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Coincidence or Coverup? Pandemic Drill Coincides with Virulent Virus Outbreak Warning

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posted on Nov, 4 2006 @ 06:10 PM
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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency tested equipment and procedures this week in a mock avian influenza outbreak near Steinbach, about 30 miles from Winnipeg, Manitoba. At the same time, radio and television public service announcements warned Manitoba residents about a virulent virus outbreak in Winnipeg care homes and hospitals.
 



www.cbc.ca
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed Friday its officials have been engaged in a mock avian influenza outbreak that has frightened hundreds of residents in southern Manitoba.

People living near Steinbach have seen workers in white bio-hazard suits near the community, prompting at least 100 phone calls and e-mails to radio stations as far away as Winnipeg with questions as to what is going on.

An official with the food agency in Calgary, who didn't want to be publicly identified, said there is no actual outbreak.

***

Norovirus spreading in Winnipeg hospitals, care homes

The highly contagious norovirus is spreading in Winnipeg's hospitals and personal care homes, the city's medical health officer warned Wednesday. ...Dr. Margaret Fast, medical officer of health for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, said that norovirus has appeared in city hospitals, emergency rooms and personal care homes.

"For the past number of years, norovirus infection seemed to be on the increase, and it's not an officially reportable disease, so we don't have accurate numbers on cases," Fast said. ...But there have been "cases and outbreaks in higher numbers than usual across the whole country," she said. ...The number of norovirus infections is difficult to track because not everyone seeks hospital treatment once they contract it. But officials at St. Boniface General Hospital told CBC News they have seen about 100 cases in the past week.

The term norovirus refers to a group of viruses that affect the gastrointestinal system. It was formerly known as the Norwalk virus. ...Symptoms of the norovirus are similar to those for a stomach flu, including vomiting, diarrhea and cramps. There is no vaccine for norovirus. However, Fast said norovirus does not usually require a trip to the emergency room. ...Symptoms can last up to three days, but the illness can still be spread for days after those symptoms disappear. ...Fast said those who believe they have norovirus should drink lots of fluids and not prepare food that others will eat.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



Erm.

Is this one a conspiracy theory no-brainer? ...Bird flu is known to cause stomach flu symptoms, with vomiting, diarrhea and cramps. ...Or is it really a coincidence?

About 3 weeks ago, the World Health Organzation announced that Indonesia had 3 deaths in 3 days from H5N1 bird flu, with the virus showing up in pigs in Bali.



In a week that has seen three deaths from avian influenza in three days, all in Indonesia, the country defended its efforts in the battle against bird flu. ...On Friday a 27-year-old woman from Central Java died a day after being hospitalized with flu-like symptoms. Her death was confirmed Wednesday by the World Health Organization as being directly attributable to avian influenza -- Indonesia's 55th such death. ...Then Saturday an unidentified 11-year-old boy died in Jakarta's Sulianto Saroso Hospital for Infectious Diseases. ...On Sunday a 72-year-old grandmother died of avian influenza in a highly unusual case that also saw her affected by encephalitis. The woman, from Cisarua in West Java, was placed in a bird-flu isolation ward Oct. 7 and lost consciousness for a day due to encephalitis. Her kidneys were also affected. ...No other Indonesian bird-flu victim has been affected by encephalitis...

***

Bird flu found in pigs in Indonesia's Bali

The H5N1 bird flu virus has infected pigs on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, a senior agriculture ministry official said on Monday.

"There were two pigs that were infected by bird flu in Bali. These were old cases that happened last July," Musni Suatmodjo, agriculture ministry director of animal health, told Reuters. ...It was not clear if the pigs died.

Pigs are a concern because they are susceptible to many of the viruses that infect humans. Swines can act as mixing vessels in which genetic material from avian flu viruses can mix with human influenza viruses, potentially producing new and deadly strains for which humans have no immunity.




Then nothing. Nada. Zilch. No more bird flu news out of Indonesia. Except for this tiny snippet from Vietnam on Friday, November 3.



In Indonesia, for example, the disease is spreading quickly at the moment. ...The World Health Organization is warning that scientists have discovered a virulent strain of the H5N1 virus in China’s poultry flocks and it is spreading fast too.




