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Swine Flu news and updates thread

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posted on May, 8 2009 @ 02:16 AM
Found this article to be quite intriguing. When China spoke, we all should have listened! If already posted, I apologize.

Exclusive: SARS Sleuth Tracks Swine Flu, Attacks WHO

HONG KONG—Yi Guan has plenty of experience at ground zero of an epidemic. In spring 2003, the virologist at Hong Kong University (HKU) isolated the SARS virus from masked palm civets in a wild animal market in China’s Guangdong Province.
When the virus flared up again in late 2003, his team’s recommendation to slaughter all captive civets in the area may have been the key to stopping SARS in its tracks: The virus has not reemerged since.

Although SARS is his claim to fame, Guan has spent most of his career studying influenza after earning a Ph.D. in swine flu under eminent flu expert Robert Webster of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. He is currently collaborating with Webster’s group.

Guan has been highly critical of what he sees as WHO’s slow response to the H1N1 emergency. He took a break from marathon hours in the lab and 3 a.m. conference calls with U.S. colleagues to speak with ScienceInsider.

—Richard Stone

Q: Where did WHO go wrong?

Y.G.: Friday night [24 April], I was in Bombay airport, waiting for a flight back to Hong Kong. They [WHO and CDC] already knew the situation in Mexico. Mexico said they had human-to-human transmission, and MMWR [Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report] reported three cases in America—these cases were community cases.

Already it was an outbreak in the U.S., although it wasn’t severe, it didn’t kill people. I was still optimistic we could contain H1N1. Then nothing happened all weekend.

Q: So WHO should have raised the alert level sooner?

Y.G.: Yes! WHO should have gone to level 4 or even level 5 on Friday.

We missed the golden period to contain the virus. Several hours could be another couple hundred cases. Every second was valuable at that time. We made a huge mistake. From then on it was countdown to the pandemic.

Q: Why have there been dozens of deaths in Mexico but mostly mild cases in other countries?

Y.G.: We still do not have the clues why this virus seems to be milder outside Mexico.

At the initial stage of reassortment, most influenza viruses have low fitness. Their genomes are composed of eight gene segments. The reassortment event forms a new family with eight members. You can say they can have a family conflict. This kind of conflict makes reassorted viruses behavior very weird.

Q: Is it surprising how quickly H1N1 adapted?

Y.G.: All viruses, after interspecies transmission, will evolve fast. But why this H1N1 could become successful at efficient human-to-human transmission is still unknown. We have a knowledge gap about how influenza A viruses build up their pandemicity in humans. As swine H1N1 has being circulating in pigs since 1918, it has accumulated [many] differences from human H1N1 virus. So, for human beings, it looks like a novel subtype, as most human individuals lack immunity to this swine-like H1N1. This is one of the most important conditions for pandemic emergence. Whether the novel virus will develop into a more virulent strain—just like the Spanish flu did in the fall of 1918 to kill more people—we still don't have any idea.

Q: It depends on further mutations?

Y.G.: It depends on mutations and whether the virus further reassorts with other viruses—like H5N1. That could be a super nightmare for the whole world.

Q: You’re talking about the Armageddon virus?

Y.G.: The chance is very, very low that these two viruses will mix together, but we cannot rule out the possibility. Now, H5N1 is in more than 60 countries. It’s a panzootic, present everywhere except North America.

Q: If the nightmare comes true?

Y.G.: If that happens, I will retire immediately and lock myself in the P3 lab. H5N1 kills half the people it infects. Even if you inject yourself with a vaccine, it may be too late. Maybe in just a couple hours it takes your life.

Q: What have you learned from your work on H1N1 so far?

Y.G.: We almost figured out how H1N1 virus was generated—its evolutionary pathway. The virus has all the genetic markers that allow us to trace how and where it comes from. We have a huge tree [a family tree of influenza variants], a long history. My former supervisor here at HKU, Ken Shortridge, started flu surveillance in 1976. At each point where influenza virus changes, we made a record.

Q: Any truth to the speculation [in Chinese media] that the virus originated in China?

Y.G.: Actually, in this case, we cannot blame China. What’s interesting, the virus reassorted four or five times

Q: Is it surprising that you can have so much reassortment and still have a viable organism?

