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World on Quiet Bird Flu Alert

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posted on Nov, 4 2006 @ 08:40 PM
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Suddenly, countries, states, provinces and counties around the world are running bird flu "pandemic preparedness" drills. Like this one in Dalles, Oregon.



Worst case scenario: Pandemic preparedness drill is ‘a scenario that could happen’

Before you panic, please note that what follows is only an exercise:
We are two weeks into an expected eight-week flu pandemic with 1,200 people hospitalized and 52 dead in the state of Oregon.

The virus responsible is antigenically similar to the H2N2 virus, which killed 1 to 4 million in 1957, and at its known attack and mortality rate, Oregon can expect 2,500 deaths by the end of next month.

Again, this is only a test, but that is the scenario the Wasco Sherman Public Health Department and the Mid-Columbia Medical Center were working with yesterday, as they participated in a state-wide exercise to test health systems’ readiness to respond to a potential real pandemic, or worldwide outbreak, of influenza.




Loads of general pandemic information is being released to the public quietly, in ways guaranteed not to panic consumers or travellers. And this coming Tuesday, the BBC is premiering a very very scary Bird Flu docu-drama.



All fall down

SOMETHING that doesn't yet exist poses a deadly threat to the entire world, possessing the potential to exterminate millions and devastate the economy. The culprit is not visible to the naked eye, you can't taste it and it's undetectable by scent, sound or touch, yet scientists predict that it will kill around 85% of its prey. It's a virus, and there's little we can do to thwart its attack.

According to experts, these predictions of natural bioterrorism are not scientific theory, they're global fact. Just when it seemed like the perceived threat from a human strain of bird flu had diminished, the Horizon team brings us a film, part documentary, part dramatisation, that creates a possible scenario showing how a pandemic might break out and be dealt with - or not. It doesn't make comforting viewing.

Apparently, the current H5N1 avian flu, which has managed to jump species from birds to humans in 224 known cases, is only one to two mutations away from becoming a strain that passes easily between humans. This is terrifying news. Research shows that the terrible influenza outbreak in 1918, which killed an estimated 50 million people in 14 months at the end of the First World War, was an avian virus that had spread to humans. It was transmitted by coughs and sneezes and resulted in organ failure, massive haemorrhaging and a horrible death. Another disturbing factor was the virus's unusual habit of sparing the usual flu victims, the very young and the old and infirm; this disease's victims were mostly aged 25 to 35.




The current flurry of bird flu-related activity started about 3 weeks ago, after the World Health Organzation announced that Indonesia had 3 deaths in 3 days from bird flu.



In a week that has seen three deaths from avian influenza in three days, all in Indonesia... 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.





But suddenly - everyone's gearing up for a pandemic. Even though only one bird flu death, in Egypt, has been reported in the past 3 weeks.

Interesting.



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

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[edit on 4-11-2006 by soficrow]




posted on Nov, 5 2006 @ 04:47 AM
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Sofi - have you seen this?

New Strain Caused by Vaccine?


WASHINGTON - Scientists have discovered a new strain of bird flu that appears to sidestep current vaccines. It's infecting people as well as poultry in Asia, and some researchers fear its evolution may have been steered by the vaccination programs designed to protect poultry from earlier types of the H5N1 flu.

The discovery by Yi Guan of the University of Hong Kong and colleagues is reported in Tuesday's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The new variant has become the primary version of the bird flu in several provinces of China and has spread to Hong Kong, Laos, Malaysia and Thailand, the researchers report. It is being called H5N1 Fujian-like, to distinguish it from earlier Hong Kong and Vietnam variants.


I would think this is something to watch.





[edit on 11/5/2006 by Relentless]



posted on Nov, 5 2006 @ 10:01 AM
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Originally posted by Relentless
Sofi - have you seen this?

New Strain Caused by Vaccine?

I would think this is something to watch.




Good catch relentless.


Yes, I've seen it - and you're right - it's worth watching.

Turns out the Fujian-like strain is spreading rampantly through Eurasia in poultry and wild birds - and it's resistant to all current human vaccines and anti-virals.

...The problem with vaccinating poultry is just this - new strains DO tend to evolve from the process.




A new report called "Emergence and predominance of an H5N1 influenza variant in China" talks about the Fujian-like H5N1 flu strain:




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."





FYI - H5N1 is bouncing back and forth between poultry and wild birds - which increases the likelihood of mutation and vaccine resistance - and mallard ducks are the "champion" vectors.



Much about the disease remains poorly understood, but the present situation is serious and "the risk that a pandemic virus might emerge is not likely to diminish in the near future".

Results from clinical trials of candidate pandemic vaccines had "not been promising" and it may be premature for countries to choose one to stockpile so as to protect their populations.

