bill gives medical officers of health the power to detain people suffering from pandemic flu and keep them under surveillance for up to 28 days. ...People suspected of suffering from the disease will be put under "surveillance at large", meaning they will stay in the community but have to report, usually daily, to a doctor. ...People who refuse to follow medical officers' orders could be arrested and imprisoned for six months or fined up to $4000.

"If a pandemic reaches New Zealand we have to be ready to deal with some of the most serious social and economic challenges we've faced in over a generation."

The bill mainly makes amendments to the 50-year-old Health Act, but also updates about nine non-health acts including the Parole Act and Immigration Act.



***

UPDATE: Bird Flu in the UK

Officials say several dead swans and seagulls tested negative for H5N1 bird flu.

Dr Bob McCracken, former president of the British Veterinary Association says,"We don't know which bird brought it to the shores of Fife but I find it very difficult to accept we could have a single bird in the UK infected with this virus and not to have passed it on to some other birds."

***

UPDATE: Bird Flu in the US. What to Expect.

Computer projections show that if bird flu mutates to a respiratory form that is transmissible human-to-human, it would infect the entire USA in 90 days.

SIMULATION PREDICTS BIRD FLU SPREAD



A computer modeling exercise shows that if bird flu could pass from human to human, it would take only "90 days to infect the entire U.S.," according to an article on LiveScience.

The story ...also notes that if this does happen, vaccines developed for current (non-human contagious) strains "would likely not be effective against whatever variety ultimately emerges."



***

Reuters FACTBOX-Bird flu's rapid march around the globe


Following are some facts about the H5N1 avian flu virus and its spread around the globe.

-- Since the virus re-emerged in Asia in 2003, outbreaks have been confirmed in more than 45 countries and territories, according to data from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

-- Since the beginning of January, 2006, more than 30 countries have reported outbreaks, in most cases involving wild birds such as swans.

-- The virus has killed 109 people since 2003 in nine countries and territories, according to the WHO. Countries with confirmed human cases are: Azerbaijan, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

-- In total, the virus is known to have infected 192 people since 2003, according to the WHO. Many of those who have died are children and young adults.

-- Vietnam and Indonesia have the highest number of cases, accounting for 65 of the total deaths.

-- The H5N1 virus is not new to science and was responsible for an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Scotland in 1959. Britain confirmed a new case in Scotland on Thursday

-- The H5N1 virus made the first known jump into humans in Hong Kong in 1997, infecting 18 people and killing six of them. The government ordered the immediate culling of the territory's entire poultry flock, ending the outbreak.

-- Symptoms of bird flu in humans have ranged from typical influenza-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, sore throat and muscle aches, to eye inflammations (conjunctivitis), pneumonia, acute respiratory distress, viral pneumonia, and other severe and life-threatening complications. (Sources: OIE, WHO, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

***

Ie., see: Bird flu spreads

Bird flu turns up in Scotland; Canada could be next destination




NOTE re symptoms: Bird flu spreads via bodily fluids. It also causes a range of other symptoms depending on the virus' point of entry into the body, including gastrointestinal symptoms like stomache ache and diarrhea.


***


UPDATE: Bird Flu as a Bioweapon

Farmers in India suspect that bird flu is part of a conspiracy to destroy their poultry industry. Poultry industry representatives question the delays in informing poultry farmers about the threat, and point out that the main outbreak occurred in a place where migratory birds do NOT come.

‘International conspiracy behind bird flu’



The poultry industry, which has been hit hard by the bird flu, sees an ‘international conspiracy’ behind the bird flu outbreak of the disease at Navapur in Maharashtra.

...senior executives of poultry farms from the affected area wanted to know why there was ‘an enormous delay’ between the confirmation and announcement (of tests on affected chickens) and why the industry was not taken into confidence before the announcement.

They also questioned the place of the outbreak, which had remote chances of getting the bird flu, as the theory of migratory birds does not apply there.




Scientists have long questioned the theory blaming migratory birds for H5N1's spread. Water and feed are higher on the list than migratory birds as primary vectors.

Spread of bird flu: Experts are puzzled



As new outbreaks of bird flu have peppered Europe and Africa in the last few weeks, experts are realizing that they do not
fully understand how migrating birds disseminate the H5N1 virus, leaving the continents vulnerable to unexpected outbreaks. ...
Just after new scientific research clarified the role of wild birds in spreading H5N1 out of its original territory in southern China, the virus promptly moved into dozens of locations in Europe and Africa, following no apparent pattern and underlining how little scientists actually know. ...The critical viral transfer took place in Guangdong Province, new genetic analysis suggests, when wild ducks or geese acquired the virus from domestic poultry in rice paddies where they coexisted.