Y.G.: Yes, that’s right! Basically, we figured out where the virus originated, and we are writing a paper. But where and how this jumped into humans—that needs to be worked out in the U.S.

Q: What are some other major knowledge gaps?

Y.G.: Every year we meet many reassorted viruses, we don’t know which can jump to humans. Which one could become a pandemic? Nobody knows. We lack the knowledge to distinguish which virus has pandemic potential. This is a big limitation.

Many of us influenza researchers, we blame ourselves; if we have this knowledge, then we can get rid of pandemics in human beings. Life becomes very meaningful if you do something like that. SARS has been averted for 6 years. But I’ve been working 20 years on flu. I still don’t know which variant will cause a pandemic. I feel frustrated by this. In my lifetime, I won’t be able to solve this. Hopefully, my students will.

Q: Are you surprised there hasn’t been a SARS outbreak since 2003?

Y.G.: The ecosystem was disrupted. No more large amounts of wild animals in the market, just next to your door. It was like a big mixing vessel. Like a PCR [polymerase chain reaction] machine. Put the virus in and amplify it. That’s why my group has worked so hard to study the H5N1 ecosystem. We sample around 50,000 to 60,000 birds per year, about 200 per day. Like a factory. It’s very mechanical work, very dangerous work.

Q: Somebody has to do it.

Y.G.: Yes! How else can you compare an outbreak with peaceful times? This information will be vital to understand H1N1.


[edit on 8-5-2009 by paxnatus]

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 03:03 AM

Originally posted by Night Watchman
GENEVA (Reuters) - World Health Organization experts will meet next week to consider whether drug makers should switch from seasonal to pandemic flu production in response to the new H1N1 strain, an official said Wednesday.

Wait, the WHO is going to meet to CONSIDER whether drug makers should switch to pandemic flu production? Really? This is something they are not quite decided on?

So, let's review. We have a confirmed new strain of H1N1. We know that, while mild in the US, this new virus has been pretty widespread. We also know, historically, that the last two flu pandemics hit in waves and those after the first were deadly.

And WHO isn't quite convinced that we should be working on a vaccine.

I'm speechless.

The trouble is, the normal flu kills too, approx 36,000 deaths a year in America, the CDC says, and there are no spare facilities to make a new vaccine. All available facilities are supposedly taken up with making regular flu vaccine. So the swine flu vaccine will be made at the expense of the regular flu vaccine.

Now if the swine flu turns out to be less deadly than the regular flu, or less widely caught, making vaccine for that instead of the regular flu will result in more people dying.

However I suspect the truth of the matter is that the company which created and released this virus, (probably in another vaccine in Mexico,) already has a vaccine, it's just a bit early for them to let us know. And when they do produce it they'll make an absolute killing on the market, and be adored for having saved the world.

Let's hope it's just a money making venture and not an effort to drastically lower the world's population.

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 03:09 AM
I believe that this flu is no worse than any other flu. I believe that, for some reason, money for sure, certain people are trying to panic the world about this.

Do you believe that banks have stopped granting mortages or finance because of this? I have been told that this is so, but I wonder.

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 03:11 AM

Originally posted by yzzyUK
"We are all going to be exposed to the flu virus and we need to build antibodies up in the population."

erm... have I missed something here?

I want to catch it as early as possible, and so does the rest of my family.
Early on the 1918 flu was mild, and the people who caught it then would have had an immunity to it when it became more virulent.

The same could happen with this.
If you are going to be infected anyway, the sooner you are the better.
Just don't get it from people who are living 10 to a room. In that situation any virus can mutate to become much more deadly.

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 03:28 AM

Originally posted by minniesoda
First of all, I literally never get ill.....I have never had ear infection in my life...I chalked this recent illness with the sudden death of my father in January. I stayed with him in his last hours of life in the intensive care unit. The day after his funeral I became very ill and have not recovered since. I thought I became ill due to the stress, but now I am rethinking it. High fever, Double ear infection, upper respiratory infection and massive cold sores on my lips and in my mouth. My 6 yr old came down with the same thing. The fever is gone, but the rest of the symptoms have lingered. The cold sore re erupt every two weeks. I hurt all over and am extremely tired. The doc ruled out mono and strep and just says its a viral thing. My 23 yr old daughter, her two babies, my son 21, girlfriend and baby and my 19 yr old son all have been sick too. Nobody seems to be able to shake this thing...