"In terms of geographical spread of the virus, mallard ducks are now regarded as the 'champion' vectors; mute swans are highly susceptible birds that are thought to serve as sentinels, but probably not as vectors of virus transmission," it said in the report, posted on its website www.who.int. ...Recent studies had shown that the virus is now moving both ways in "relay transmission", from poultry to migratory birds and back again... Culling birds remains the control strategy of first choice, and had proven successful in Japan and South Korea, if costly. ...High-quality vaccination of poultry was recommended in resource-strapped countries, yet ducks react differently to poultry vaccines which are designed for chickens, it said.




...As per usual, I have huge files of related news and information - and much more to say/share, but I'll stop now.



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posted on Nov, 5 2006 @ 10:56 AM
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doesn't it seem like when there's a ......... 'drill' something happens? a little 'drill' in canada and outbreak at the same time..now this....

they vacinate and it mutates.......hmmmmm

they have to get the masses sufficantly paraniod so as to more readily accept the programing and before they release the virus onto the mainstream population. they have screaming 'wolf' about this for a couple of years now.....i wonder when the wolf will actualy be there or..is it here already.


p.s. great links guys.....


[edit on 5-11-2006 by clearmind]



posted on Nov, 6 2006 @ 07:10 AM
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Our little town in Connecticut sent out a hefty disaster booklet this Fall. It had ways to deal with different crises but had a heavy bird flu bent. It was weird, we got a thinner booklet in the mid-Summer that dealt with all disasters and then a couple of months later, the thicker booklet-which by the way is very much based in self reliance and preparedness.

I knew something was up when we got the second one. Lots of my friends don't remember getting either which will stink for them if there is an outbreak.



posted on Nov, 6 2006 @ 08:13 AM
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Originally posted by stanstheman
Our little town in Connecticut sent out a hefty disaster booklet this Fall. ...we got a thinner booklet in the mid-Summer that dealt with all disasters and then a couple of months later, the thicker booklet-which by the way is very much based in self reliance and preparedness.

I knew something was up when we got the second one.



Yep. Same here. Plus, lots of public service announcements about hygeine - frequent hand-washing, don't cough in public, and stay home if you're sick stuff.

All the signs are there.

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posted on Nov, 6 2006 @ 10:37 AM
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Same here in Missouri. The kids came home with them. Also came home with info about terror attacks and such.



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 05:10 AM
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Good news from China:

Chinese scientists identify deadly gene in H5N1 virus

Shouldn't be too long to develop a vaccine, if this is true.



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 05:53 AM
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"Now that we know the special role of the (highly pathogenic) NS1 gene, we can think about developing a vaccine," Bu said, adding that a vaccine which neutralises the gene known as NS1 could be quickly designed.

"Technically, that can happen very soon, but it is the tests and other procedures that will take a long time."


This makes me wonder how long is ' a long time'.

Are they talking months, years, etc. Would the virus have time to mutate again and make this discovery irrelevant?



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 08:55 AM
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Originally posted by Grailkeeper

"Now that we know the special role of the (highly pathogenic) NS1 gene, we can think about developing a vaccine," Bu said, adding that a vaccine which neutralises the gene known as NS1 could be quickly designed.

"Technically, that can happen very soon, but it is the tests and other procedures that will take a long time."


This makes me wonder how long is ' a long time'.

Are they talking months, years, etc. Would the virus have time to mutate again and make this discovery irrelevant?






A long time - years - unless standards are lowered and laws relaxed regarding proofs of safety. Which is likely what will happen - if Big Pharma leads the pack. No small company will be allowed to market the vaccine unless most profits go to Big Pharma.

New mutations are considered irrelevant because this gene is in all H5N1 viruses. The genes that enable human-to-human transmission are different, so mutations on those genes hypothetically wouldn't neutralize vaccines targeted to NS1.


.


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posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 09:06 AM
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People transmit disease in a pandemic - but robots do not.

So a Japananese hospital just introduced an android receptionist and two robot porters to see how people respond, "and people's reactions to them are quite positive," says hospital official Naoya Narita.




Receptionist, porter robots make debut at Japanese hospital

The receptionist robot, produced by Japanese robot maker Tmsuk Co. Ltd., welcomes visitors at the entrance and answers spoken inquiries.

The two porter robots, which can move around on two wheels at a maximum speed of 1.5 kilometers per hour (about one mph), can carry luggage and take visitors and patients to their destinations.

The 1.3 meter (four-foot four-inch) high white-and-green robotic porters can also alert people to obstacles with their sensors.




Low key, but effective.


Thanks to the submitter: Dawn Of The Robots.


format

[edit on 7-11-2006 by soficrow]



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