Meanwhile, scientists continue to complain that information on bird flu cases is poorly recorded. They say the lack of accurate, timely information is making it difficult, if not impossible, to track H5N1's spread.

And suddenly, everyone everywhere is holding pandemic drills. All the machinery is in high gear from Australia to Oregon. And Switzerland ordered enough H5N1 vaccine to vaccinate their entire population.



The Swiss government Wednesday announced it would stockpile enough avian-influenza vaccine to protect the whole country in the event of a pandemic. ...Health officials have confirmed the purchase of 8 million vials of a vaccine developed by GlaxoSmithKline at a cost of around $142 million. ...Actual supplies of the vaccine are not expected to be delivered until January 2007, and the cost of the procedure is still awaiting parliamentary approval, which it is expected will be granted shortly. ..."If needed, it will therefore be possible to offer a first immunization to the whole of the (7.4 million) population," the government said in a statement.




Flu season runs roughly October through March. Past H5N1 outbreaks have been at their worst from February and March through early spring.



The World Health Organization recognizes six stages leading up to a pandemic.

"We're in phase three," Dr. Tompkins said. Phase three "is defined as human infection with a new subtype, which is avian influenza, but no human-to-human spread or, at most, rare instances of spread in close contact. That's two steps away from a pandemic. ..." ...Phase four involves small clusters of limited human-to-human transmission. Phase five means large clusters.

Dr. Tompkins said the last two flu seasons "have hit us late, in February and March and on into early spring. We haven't seen any significant flu activity yet. It's not yet upon us."




So what's really happening? Anyone have any ideas?

Would we really be informed if we were in a Phase 4 or 5 pandemic alert? Or would we be kept in the dark to protect the food, travel and tourism industries, and international trade?

Is there a conspiracy of silence?


???




posted on Nov, 4 2006 @ 08:51 PM
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It really is hard to tell what's really happening.

But imo, no - we would NOT be informed if we were in a Phase 4 or 5 pandemic alert. The big priority is to protect corporate industry and international trade - not ordinary people.



I guess we'll find out soon enough. Hope everyone is prepared - food stockpiled, water jugs, some cash on hand...

A great resource - low key, not written to panic - but informative:

The Flu Pandemic and You




Doctors warn against pandemic fear-mongering

Two Canadian emergency room physicians are urging against complacency in the wake of an imminent flu pandemic. But at the same time they warn against falling victim to fear-mongering.

"We have heard a variety of misconceptions. The first one that we commonly hear is the apocalyptic scenario in which people are concerned that the sky is going to fall and there will be anarchy in the streets," said Dr. Vincent Lam, co-author of the new book "The Flu Pandemic and You."

"On the flip side, another misconceived view in our opinion is the notion that it is a non-issue and just people making a lot of fuss over nothing. That is also untrue," the Toronto-based emergency room physician told CTV.ca.

Instead, the truth lies somewhere in between, Lam said.




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posted on Nov, 4 2006 @ 10:14 PM
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My guess is that we're going to see a huge outbreak of the bird flu in a bunch of third world countries soon. Then right at the height of it all right when it starts to grip it's fingers around the first world some company will release some high priced vacciene that they've had for years and make billions.



posted on Nov, 5 2006 @ 09:42 AM
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My guess is that we're going to see a huge outbreak of the bird flu in a bunch of third world countries soon.




Hmmm.

Looks like it might already be happening.

There definitely is an H5N1 pandemic in wild birds and domestic poultry.






Then right at the height of it all right when it starts to grip it's fingers around the first world some company will release some high priced vacciene that they've had for years and make billions.




Viruses mutate - and become resistant to existent vaccines and anti-virals.

Even if a vaccine existed that worked on the new H5N1 flu strains - which it doesn't - there isn't enough vaccine for everyone.

For example: A pandemic flu would cause at least 1.2 million South Carolinians to fall ill with a novel strain of influenza - BUT - the state has ordered only about 275,000 doses.



Report cites need for cash if flu pandemic hits

A pandemic flu would cause at least 1.2 million South Carolinians to fall ill with a novel strain of influenza, forcing an estimated 17,000 into hospitals and killing between 2,000 and 5,000 people. ...(says) a report released this week by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Public Preparedness. ...The report calls for more money for the health department...

