Pandemic News/Awareness. - page 10

I had to close the other panflu thread as it was way too long, and becoming unreadable. I am starting this one with info on the agenda of this meeting tomorrow in Congress. I am linking to... Read More

  1. by   indigo girl
    Should you be scared about bird flu contamination of food?

    Good topic. I have been thinking about this lately also. We just are not sure whether or not people have been infected by eating contaminated food. It certainly looks suspicious though, in some of these cases.

    I do remember reading somewhere about a woman that picked up a piece of fruit from the ground, and ate it. That may have been her only risk factor, but I can not find that link anywhere. We know that two boys died after drinking some kind of raw soup with duck blood. People are being told that as long as their poultry is throughly cooked, it is safe to eat. Of course, you have to decontaminate any surfaces and utensils as well as your hands after preparing the poultry. How easy is this to do in a more primitive place?

    Then there is the question of whether or not humans have receptors in the gut that allow H5N1 to attach there. So can we be infected thru the gut?
    We do not know for sure. We do know that some victims had diarrhea as their presenting symptom that could indicate that the GI tract was involved

    There is still much that we do not know about how people are getting infected.

    Quote from
    ... the quality of medical history from many cases is poor. Often if infected birds have been seen anywhere in the neighborhood the case is assumed to be from contact with infected birds. But the EFSA monograph cites a personal communication from Peter Horby, WHO's epidemiologist in Vietnam, that one third of the Vietnamese cases have no history of direct exposure to poultry. In other countries, like Indonesia, many of the cases are so poorly investigated little reliance can be put on vague histories of poultry contact. Thus EFSA, along with many others (including WHO), would seem to have overstated this.

    There's a lot of conventional wisdom about bird flu that will probably be shown to be wrong. Unfortunately no one is wise enough to know which.
  2. by   indigo girl
    Another death in Indonesia in a case no one knew even existed, and Laos has confirmed that the older H5 case was in fact H5N1 as if there was any doubt:
  3. by   indigo girl
    Quote from"

    A Thai Point of View:
    Yet this disease remains one of the scariest around because of the potential it possesses of making the long-feared evolutionary jump to human-to-human transmission. While this will always be a source of concern, we must retain a sense of perspective and avoid the panic and mild hysteria that all too often accompanies any mention of the bird flu virus.

    Croft comments:
    This kind of statement always mystifies me. In two years of tracking H5N1, I have found no sign of panic or "mild hysteria" in anyone discussing the problem. The topic seems to provoke depression, denial, sarcasm, and ridicule, but not panic or hysteria.
    I couldn't agree with you more.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Mar 17, '07
  4. by   indigo girl
    Here is an essay on the troublesome situation in Nigeria. Avian flu appears to be widespread. There is a difference between containing the disease, and preventing it. Human cases if they occur, may not even be recognized for what they are, and that is very alarming indeed. The woman mentioned in this link was only diagnosed because her father insisted on, and paid for her autopsy. Her mother died about 2 weeks earlier, and avian flu is suspected as the cause of her death also.

    There are many obstacles that stand in the way of making some progress in the control of this disease in that country.
    (hat tip flutrackers/Dutchy)
  5. by   indigo girl
    An interesting SARS study from Hong Kong that has implications for any future epidemic of communicable disease such as pandemic influenza:

    Quote from [URL=""[/URL]'s common for hospitals to put more patients in a unit during an epidemic, not fewer, but the findings show the danger of that practice.
    Our current pandemic plans in most states involve directing flu cases that can not be managed at home, to designated sites such as gymnasiums, hotels, schools etc. I suspect that that there will be many patients per unit
    because they will not be able to handle the numbers in any other way.
    Everyone remembers the pictures from 1918 of large groups of soldiers on cots, lined up row after row.

    Quote from [URL=""[/URL]
    The authors noted the lessons learned. They wrote, "With the current threat of avian influenza and other respiratory infections, such as tuberculosis, hospital wards have to be redesigned and managed in a manner to ensure that environmental factors associated with nosocomial infections are kept to the minimum."
    Are hospitals really going to be redesigned? I do not see this kind of planning taking place here in this era of budget tightening.

