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Real threat or just scaremongering?

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posted on Sep, 27 2005 @ 12:40 PM
I seem to remember a few years back when everyone was screaming about a SARS epidemic. Yet we don't seem to hear about it anymore.

Then a couple years back we were told that there would be a severe flu outbreak, and that vaccines were of a limited supply--and that the vaccines were not for that strain anyway. Then they pointed out kids in Colorado who had died of the flu--and they never mentioned whether or not those kids had other problems as well.

I sincerely hope it's just scaremongering, though I am getting tired of people crying wolf all the time. Let's hope the wolf doesn't actually pop up.

posted on Sep, 27 2005 @ 03:07 PM
can never be too careful, remember that this is the modern world with advances in medical science that may able to counter diseases or to respond fast to contain but we are in a globalized world where people are interacting. Black Plague or Black Death in Europe that killed a a third of Europe's population alone. or the superflu that killed 20 million in weeks and it was after WWI. it was nicknames the 1918 flu.

[edit on 27-9-2005 by deltaboy]

posted on Sep, 27 2005 @ 03:42 PM
[Sarcasm]Yeah Sars was such a scam that it literally scared my cities entire chinese population into hiding for weeks.[/Sarcasm]

If it wasn't for the prompt information from news officials many more then 1000 people(worldwide) would have died. If anything the economic damage done to my city was in the Billions and we are just now recovering, please tell me who made money off that as I can't fathom who did as we have the Canada Health Act and Price Controls and all....

H5N1 is being taken seriously by local hospitols(no such thing as private hospitols in Canada btw)

Oh yeah SARS is still around it's just laying dormant, H5N1 may become a Pandemic this year or 10 years from now we just don't know so we have to keep on our toes.

The Spanish Flu had a 3 % Fatality rate yet it killed more people in one month of WW1 then the entirety of that war. No one knows how many people died, estimates range from 20-30 million to 100+ million people.

We should be worried but not panicked.

Here is a link about Sars which according to the statistics had a 9 % Fatality rate 3 times higher then the Spanish Flu.

And here is a wiki article on the Bird Flu for reference. I've heard estimated Fatality rates of above 10%. That is scary in of itself. Non Contaigous diseases usually have these types of numbers like Cancer and such, just think of a Contagious disease that is just as deadly as Lung Cancer but it works much much quicker.

Sorry if I'm giving you nightmares but I wouldn't be saying this if I wasn't 95% sure I was right.

[edit on 27-9-2005 by sardion2000]

posted on Sep, 27 2005 @ 03:59 PM
So far, spread of H5N1 virus from person to person has been rare and spread has not continued beyond one person. However, because all influenza viruses have the ability to change, scientists are concerned that the H5N1 virus could one day be able to infect humans and spread easily from one person to another. Because these viruses do not commonly infect humans, there is little or no immune protection against them in the human population. If the H5N1 virus were able to infect people and spread easily from person to person, an “influenza pandemic” (worldwide outbreak of disease) could begin. No one can predict when a pandemic might occur. However, experts from around the world are watching the H5N1 situation in Asia very closely and are preparing for the possibility that the virus may begin to spread more easily and widely from person to person.

Most recently, human cases of H5N1 infection have occurred in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia during large H5N1 outbreaks in poultry. The death rate for these reported cases has been about 50 percent. Most of these cases occurred from contact with infected poultry or contaminated surfaces; however, it is thought that a few cases of human-to-human spread of H5N1 have occurred.

posted on Sep, 27 2005 @ 07:18 PM
food chain is getting bad. cows birds and of course we dont know how to use soap.wash your hands right maybe we will live alot longer.its out there waiting for you to make it free.....

posted on Sep, 27 2005 @ 08:40 PM

Originally posted by Amethyst
I sincerely hope it's just scaremongering, though I am getting tired of people crying wolf all the time. Let's hope the wolf doesn't actually pop up.

H5N1 is an avian influenza and should be taken very seriously. Although sustained human-to-human transmission has not been reported, it most likely will.

The reason? In the world of influenza's, most recombinations either die out from lack of proper combinations needed to sucessfully infect a host or the host populations developes imunity to that particular combination. In the case of H5N1, it has shown itself to be a very robust critter. Since it's 1st major outbreak in polutry, H5N1 was 100% lethal. This in itself would have spelled doom for it, since it would not have the host to futher spread itself. This means that H5N1 was endemic in other bird species with either a lower case fatility rate or the hosts were asymptomatic.

These were the wild ducks. H5N1 soon changed itself enough to infect wild geese, which because of their long range flight capabilities, were able to introduce H5N1 to a greater geographical area, and in turn infect more birds.

This greater geographical range and greater host population allowed H5N1 to exchange more genes than ever. It has shown the unique trait to be able to directly jump species with out changing itself. Being the opportunist, H5N1 has now aquired a human gene sequence (E627K), which shows how it can recombine with other virus's and still be deadly. Note: an avian virus has never before shown the ability to do this! Thats the scary part that we all fear that will happen again, and again until it develops the H2H transmission that will knock us around pretty badly.