The state has ordered about 275,000 doses of vaccine, which are arriving in phases, Boatwright said. Officials anticipate replacement of 17,500 doses that were recalled because they might have been shipped at the wrong temperature.

Cost at the county clinics is $25 per shot.





...and chances are good that this vaccine is only for seasonal flu, not H5N1.

Point being - the manufacturing capacity does not exist for major production.

So we need to look at other alternatives. And not just anti-virals either.

.

[edit on 5-11-2006 by soficrow]



posted on Nov, 5 2006 @ 09:59 AM
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it's just a coincidence...i mean come on..it happened on 9/11 and on 7/7 in england. it shows just how the govts are right on top of things trying to protect life and property...i mean how could they have any idea that an outbreak would occur when they have a 'drill' planned? just call it plain ol' luck....well, 3 times plain ol' luck.

move along, nothing to see here..........what?! you're still looking? what are you, some kind of terrorist or something??



posted on Nov, 5 2006 @ 10:41 AM
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Sorry but I just don't feel very concerned or alarmed about all of this end of world flu, disease or whatever. I guess the average person feels the same way, ask people how they feel about H5N1 and you're likely to get what, huh, um..., get away from me, que pasa, como? Or a combination of those. Until I see people dropping dead around me I really wont worry about it. What's it been now, a couple of years? And this super duper virus that's supposed to travel the world in days and hours still hasn't done anything to me.



posted on Nov, 5 2006 @ 11:27 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

Sorry but I just don't feel very concerned or alarmed about all of this end of world flu, disease or whatever.

....Until I see people dropping dead around me I really wont worry about it.




Which no doubt helps explain why you chose "WestPoint" as your screen name - instead of "MotherTeresa," for example.


The time to plan and prepare is before the crisis hits. Once it's upon us, it's too late - most people panic in serious crises, and don't think clearly when they're panicked. In the case of a pandemic - it takes time to build up food supplies, cash, etc.

....This isn't about fear-mongering. It's about providing usable information to empower people - and to neutralize the manipulative fearmongering perpetrated by those seeking to profit.

Quite simply, people need to prepare, not panic.

And people need to know they need to prepare, that no one will rescue them. People need to know the authorities they're relying on will not be there for them - partly because the resources simply do not exist, and partly because the system is designed to use crises as opportunities for profit, not to protect ordinary people.






What's it been now, a couple of years? And this super duper virus that's supposed to travel the world in days and hours still hasn't done anything to me.




H5N1 has already decimated many developing nations - destroyed several national poultry industries, and left millions starving without their main food supply and source of income.

We are fortunate. We have had some warning, and we have time to prepare.


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posted on Nov, 5 2006 @ 01:06 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
Which no doubt helps explain why you chose "WestPoint" as your screen name - instead of "MotherTeresa," for example.


This is actually funny, but you missed the fact that religion and Westy mix.


Anyway, this isn't the dark ages or the early 20th century, I have doubt such a virus would kill and effect such a large part of the developed world. Having said that I'm still thankful people like me don't run the CDC for example.



[edit on 5-11-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Nov, 5 2006 @ 07:28 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

This is actually funny




Glad you appreciated it.







Anyway, this isn't the dark ages or the early 20th century, I have doubt such a virus would kill and effect such a large part of the developed world.




Guess again. For all practical purposes, we already are back in the dark ages, medically speaking.

We don't have anything that works any more - not vaccines, anti-virals or antibiotics. Everything has mutated and devloped resistance. The best technology in the pike is kinomics - but it's nowhere near ready.

The most effective tools we have for surviving the coming pandemic(s) are the same ones our great grandparents employed in the early 20th century.

That said, enough of our great grandparents survived past pandemics to populate the world with over 6 billion people.

So obviously, all is nowhere near lost.







Having said that I'm still thankful people like me don't run the CDC for example.







...Followed by sober second thought: People like you do run the CDC.






[edit on 5-11-2006 by soficrow]



posted on Nov, 5 2006 @ 10:03 PM
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Damn it! To clear up a typo in my post above Sofi's which doesn't quite make sense it was supposed to be "religion and Westy don't mix".