    Quote from [URL=""[/URL]
    "The importance of adequate spacing between beds and provision of washing or changing facilities for staffers cannot be overemphasized. Staffers with symptoms of respiratory infections should refrain from continuing their clinical duties. Adequate complementary protective devices at the source of infection (namely, infected patients) would have to be designed.
    Staffers with s/s of respiratory infections staying home? Given our current system of retaliation against workers that call out sick, this is not likely.
    Some facilities are starting to realize the importance of keeping visitors with respiratory symptoms as well as staff from entering. This type of thinking involves a cultural change that should be encouraged thru PSAs, state wide health policies etc. It is very important to make this change, but
    it will involve a massive educational campaign because this attitude is so entrenched in our work ethic.

    Quote from [URL=""[/URL]
    "Additional work needs to be conducted with regard to the safe use of oxygen therapy and/or ventilatory support among patients with respiratory infections."
    This is curious. Are they talking about closed systems? I am wondering about the ways that use of oxygen therapy could spread infection, and how to minimize this.
  6. by   CRNI-ICU20
    some things to be careful of when looking at pandemics, are:
    1) who is doing the testing?
    2)who is saying there's a pandemic?
    3)who is providing the antidote/vaccine
    4)how much money is involved?

    too many drug companies are setting public health policy, while the fda and the national intstitues of health, and the cdc, all bobble their heads in agreement without proper testing, legitimate truth in their testing, and all so they can make billions of dollars for their shareholders...
    a 15 year old vietnamese girl means nothing to them...
    a case in point:
    jonas salk declared his polio vaccine a complete failure because the cell lines used to make his drug were contaminated with he-la cells....cells that were taken from rhesus monkey kidney cells...which contained smv40 (simian virus 40) cancer cells.....these same cells were injected into children in this country in the form of vaccine.....with devastating results..
    this is on congressional record...
    the truth is: polio only occured in places where the population had been vaccinated! which means the vaccine either failed to provide the immunity that was claimed, or the virus had altered enough that there was no immunity to it...

    in 1976,dr. jonas salk, creator of the killed virus vaccine that was used throughout the 1950's, testified that the live virus vaccine that was used by dr. sabin,and which was used almost exclusively in the united states,which was used since the 1960's, was the principle, if not the sole cause of all reported cases of polio in the united states since 1961. the cdc figures report that 87% of all cases of polio between 1973 and 1983 were due to vaccination.

    [color=#ffffff]in i 1976 dr. jonas salk, creator of the killed virus vaccine that was used throughout the 1950s testified that the live virus vaccine produced by dr. sabin, and which was used almost exclusively in the united states since the early 1960s, was the "principle if not sole cause" of all reported cases of polio in the united states since 1961. according to the centers for disease control figures, 87% of all cases of polio in the united states between 1973 and 1983 were caused by the vaccine. it is now admitted that since 1979 virtually every case of polio in the united states has been caused by the vaccine.
    1976 dr. jonas salk, creator of the killed virus vaccine that was used throughout the 1950s testified that the live virus vaccine produced by dr. sabin, and which was used almost exclusively in the united states since the early 1960s, was the "principle if not sole cause" of all reported cases of polio in the united states since[color=#ffffff]
  7. by   CRNI-ICU20
    more on the subject...