So...prepare yourself and loved couldn't hurt and just might save you.

[edit on 27-9-2005 by gman55]

posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 02:44 AM
Just before all this began to unfold my 2yr daughter
became ill with a terrifying lung infection.
A girl down the street here in Jakarta had recently died,
and an acquaintance and her daughter also died
from severe lung illnesses as well in May and June.

Although she had not been to the zoo at Ragunan (nearby),
her older sister has visited the Ragunan zoo previously, last year.
She suffered symptoms of high fever with a severe cough and accelerated heartbeat
associated with extremely difficult breathing began in early September.
Breathing became so difficult that she became delirious and then
went into a sort of semi-conscious state. We rushed her to a Jakarta hospital where
we knew from previous experience with her older sister that
facilities and techniques were prepared for restoring her breathing.
Given some antibiotics and expectorant to treat the case,
we returned home only to have her relapse several times.

As the government declared the H5N1 situation required forced hospitalization
we watched televised news, where, unlike other countries,
local film crews are allowed to stalk patients like paparazzi
in through the admittance process.
The most riveting sight was that of Riska strapped to a gurney with
sheer terror in her eyes as attendants peeled her away from family
and whisked her into intensive care.
The reports you don't read in the English-language versions coming out
discuss the fear and panic these patients are subjected to.
In order to prevent any intra-family exposure the patients are
isolated and stripped of their belongings.
Wailing and shrieking is actively encouraged
as a signal that their lungs are being purged of mucus.
That young girl died,
the image of her panic while being wheeled in to her death
is seared into my mind.
For any young child,
this barbaric treatment is no less than an emotional death sentence.
If they had warded her parents in with her she might have lived.
Besides, what kind of parent fears illness from being with their child
in the face of death in a strange place?

As our daughter relapsed yet again Sept 21, we went to a rather expensive clinic
where proper tests were performed along with minimally harsh medical treatments.
Her malady was confirmed to be a simple bacterial infection brewing inside
her lungs which had developed complications, as opposed to bird flu.
The chances of this being confused with bird flu were quite high
justified by the number of patients sick with other infections warded for bird flu.
Although there do exist many doctors here in Jakarta with exceedingly high standards,
there are many places where panic prevails over common sense.
Although some expatriates here disparage local medicine standards,
local doctors regularly perform miracles given their lack of funding.
The result of this situation, however, is an almost inevitable prescription of
various antibiotic cocktails and strange combinations of expectorants
and sleeping potions in prescriptions.
H5N1 is not necessarily the whole reason there are so many deaths here.
Many of the children would survive if they were treated a bit more humanely.

Along with all this is the fact that many people die here each day from
diseases ascribed by hurried medical personnel to ordinary infections.
H5N1 has probably killed and infected a lot more people than
the authorities will ever know about.
Because the rate of infection is still slow no one has realized
this until recently, with reactions typical in this part of the world.
The panic itself is generating conditions for mutation and eventual deaths of patients.
The follies of quarantine will not work here in Jakarta,
it is already far too late.
There is no quarantine in the period before the disease is perceived.
By the time symptoms appear the host has already exposed family
and friends to the disease.
This part of Asia has a suicidal approach to sharing
uncleaned eating utensils and stray saliva with both family and friends.
A family dinner for most in the city is a noisily wet affair
with food spraying from the mouths of people engaged in heated discussions
with no regard for how unintelligible they are speaking with around a gob of mush.

Shovelling greasy fingers into a communal rice bowl is a badge of communion.
A whole host of mites, lice, and other body parasites quietly labour
to spread their spectrum of life across the clothing and bedding of the city.
Giant rats roam at night streets littered with chickens and cats by day.
Birds are favorite pets here, with aquariums being almost as popular.
The unremitting tropical heat is constantly brewing things
in every forgotten corner of the city where flies and mosquitoes
feast in fetid stews of kitchen scraps tossed into industrial wastebins.
Although the term hygiene has been grafted into the language here,
almost no one has the faintest idea what it means or entails.

Already this year we have faced dengue and polio threats here.
One thought that does occur is that the city-wide polio vaccination
occured almost simultaneously with the outbreak of the H5N1 threat.
These widespread vaccinations targeting youth raise the question
of whether a potential virus such as H5N1 can take advantage of the
mass vaccinations of children to find ways past the normal resistance
we all have to such diseases.
Coincidence? Probably, but certainly a thought to consider.