I don't think swine flu acts like this really, this sounds like something else , one of those longer term bugs that won't go away properly. I had something like that off and on for an 18 month period which began about 2.5 years ago. I had no less than around 14 bouts of colds/bugs/viruses accompanied sometimes by white spots in my throat , cold sores, and was worried to the extent I requested blood tests thinking I'd developed some immune system disease. The tests showed nothing at all. Touch wood only one bug since last autumn. I don't know what it was , maybe stress related I don't know but it seriously went on that long . I'm no doctor but what you have doesn't sound like swine flu, or any flu. Flu knocks you out, you literally can't get out of bed for a week.
When your immune system is weakened it's easier to catch something new after just beginning to get over something else...I noticed things would flare up again as soon as anything especially stressful occured. I still don't know what the underlying bug was .

[edit on 8/5/09 by cosmicpixie]

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 03:32 AM
Hi all

Has anybody seen updated figures for Australia?

All the figures I have are days to a week old.

There is almost NO reporting of the H1N1 flu down here, and I would take a guess, but I think we will be one hard hit country come June when the normal flu season gets underway.

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 04:14 AM
There are some cases here in the UK, but none of the numbers are rather small. However, I am down with some chest viral infection. My doctor has put me on a strong antibiotic.

However, a few days ago, I had gone to church, only to hear that a member of church and their family were home quarantined here in Norfolk, but the numbers on the map don't show any outbreak in this area.

I started out with a dry cough and now I have congestion. My doctor said that if I start coughing up mucous that I have to contact the surgery straight away.

I am having plenty of bed rest and reducing contact with as many people, as I can. My neighbour has gone away for the weekend to allow me even more rest. I am worried that they may have picked up this virus. She told me her daughter is experiencing similar symptoms to me.

At the moment I feel fine, but the congestion really hits when I am asleep in bed. I couldn't get much sleep last night. I am going to use my convalescence to catch up on my OU studies, while I am able between falling asleep and with the other symptoms. I have oedema and muscle wastage. My doctor told me to keep my legs elevated.

Anyway, I will check back to see if there are any more updates relating to the virus. Yes, my condition has been classed as a viral infection. I don't know where I picked it up from, but my immune system is easily compromised when there are viruses about whether seasonal, or not. I am hoping this is a seasonal thing. Oh, dear, I just had a cough and sneeze at the same time. I am only now experiencing nasal congestion.

I don't feel that it is the H1N1 at this point and time, and neither does my doctor. However, the first sign of any infection it is best to contact the doctor. My chest had been rattling for a couple of days, when I rang my surgery, they suggested that I rang, if I noticed any other changes with my cough. When it got more severe, the doctor came out straight away. They can't take any chances when I am ill.

There is a trend of flu virus going about where I live, but I wish I could hear more as to what is going on in my county, as I do know that it is in the county.

Has anybody heard of any reports of H1N1 being confirmed in Norfolk UK?

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 04:21 AM
reply to post by LenGXV6

For a possible up to date situation, compensated for the days it take to test please check here


posted on May, 8 2009 @ 04:27 AM
reply to post by Zykloner[

Let us all wake up - the flu is a way to panic the world.

This flu is no worse than any other flu.

It is a way for people to manipulate other people.

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 04:43 AM
reply to post by spellbound

Something that i was 100% sure of until i saw my own graphs for official numbers showing exponential growth.


posted on May, 8 2009 @ 05:01 AM
reply to post by Zykloner

OK, who is sending out those figures?

Do not trust anyone.

I grew up believing in people - now I don't.

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 05:05 AM

Originally posted by spellbound
reply to post by Zykloner[

Let us all wake up - the flu is a way to panic the world.

This flu is no worse than any other flu.

It is a way for people to manipulate other people.