    dr offit works for merck and has a patent on a rotavirus vaccine
    "if they were willing to look at all the studies that were done with vaccines, they would find that they are, i think without question, the safest, best-tested thing we put into our bodies," says offit. "i think they have a better safety record than vitamins. (cbs) 60 minutesoctober 20, 2004
    "there have never been any safety studies done for any vaccine in use today that would meet the criteria of scientific proof. all we have are epidemiologic studies, which are indicators but not proof in and of themselves." [oct 2004] letter to the british medical journal by harold e buttram, md,
    "longest safety trial of of the triple vaccine (mmr, all live attenuated viruses) was three weeks."--dr fudenburg md
    "i have minutes from a cdc study group meeting on the hepatitis b vaccine held in march, 1997. the minutes of the meeting show that it would take at least a 60 day study to show the onset of ms. clinical studies done by the two manufacturers were four and five days in length, respectively. it should be noted that the afternoon session of this meeting was chaired by dr. robert sharrar of merck."--betty d. fluck
    "the anthrax vaccine was approved without every doing a controlled clinical study. there is no long term safety data on the anthrax vaccine. the government admitted this in congressional hearings. it is a distortion of the truth to say there is substantial safety data."--bart classen
    in the may 24, 1996, new zealand medical journal, j. barthelow classen, md, a former researcher at the u.s. national institutes of health (nih) and the founder and ceo of classen immunotherapies in baltimore, reported that juvenile diabetes increased 60 per cent following a massive hepatitis b vaccination campaign for babies six weeks or older in new zealand from 1988 to 1991. in the october 22, 1997, infectious diseases in clinical practice, classen showed that finland's incidence of diabetes increased 147 per cent in children under five after three new vaccines were introduced in the 1970s, and that diabetes increased 40 per cent in children aged 5 to 9 after the addition of the mmr and hib vaccines in the 1980s. he concluded that "the rise in iddm [juvenile onset diabetes] in the different age groups correlated with the number of vaccines given." ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    before we buy into all the news reports of millions being infected with h5n1....we need to
    1)consider the source
    2)demand truthful research
    3)demand to know who is behind the research
    4)stop letting merck and other drug companies dictate health policy in order to improve their bottom line....
  8. by   CRNI-ICU20
    "according to one memo, sv40 was found in three of 15 lots of the oral vaccine seven months after the federal directive was issued in march 1961. lederle released the contaminated vaccine to the public anyway, the memo shows. the documents also suggest that the company failed to test the monkey- kidney seed strains used to make the bulk polio vaccine for contamination, despite a written warning from dr. albert sabin, who developed the oral vaccine."--media
    "sixty-two papers from 30 laboratories from around the world have reported sv40 in human tissues and tumors," he said. "it is very difficult to believe that all of these papers, all of the techniques used and all of the people around the world are wrong." of the newest discoveries came from dr. jeffrey kopp, an nih scientist who reported finding sv40 in a high percentage of patients with kidney disease. the virus was also present, he said, in 60 percent of a new "collapsing" type of renal disease that was unknown before 1980 but has since increased rapidly in incidence."--media

    if you are interested in reading more about this,
    just google henrietta lacks(got it right this time)....she died from a virulent form of cervical cancer whose origination was from human papilloma virus....
    her cells continue to live on in petri dishes all over the world...and scientists everywhere laud the research being done with her cell line...however, some of those cells have contaminated vaccines...
    kinda makes you wonder....
  9. by   CRNI-ICU20
    "the serious problem of hela cell contamination in cancer and vaccine research is revealed in michael gold's a conspiracy of cells: one woman's immortal legacy and the medical scandal it caused. even jonas salk, who developed the legendary salk polio vaccine, was fooled when hela cells contaminated his animal cell lines. he admitted this years later in 1978 before a stunned audience of cell biologists and vaccine makers. in experiments performed in the late 1950s on dying cancer patients, salk tried injecting them with a cell line of monkey heart tissue - the same cell line he used to harvest polio virus for his famous vaccine. he hoped the monkey cell injections would stimulate the immune system to fight cancer. however, when abcesses developed at the site of injections salk began to suspect that he might be injecting hela cells rather than monkey cells, and he stopped the experiment.
    mark nelson-rees, a hela cell expert and one of the 1978 conference attendees, offered to test salk's line if it was still available. salk graciously agreed and the monkey cells indeed proved to be hela cells which had invaded and taken over the monkey cell line. according to author gold, salk thought there were adequate ways to separate viruses from the tissue cell lines they were harvested in, so that it really didn't matter what kind of cells were used. even if vaccines weren't filtered, and even if whole cancer cells were injected directly into a human, salk believed they would be rejected by the body and cause no harm. in those days doctors didn't much believe in cancer-causing viruses. nowadays, no researcher would dare try injecting cancer cells into a human being. but in the 1950s salk had done it accidently. he had injected hela cells into a few dozen patients and it hadn't bothered him a bit."--alan cantwell md
  10. by   indigo girl
    Let's look a little history first. This link was written before the African cases so they are not included, and of course the number of cases as well as the case fatality rate are not up to date.

    As I mentioned in my PM to you, I wanted to focus on the H5N1 virus itself
    because that is what convinced me personally that we have a problem.
    I will try to explain this in my limited way since I am not a virologist. I expect that if I flub it up too much, some one with more expertise will come along and clarify this eventually.