For Jakarta it is already too late - H5N1 may not become level 6 here
but as you read this something far more apocalyptic
is probably taking notes at a warm dinner table nearby.
Perhaps H5N1 will probably become a significant problem
but the next serious menace may be something else,
perhaps a fungus mutated to attack skin or
something like a cross-bred version of influenza and tuberculosis.
You must see some of the slime that grows around here to appreciate
just how well things grow in the shade of a tropical region.
Although the Gulf Coast has similar fungus brewing capacity,
a different culture with a higher awareness of hygiene
precludes that region from being the source of the next pandemic
And there are bogs and swamps here that have been stewing
for thousands of years which only now are humans digging into
to prepare new cities and developments.
Somewhere someone will eventually dig into a motherlode
of biological hazards and bring some home for dinner
as a prospective mate for whatever illness they keep as a household pet.

But, as it stands now, there is no real pandemic here.
When it does arrive, the news media will not know until after many deaths,
since they pay very little attention to disease here.

The best that can be hoped for now is that researchers will continue
developing drugs to combat this flu, along with developing deeper
knowledge of how to deal with the new threats being generated as you read this.

Death will follow Malthusian instructions here,
but it will not have the same effect where children are treated better
and hygiene is taught early and intently to the youth.

Living healthy and taking care of your body is much more potent medicine
than worrying about all this, as inevitable as it is.

posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 05:35 AM

Originally posted by sardion2000
[Sarcasm]Yeah Sars was such a scam that it literally scared my cities entire chinese population into hiding for weeks.[/Sarcasm]

funny and true story: I saw an asian person wearing a mask on the bus at the height of the SARS thing, and I live in Australia.

maybe the bird flu is just scaremongering, maybe not. but why would someone make this stuff up?

posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 06:46 AM
I question whether this is scaremongering or not. I recall fears about Marsburg (SP?) or Ebola sweeping the world in the early 90s, replaced by SARS, then replaced by this.

It's a kind of "Storm of the Century of the Week" thing. Bad news can be good news for newspeople.

What concerns me more are the bugs that might be out there we know nothing about. The fact that we are talking about H5N1, and that the media has fully acknowledged it as a possible threat, are an inherent advantage. Plus the risk of mutation - like the day AIDS mutates in someone's body to become incredibly more environmentally resistant and transmittable through air. (Not sure if that can even happen or not.)

Plus, the fact is that H5N1 has been around for awhile, right? We've had less then 100 people die from it. It doesn't sound like it's incredibly contagious. Not yet at least.

posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 07:34 AM
Teknik - welcome!
I take it you are living in Jakarta? What a sad and interesting post. Thank you for taking time to share first hand experiences. It is posts like yours that lend great credibility to the situation at hand and I for one am very interested in hearing more as the situation developes.
Please keep us informed as this progresses. I am very glad to hear that your daughter is recovering. What a scary thing to face. Here in the US we can only speculate on what is to come but most have never lived first hand what you have described.
Thank you for sharing and I hope to hear more from you soon.

posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 01:11 PM

Originally posted by DDay
Teknik - welcome!
I take it you are living in Jakarta?

Thanks for your interest, I just felt it appropriate to shed a bit of light here.
The shrill voices of panic are gratingly counterproductive, but,
as grim as things are, there needs to be some balanced reporting.
'The situation is not that bad - it is, however, worse than anyone can imagine.'
People still live here, the birds up the street are still singing,
the bakery next door is doing a booming business,
street vendors push carts of sate and other staples all day long,
and the children still run and play.
But daylight seems a bit heavier than in years gone past,
and everyone knows the air is not as innocent as once perceived..

The headlines gloss over the nitty-gritty details
of how disease actually works.
I read one article yesterday where
the author recommended covering the nose when sneezing.
(If the reader is already sneezing, the game is already over.
The reader should be better advised how to avoid others' mucus.)
The headlines are ping-ponging back and forth between
the sky is falling and hope is only found through government policies.
The truth is that if people simply followed simple hygiene
they would never need worry about all this stuff,
but that's not how they sell newspapers I suppose.
Given the current level of ignorance here
a generation of thirty years would be necessary to raise
sanitation to the point where the flu posed a lesser threat.

The good folk in Singapore understood this decades ago,
thus they are well-prepared, but they are surrounded by a sea of filth.
They understood that the only way to avoid these problems
is by raising the standard of living and education of the entire population.
Pockets of poverty = cauldrons of pestilence.
Fleecing the population is national pastime elsewhere.

Jakarta will continue to exist, if existence itself is tolerable.
Throngs of people will still eke out a diminishing existence
in a city facing increasing food and power shortages,
but the simple fact remains that soon enough this place will
bequeath the planet something terrible.

after living here for over a decade I can see it's time now to
turn out the lights and leave.
The situation here is deteriorating at an accelerating pace.

Although I do not believe H5N1 is the real threat,
the fact remains that it is only a matter of time before
something really does sprout here, and having a choice,
it is time to go.
(To be fair, there are other cities such as Bangkok and others,
but they have a sliver of hope and administration that responds.
Jakarta is a city where the departure of hope is seen every day
in the steady rape and plunder by those who want just a few dollars more.)

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