In fact, current knowledge of how H5N1 is spreading in Europe and Africa is so rudimentary that experts say there is absolutely no way of predicting where it will strike next - although they are now certain that it will, again and again.

...H5N1 predictably moved on to Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Romania and the Balkans. But the recent pattern of spread, into European and African nations, has been far more confusing. ...Officials in Turkey and Nigeria said that migrating birds were responsible for H5N1 outbreaks, though scientists said the distribution made that unlikely. ..."It's easy to blame migrating birds, because then no one is responsible," said Juan Lubroth, a senior veterinary health officer at the UN and food and agriculture agency in Rome. ...In Croatia, for example, Kaat said, fertilizer made of manure from infected poultry probably spread H5N1. Manure from farms is commonly used to fertilize fish ponds, which are frequent stopover points for migrating birds that probably contracted the virus there, he said. The virus persists in water for weeks. ...In Nigeria, the first huge outbreak occurred in January in hens in the country's north, a dry area far from the wetlands that are home to the country's migratory birds. ..."The outbreaks were in the wrong place and at the wrong time of year," Kaat said.




The role other animals might play in spreading bird flu is a subject of concern first raised publicly at the International Conference on Biodiversity. Scientists are focusing on human cases in Indonesia where the victims have not been exposed to infected poultry.



Experts have been ...puzzled by the tenuous and at times seemingly non-existent links between some human cases and infected poultry. ...The worry is in quite a significant number of human cases in Indonesia that there is no apparent connection between the people and poultry,” Dr. Roeder, an animal health officer with the FAO, said in an interview from Beirut, where he was attending a conference.

“I think we have to keep every option open and expect the unexpected,” said Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. ...Dr. Roeder and his co-authors have urged that people in H5N1 affected areas keep pet cats indoor, where possible. And they have cautioned against destroying or abandoning companion animals. ...“What I don't want is thousands of people taking their cats to the vet to be put down,” Dr. Roeder said. ...Destruction of cats could lead to a surge in rat and mouse populations and the problems of disease and crop destruction rodents bring with them. ...“We could be looking at disturbing an equilibrium which could have a serious result in itself. So we have to be very careful.”




If the new variant H5N1 bird flu is an "agricultural bioweapon," the most likely perpetrators are international agricultural corporations who are trying to expand market share. Political terrorists are very low on the list of possible suspects.



Anti-agricultural biowarfare and bioterrorism differ significantly from the same activities directed against humans; for instance, there exist a variety of possibilities for economic gain for perpetrators, and the list of possible perpetrators includes corporations, which may have state-of-the-art technical expertise. Furthermore, attacks are substantially easier to do: the agents aren’t necessarily hazardous to humans; delivery systems are readily available and unsophisticated; maximum effect may only require a few cases; delivery from outside the target country is possible; and an effective attack can be constructed to appear natural. This constellation of characteristics makes biological attack on the agricultural sector of at least some countries a very real threat, perhaps more so than attack on the civilian population.

Agricultural corporations, including producers, processors, and shippers, could benefit immensely from the economic impacts, market share changes, and financial market effects of a successful biological attack. Many also employ expert plant pathologists or veterinarians and have large collections of pathogens. The combination of motivation, expertise, and materials within a single, closed organization is worrisome.

Source: Agricultural Biowarfare and Bioterrorism



***

UPDATE: Economic Impact

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank warn that a human flu pandemic in Asia could trigger a global recession.



If bird flu mutates to humans, it could cut Asia's economic output by as much as $300bn (£170bn), the Bank said. ..."At its worst, this would essentially halt economic growth for one year and throw the world into the first global recession since 1982," ADB said.

Its report echoes a recent study by the World Bank which said that bird flu could cast a "long shadow" over Asian economic prospects. ...According to the ADB, poorer countries would be hard pressed to deal with the pressure on their health systems and welfare services.

In commercial terms, countries with large services sectors such as Hong Kong, China and Singapore would be worst affected and the fall in economic activity could have a devastating effect on global trade.

***


Also see BBC: Bird flu may 'trigger recession'

Google: Tulsa World (subscription), ... "While Tyson remains the market leader in both beef and chicken, the ever-present threats of mad cow disease and bird flu have hurt the appeal of Tyson's ... "

Grain price slides on H5N1 bird flu confirmation

Gordeyev: Russia poultry farms facing collapse




The world's wealth will be redistributed - whether or not this particular strain of bird flu goes pandemic in humans.

The current pandemic in birds and poultry could have been stopped, with a little cooperation and international assistance. But it wasn't.



