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How dangerous is the H1N1 really?

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posted on Apr, 30 2009 @ 02:29 PM
After countless of threads dealing with all the horror and doom about swine flu, and all the fear that is spreading like a wildfire across the world but especially across ATS, I thought it might be interesting to hear another take on the danger of the H1N1 virus.

The following is an excerpt from George Washington's Blog, or click here for the full article.

Yesterday, the World Health Organization warned that "all of humanity is under threat". That sounds extremely dire, indeed.

However, the science says something different.

For example, as the Los Angeles times notes today:

Scientists studying the virus are coming to the consensus that this hybrid strain of influenza -- at least in its current form -- isn't shaping up to be as fatal as the strains that caused some previous pandemics.

In fact, the current outbreak of the H1N1 virus, which emerged in San Diego and southern Mexico late last month, may not even do as much damage as the run-of-the-mill flu outbreaks that occur each winter without much fanfare.

The LA Times goes on to provide useful detail:

Mounting preliminary evidence from genetics labs, epidemiology models and simple mathematics suggests that the worst-case scenarios are likely to be avoided in the current outbreak.

"This virus doesn't have anywhere near the capacity to kill like the 1918 virus," which claimed an estimated 50 million victims worldwide, said Richard Webby, a leading influenza virologist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn...

"There are certain characteristics, molecular signatures, which this virus lacks," said Peter Palese, a microbiologist and influenza expert at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York. In particular, the swine flu lacks an amino acid that appears to increase the number of virus particles in the lungs and make the disease more deadly...

We expect to see more cases, more hospitalizations, and, unfortunately, we are likely to see more deaths from the outbreak," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters Wednesday on her first day at work.

But certainly nothing that would dwarf a typical flu season. In the U.S., between 5% and 20% of the population becomes ill and 36,000 people die -- a mortality rate of between 0.24% and 0.96%...

And a pandemic doesn't necessarily have a high fatality rate...

Though scientists have begun to relax about the initial toll, they're considerably less comfortable when taking into account the fall flu season. They remain haunted by the experience of 1918, when the relatively mild first wave of flu was followed several months later by a more aggressive wave.

The longer the virus survives, the more chances it has to mutate into a deadlier form.

"If this virus keep going through our summer," Palese said, "I would be very concerned."

The bottom line is that while this flu is certainly spreading worldwide, and while it could mutate into something extremely lethal, right now it is fairly mild.

posted on Apr, 30 2009 @ 02:41 PM
Well, this was kinda rhetorical but i'll answer it.

It's dangerous enough that Biden has gone off fear mongering.
Which tells me it's not that bad.

If it mutates, we might be screwed. I have a sneaky suspicion that they've already got the cure, for a price if it mutates. So not concerned much.

I do notice more then ever, when someone sneezes in their hands then touch a door handle, as i'm across the room, every little thing I notice, not paranoia it's just clicking in my mind now.

Pig Flu =

posted on Apr, 30 2009 @ 02:43 PM
reply to post by Republican08

I am aware and I do use sanitizer for example before touching food. But that's what I have been doing for years. So, I am not more afraid of the swine flu than of the common flu.

But, I agree caution is important.

posted on Apr, 30 2009 @ 02:57 PM
The key part of the article is this:

"The longer the virus survives, the more chances it has to mutate into a deadlier form.

"If this virus keep going through our summer," Palese said, "I would be very concerned." "

I think it all depends on that. It may go away soon and not return, but it may also come back with a vengeance this fall. I think it's a good idea to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

posted on Apr, 30 2009 @ 02:59 PM
H1N1 is an old virus, not a new one. That is a common misconception that seems to be plaguing the world right now more so than this virus.

posted on Apr, 30 2009 @ 03:53 PM
I was just at the Dr's office and there was no one there. no patients.
I went because I had been throwing up had a lowgrade fever on Tuesday, not now. have headache etc.
they only tested me for a CBC and then said it was a stomach virus and to call if in 2 days i was not better. to consider myself contagious.
no flu test done that showed up on my charge.
so something fishy is going on and things do not add up. keep thinking people.
either my dr's office is not at all concerned or there really is no serious outbreak....but there was noone there and whenever i go it is packed very odd to see no one there and did not get to see a dr but a nurse practitioner.

posted on Apr, 30 2009 @ 03:58 PM
I have looked at the fearmongering on these boards, and in the press.

It seems to me that we forget our history, our entire genetic heritage has been put through severe natural selection since human beings began to live in cities.

We are just not that easy to kill off, it almost as if modern living has alienated us from the reality that our genome has been the product of epidemics throughout the ages.

I would say the origin of the 1918 flu was unique in history, tens of thousands of men with shredded lungs from gas attacks in the trenches in France, lay in tented hospitals next to piggaries. This was the source of the super-flu then and its unlikely to be repeated.

This strain appears to have come from intensive agriculture, a gigantic Mexican pig farm where standards were probably poor, which is why companies exploit the Mexican lack of animal rights to make a quick buck, and theyve ended up making a quick bug.

I think there will be scary moments in the next few weeks, but really we are being fed fear very cynically right now. I'm sure when this fear goes there will be another fed right away to keep us docile.

posted on Apr, 30 2009 @ 04:55 PM
Fianally a thread with a little balance, While I don't think the sky is falling just yet I will be keeping an eye on this through the summer, we will see what happens then,Harry good point about the farm practices time to clean up.

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