    Currently, the avian flu epidemic is a pandemic (spans several continents)
    of birds only. It would not even be considered an epidemic as of yet, amongst humans.
    So, therefore, nobody is saying that there is a pandemic in humans. So let's be really clear about that. THERE IS NO PANDEMIC. Got it? It hasn't happened yet.

    I am going to quote myself from a previous panflu thread when I say that we are watching the transformation of this virus into a more efficient and more targeted killer of humans. The acquisition of SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) pronounced “snip,” that make this virus more adaptive to mammalian physiology is causing world wide concern. A polymorphism is a difference between two or more viral sequences. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) is one change. Here are a few examples of recent changes that this virus has made:

    E627K was never found in birds before. It is a mammalian SNP that allows the virus to exist at the lower body temperature of mammals since birds have a higher body temp.
    This SNP is now found in virtually all of the virus west of China.

    M230I is found in all human SEASONAL influenzas. It was also found in one of the fatal cases in Egypt last season. Luckily, none of the three Egyptian kids who recently recovered (5yr old Female, 4 yr old Female, and 4 year old Male) had M230I. Finding it in an avian flu case was very alarming for many. Why? Because it allows the virus to be transmitted more easily to humans as seasonal flu is very transmissible. It also offers a selective advantage for infecting human cells. So far, "all cases with M230I have died...M230I, near the receptor binding domain"(Dr.Niman).
    Changes in the receptor binding domain are cause for concern because they can alter the ease of transmission.

    Another change is a 5 amino acid deletion in the NS gene segment. This change is also associated with a more lethal H5N1, which involves evasion of the host immune response.

    H274Y allows for drug resistance to neuraminidase antivirals. This occurred in Vietnam.

    N274S also is associated with neuraminidase resistance as in the Tamiflu resistant cases recently in Egypt and in Vietnam in 2005.

    There are other changes that have occurred but, I am not trying to teach a virology class. I just wish to point out that we are witnessing a lethal virus that is rapidly undergoing selection for some very significant changes, and it is scaring the heck out of most of the world's virologists, health organizations, and governments. They are spending billions of dollars in a holding action in other countries to try to prevent it from spreading. It continues to spread despite everything that is being done to halt it.

    With that said, yes, there is money to be made in producing the antivirals and vaccines. Is it running things? No, I think not. But, there is a tremendous amount of secrecy and politics involved all over the globe about this disease, and how much is happening and where.

    This virus does not care. Neither do the other novel influenza viruses. That is what bothers me.
    Last edit by indigo girl on May 6, '07
  11. by   CRNI-ICU20
    Here's a question for you....
    Do you remember SARS?
    Do you remember how many ACTUAL cases of SARS DEATHS between 2001 and 2003 were documented...
    Do you remember the "epidemic" geographical source?
    (It was China)
    When it started to spread across Vietnam, Japan?
    Do you remember the 'epidemic' source of the disease, ie, animal, vegetable, mineral???and how humans contracted?
    How long did it take the scientists involved to develope a vaccine?

    SARS=severe acute respiratory syndrome associated with one of many corona viruses
    about 9 people infected with ONE DEATH (which begs the question of "is this epidemic?")
    Guangdong Province (more on that place, later)
    no real proof...but WHO surmised the source was civet cats, which were part of a food source for humans in that province; they also found the same virus and antibodies in bats, or so they say.
    years 2001-2003
    Less than a develope a complete cure!!early 2004(doesn't this seem really unusual to any of you?)

    In this particular area of China, it isn't exactly a mecca for modernization....mostly farmers...who actually get paid to give their blood to vaccine makers from around the world...and who have one of the highest incidences of HIV in the world...(no kidding) because the same needles are used over and over (bad for the farmers!)
    This same area of China was touted as being soooo lax in their handling of the virus in laboratories that when one of their own scientists was infected and traveled outside the province, over 92 people were quarantined to prevent the possibility of the spread of the disease....

    What boggles my mind, and maybe it should yours, is this same area of China managed to come up with a quick and easy cure within JUST MONTHS OF THE OUTBREAK AND IDENTIFICATION OF THE DISEASE.
    Don't you find that a bit odd?
    I mean, initially WHO complained that there was soooo much red tape and beauracracy (sic) that they were unable to even get the Chinese to cooperate and help identify the 'alledged' they suddenly have the antidote????
    Now...this same place....exact same place....with in months....the place that mishandled the virus that led to the contamination of 92 other people outside the province, suddenly bingo bango! developes a CURE?
    How can that be???