[edit on 5-11-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Nov, 5 2006 @ 11:10 PM
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I suspect we will be eating bird flu tainted poultry products long before the citizens get wind of the problem. Reminds me of the UK and how they were eating madcow years before it was discovered or the info was leaked out to the public.

So if your pet Polly drops to the floor one morning and there's no news about bird flu on the wires. I suggest you incinerate him anyway.

Makes me wonder what's in that Asian chicken,
and I'm not planning to have it tartare.

[edit on 5-11-2006 by Regenmacher]



posted on Nov, 5 2006 @ 11:28 PM
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Sofi, nice work as usual.


Isn't there some kind of home test invented yet for the average person to quickly stick a bird with before cooking? Something like, you know, the typical turkey temperature guage thingy, except to tell if the meat is infected? Please forgive me if this is totally stupid and ignorant. Bird flu and the medical profession in general has never much been on my interest list... But damn, with all the concern over HN51, it would seem that these or similar devices would be a priority?



posted on Nov, 6 2006 @ 08:41 AM
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Originally posted by TrueAmerican
Sofi, nice work as usual.


Isn't there some kind of home test invented yet for the average person to quickly stick a bird with before cooking? Something like, you know, the typical turkey temperature guage thingy, except to tell if the meat is infected?




Thanks TA. ...Sorry, no test. We're supposed to rely on voluntary industry surveillance programs - and cook the heck out of our chicken. ...High temps DO kill viruses. BUT.

Regenmacher brought up Mad Cow first so I'll say it. I suspect the real problem with H5N1 is a prion hitchhiking on the virus - and nothing kills prions, because they're not alive.

FYI - I eat well-cooked chicken anyway, and beef too. ...Basically, when it comes to this stuff, I have more faith in the evolutionary process than modern medicine or high-tech solutions. IMO, our world is so completely polluted, and our macro and micro environments are so contaminated, that our best hope at this point is adaptation.

***


Here's what I wrote to post before I came online.


The new study from the USA and Hong Kong called "Emergence and predominance of an H5N1 influenza variant in China" says there is a new H5N1 "Fujian-like" strain spreading - but China refutes this claim, saying the Fujian-like strain was identified and reported earlier. Chinese authorities insist they have submitted all the new sequences.

The WHO is taking the high road, saying it's a communications problem. What they want is info on all outbreaks in birds, not just people, even if the strain was reported previously - so they can track each strain's spread. ...Apparently, China was only submitting new sequences as they appeared (16 in all), but not keeping the WHO updated about which strains caused what breakouts.

This confusion highlights what scientists mean when they say, "Efforts to track bird flu are hampered by deficiencies in data collection."



New Bird Flu Virus Replacing Other Strains in Southern China: U.S.-Chinese team calls for sweeping animal, human surveillance in H5N1 regions

A new variant of the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu virus, the Fujian-like strain, has replaced most other strains across a large part of southern China since 2005 despite mass poultry vaccinations, according to researchers at the University of Hong Kong and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee. ...The work was supported in part by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, and the Li Ka Shing Foundation, a Chinese organization that supports education and medical care. ...According to the study, "Emergence and predominance of an H5N1 influenza variant in China," in the November online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, H5N1 influenza virus caused poultry outbreaks in China in 12 provinces from October 2005 to August 2006 despite a compulsory poultry vaccination program that began in September 2005.

"The Fujian virus doesn't appear to be of any more risk to humans," Dr. Michael Perdue, project leader for avian influenza in the Global Influenza Programme at the World Health Organization, told the Washington File November 2, "other than the fact that maybe it's a little more widespread and it seems to be supplanting the other strains in the region." ...As far as scientists know, he added, "there's no increased - or decreased - likelihood of human transmission. It's basically the same overall genetic content of the other H5N1 viruses."

Since November 2005, some 22 human cases have been confirmed in 14 Chinese provinces, and some of these victims lived in metropolitan areas far from poultry farms. ..."Whether those people were infected locally and directly from affected poultry or other sources, including humans," the study said, "is still unknown." ...The emergence and rapid distribution of the Fujian strain, despite the vaccination program that began in September 2005, suggests that H5N1 control measures are inadequate, said study co-author Robert Webster, a member of the St. Jude Infectious Diseases Department, in a statement. ..."Given the lack of systematic influenza surveillance in poultry at a national level," the authors wrote, "the timely identification of the source of human infection is almost impossible."