Let me start by saying I had asked someone else to post this so you guys wouldn't kno wit was me.
I GOT YOUR FAKE FLU...yeah that's right the one you keep saying is a way for tptb to manipulate us ALL! Here is a primer for you pay attention because I am going to post this then leave. I may have to go into the hospital if my breathing rate doesnt come up soon.
Back In Feburary we got a terrible flu, it came from a guy at my hub's work who had been to Mexico to visit family. At the time we had no idea what was going on there and chalked it up to one nasty flu bug that wiped us out BAD. Well since then every 20/21 days on the mark my son and I who have asthma have been hit with a weird bacterial infection in our lungs.
This time as of today mind you.... I went in to get check out yet again. I had developed the sniffles along with my son on monday night tuesday morning. YET AGAIN with in 48 HOURS we went from having SNIFFLES to full blown BACTERIAL BRONCHITIS.Rattling lungs and choking up so much mucous it is like we are vomiting! Total dehydration, sleeping sitting upright on the couch so we can breathe....

THIS TIME I am not fighting it AT ALL. It is completely wiping me out. I am drinking fluids like mad and still I am dehydrated. I am taking huge doses of anti biotics and damn near crawling around my house to get around. I am on the verge of having to leave my 3 children alone and go in to the hospital. IT IS REAL FOR ME!
You may want to believe that there are no sick people out there but let me tell you what. Everyone I had seen today was sick not one person I passed going into the doctors areas, in the pharmacy store no one was was well. AT the pharmacy they had so many percriptions up they had them lined up on the FLOOR BELOW THE PACKED RACKS! This isn't some joke or media hype out sweet heart people are getting terribly sick. You should perhaps do a little more REAL research before coming on here and downing everyone who is taking there time to REALLY INVESTIGATE THIS.

Even though I think you are being an idiot playing the devils advocate over this I pray to what ever God there is that you and yours DON'T get it.
Good bye xoxo stacie

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 05:14 AM
reply to post by spellbound

What makes you so sure that this flu is a tool to panic and manipulate?

It's like me coming on here and saying....'Wake up people, this Flu is gonna be the end of us all!!!'

I have no proof for that, same as i'm sure you have no proof to your statement.

Keep an open mind, You and I and many people have no idea how this is really going to pan out

Good morning fellow Swine Flu followers

Keep up the good work

[edit on 8-5-2009 by skitzspiricy]

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 05:15 AM
reply to post by xoxo stacie

I hope that you get better - I do not believe that you have this so-called
flu, I think you just have flu.

I think that peole who have a cold, or flu, need to stop panicking.


posted on May, 8 2009 @ 05:18 AM
Just to make something clear about the lethality of the virus:

We all say that the 1918 virus had a lethality of 3%. It's false.


If swine flu follows the route of its 1918-19 predecessor, receding over the summer, then coming back in a more virulent version next winter, it could get serious. The great Spanish influenza pandemic after World War I infected 500 million people, more than one-quarter of the human race at that time, and it had a death rate of 10 percent, which eventually caused 50 million deaths.

See? 10 percent death rate. Swine flu is NOWHERE near that. Doom cancelled.

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 05:19 AM
reply to post by skitzspiricy

Ever heard about a gut feeling?

No proof, but there you go.

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 05:21 AM

I had asked someone else to post this so you guys wouldn't kno wit was me.

I'm confused... it's signed Stacie?

And why are you so angry?

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 05:22 AM

Originally posted by Vitchilo
Just to make something clear about the lethality of the virus:

We all say that the 1918 virus had a lethality of 3%. It's false.


If swine flu follows the route of its 1918-19 predecessor, receding over the summer, then coming back in a more virulent version next winter, it could get serious. The great Spanish influenza pandemic after World War I infected 500 million people, more than one-quarter of the human race at that time, and it had a death rate of 10 percent, which eventually caused 50 million deaths.

See? 10 percent death rate. Swine flu is NOWHERE near that. Doom cancelled.

your comparing the 1918 virus's second wave to swine flu in the summer and in the first wave - wait until the winter this year and then we can clearly decide if it all hype or real.

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 05:22 AM
were only in the first quarter of this thing...If you look at it like a football game..

Get well Stacie..OJ...And more OJ

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 05:28 AM
reply to post by xoxo stacie

You just have flu - don't even think that it is that flu.

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