    Could then, the H5N1 avian flu virus be a similar virus?

    Bioterrorism isn't limited to experimentation with just humans and a smallpox 'bug'.....
    Our own government via CIA and Military have researched and perfected warfare that isn't necessarily delivered by way of a dropped bomb....
    How much more subtle than to use animal vectoring to wipe out whole populations of people....everything from food source animals to migrating water fowl.

    Our own military did this during the earliest years of establishing this country, by giving blankets to the Indians that were contaminated with wiped out thousands.

    Corona viruses are some of the hardest viruses to kill or develop antidotal vaccines for, yet the Chinese managed to this within just months????

    H5N1 has a similar difficulty....
    Here's an article worth looking at:

    Odd that the H5N1 and SARS were located within the LARGEST MILITARY FACILITY IN CHINA.....
  12. by   indigo girl
    I think that the actual number of cases is quite a bit more than what you are saying.

    As far as I know, there is no actual vaccine or antidote for SARS. As for treatment protocols, it looks like it was supportive care mostly with steroids and some antivirals tried. There have been limited vaccine trials. A trial vaccine is not exactly a cure. If there is real info on a cure, I suggest giving us a link.

    Your link for lamecherry (?),
    does not say anything about who this person is, or what their credentials are so I have to regard what they are saying as speculative. When we try to find out who they are, there is nothing to link to. And, we don't know where any of that information is coming from. I would not use a blogger that did not provide links to sources.
    How can anyone know what this information is based on? We can not check their sources.

    Here is a link with info on SARS:
    Quote from"]
    It eventually infected more than 8,000 people and killed 774 before it was brought under control.

    Following the outbreak, the World Health Organization established an International SARS Treatment Study Group, which recommended a review of SARS treatments, with a particular focus on certain antiviral drugs (ribavirin, lopinavir, and ritonavir), steroids, and proteins called immunoglobulins, which occur naturally in human blood.

    Lauren Stockman of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and colleagues in the United States and Britain unearthed more than 70 studies and also looked at experiments done in the laboratory and on more general acute respiratory distress syndrome.

    The team of researchers found that most studies on the use of steroids to reduce inflammation were inconclusive and four different treatments possibly caused harm.

    It appears some SARS survivors have been permanently disabled by the illness, the treatment or both.

    The researchers say it is not possible to determine from these studies, whether any of the treatments used against SARS are effective.
    Yes, I am aware of how smallpox was passed to the First Nation peoples.

    I am also aware that the civet cat, and the horseshoe bat are implicated as hosts for SARS.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Sep 9, '07
  13. by   CRNI-ICU20
    The point being that even IF we can believe all the CDC says....(which is more speculative than someone's researched blog) (remember all their disinterest in the AIDS epidemic here in our own country and how they poopooed the idea that gay men were dying in droves???) took an act of Congressional inquiry to get the CDC to pull their heads out, and listen!!
    but...back to the point...
    According to National Institues of Health, the SARS vaccine was developed in 2004....and admits that "hundreds" have died of the disease...(that is hardly a pandemic as was hyped, which shut down airports, the whole cities of Toronto and Hong Kong!
    As for lamecherry's blog:
    All of what that blog says is true, and is correborated with NIH, WHO, and Vaccine Website information....
    The point is....until there is REALLY proof that this isn't another one of those "cry wolf" scenarios, I do not see the point in helping to spread fear based facts produced by repeating the CDC mantras.....they have notoriously been COMPLETELY WRONG!
    I would much rather see concern about why China is allowed to have such biologicals without any regard for the human race at large without some sort of overseer group....
    But of course, this then, becomes the political arena....and God knows, when there are bazillions of dollars involved, there is no concern for a young girl in VietNam.
    I don't see the point in perpetuating this fear driven stuff that is hardly based on truth....the CDC has messed up plenty of times....remember the Swine Flu epidemic and subsequent vaccine that was mass produced and killed more people than the supposed swine flu??
    Like I said....
    1) question your sources....
    2) drug companies should not set public health policy
    3) not all pandemics are pandemic
    4)follow the money usually find the real truth at the end....