***

Experts refute new bird flu strain claim

(China's) leading bird flu experts Sunday refuted a report that a new strain of bird flu had emerged in southern China, published by a foreign publication and widely cited by foreign media recently. ..."The so-called 'Fujian-like virus' is not a new variant of the virus," she said "Gene sequence analysis of the virus shows that it shares high conformity with the H5N1 virus that was isolated in Hunan when bird flu broke out in early 2004." ...Samples from every domestic bird flu outbreak are sent for isolation and gene sequence analysis at Chen's lab. Chen said that in 2005 and 2006, the lab had isolated some viruses in waterfowl in southern China which was reported to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

"These viruses all remain steady in gene type and there is no marked change in their biological characteristics," she said. ...Chen said there was only one new variant of the virus, which was isolated in North China's Shanxi Province and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region at the beginning of this year and has been reported to FAO and OIE. ...Experimental results show that the variant is weak in triggering disease in mammals and a new vaccine, which has been put into use in these areas, has effectively brought it under control. ...Chen also defended the effectiveness of China's bird flu vaccine, saying that it had a "good effect," in response to the report's surmise that the current vaccine was less effective for the "Fujian-like virus."

Shu Yuelong, director of the National Influenza Centre at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, also refuted the report's allegation that five people in southern China were actually infected by the new "Fujian-like virus." ...Shu said that altogether 16 variants of bird flu viruses have been found in the 20 confirmed cases of human infections on the Chinese mainland since October 2005 seven in 2005 and 13 in 2006. "Fifteen out of the 16 variants were isolated from cases in southern China and they belong to the same gene type," Shu said. "There is no proof that five of them were infected by a new mutated virus."




Given that China likely is trying to cooperate, and does have resources allocated to monitor the epidemics - one hates to think what might be happening in the poorer undeveloped nations with little infrastructure and few resources.

Disease surveillance takes a LOT of money - not to mention high-tech labs. Indonesia and Africa, for example, just don't have what it takes to do the job.

***

Meanwhile, the WHO says some people may have a "genetic disposition" for infection with bird flu. This could explain why some people get it and others don't, and why it seems to be relatively rare in humans.



Genetic disposition suspected for human bird flu-WHO

Scientists suspect some people have a "genetic disposition" for infection with bird flu, which may explain why some get it and others don't, and why it remains relatively rare, the World Health Organisation said on Thursday. ...Evidence, mainly from a family cluster of cases last May in North Sumatra, Indonesia - when seven people in an extended family died - showed genetic factors might influence human susceptibility to the H5N1 virus, it said. ...Only blood relatives were infected in the Karo district of North Sumatra, the largest cluster known to date worldwide, "despite multiple opportunities for the virus to spread to spouses or into the general community," it added.

The theory - which it said merited further study - was contained in WHO's report issued on Thursday, on a closed-door meeting of 35 scientific experts held in late September.

"A genetic predisposition for infection is suspected based on data from rare instances of human-to-human transmission in genetically-related persons," the WHO said. ..."This possibility, if more fully explored, might help explain why human cases are comparatively rare and why the virus is not spreading easily from animals to humans or from human to human," it added.


***

Bird flu spreads among blood relatives

Healthcare workers in Indonesia are noticing that outbreaks of the deadly bird flu seem to come in family clusters, mostly affecting those linked by blood.

Indonesia is battling one of the worst outbreaks of the virus in the world, with four reported dead only in the last month, said USA Today.

Diana Ginting, head of a local health district office in Sumatra, where seven people died in May, told the newspaper, "No husbands and wives are infected; it's all brothers and sisters, mothers and children."




At the same time, the WHO also warns that high death rates are still possible if the virus goes pandemic.



If bird flu virus becomes pandemic, high death rates possible: WHO report

There is no guarantee the H5N1 avian flu virus will become less deadly to people if it evolves to the point where it is able to trigger a pandemic, warns a report released Thursday




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