The world's rich nations were too slow in responding to the first cases of bird flu, contributing a mere 36 million U.S. dollars to the fight against the disease, said the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) here Thursday.

There were estimates that some 1.9 billion dollars were needed, but rich nations only reacted when the disease had already reached Russia, said FAO chief Jacques Diouf. Bird flu could have been halted if developed nations had intervened when the first cases occurred in southeastern Asia.

The developed world was more interested in halting a possible human epidemic than an animal epidemic, which had already shown its potential to spread far and wide and had affected developing countries with scarce resources.




The third world poultry farmers who claim bird flu is an international conspiracy have circumstantial evidence, but nothing concrete without sequence analyses from the CDC and WHO - which are not "available."

It is easy to speculate that bird flu was developed as an "agricultural bioweapon" - and a Corporate Industrial War was waged to take over and secure third world poultry markets.

At the same time, it is well known that Type A influenzas - like H5N1 bird flu - jump species without even needing to acquire new genetic information.

So the questions become:

* Was the probability of a bird flu jump to humans considered acceptable collateral damage?

* Why are the USA, Canada and other industrialized nations spending billions on Tamiflu - which doesn't work for H5N1 - when nations like Russia and Viet Nam already have several vaccines targeted to the new H5N1 mutations?

* Have we all been played for suckers from the get-go?



.

[edit on 8-4-2006 by soficrow]



posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 10:40 PM
link   
".... At the same time, it is well known that Type A influenzas - like H5N1 bird flu - jump species without even needing to acquire new genetic information."
This flies in the face of a recently completed one year study which indicates that a major jump to humans is very unlikely. I will try to find a source to link to, but it was on NPR a week or so ago. Of course, most of the stuff on NPR is...... well....... I won't go into that.

[edit on 8-4-2006 by zappafan1]



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 12:35 AM
link   

Originally posted by zappafan1
".... At the same time, it is well known that Type A influenzas - like H5N1 bird flu - jump species without even needing to acquire new genetic information."
This flies in the face of a recently completed one year study which indicates that a major jump to humans is very unlikely.




Type A influenzas - such as H5N1 bird flu - do jump species without acquiring new genetic information. This is what distinguishes them from other flus.

Little is known about H5N1 per se - even the primary vectors remain a mystery. However, it is known to infect a broad range of animals. Ie.:

Children are especially at risk for bird flu - and experts recommend that sick animals also be tested for H5N1.



PHNOM PENH, April 5 (Reuters) - The death of a boy of 12 in Cambodia and the case of a sick baby girl in Egypt underlined on Wednesday the threat posed to children by the bird flu virus.

In Europe, experts called for new precautions because cats, and possibly other mammals, can be infected and could spread the virus. Dr Albert Osterhaus, of Erasmus University in Rotterdam, warned that cats may help the virus to adapt into a more highly infectious strain in humans which could spark a pandemic.

...Animals such as dogs, foxes, ferrets and seals may also be vulnerable to infection, researchers said in a commentary in the journal Nature. ...They recommended that in areas where avian flu is endemic, cats should not be in contact with birds or their droppings. Cats may need to be kept indoors and if animals or other carnivores show signs of illness they should be tested for H5N1.




H5N1 bird flu is spread via bodily fluids. What makes it particularly dangerous is that it also can airborne, but respiratory transmission is NOT the primary mode of transmission - the gut is.

Evidence suggests that waterborne/gastro H5N1 already is endemic in humans, with subacute symptoms. The so-called "jump to humans" involves more efficient respiratory transmission of the rapidly fatal form.


.



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 08:55 PM
link   
Nations and international health agencies are having difficulties testing enough birds - and they definitely are NOT wrapping their heads around the idea that H5N1 jumps species, so they need to test other animals too. Some scientists are getting vocal about it.



Five leading European scientists are criticizing officials involved in human and animal health in an article this week, saying that officials are not doing enough to monitor cats, dogs and other carnivores for their possible role in transmitting avian influenza.

Cats, tigers and leopards are known to have been infected with the virus in Asia and Europe. An author of the article, Albert Osterhaus, a virologist and veterinarian at Erasmus Medical Center, has performed experiments showing that cats can give the virus to other cats. ...The team has found that cats can be infected through the respiratory tract. Cats also can be infected when they ingest the virus, which is a novel route for influenza transmission in mammals.

Dogs, foxes, seals and other carnivores may be vulnerable to H5N1 virus infection, Osterhaus said. Tests in Thailand have shown that the virus has infected dogs without causing apparent symptoms.




[edit on 9-4-2006 by soficrow]



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