Pandemic Flu - Thread II - page 5

Frist calls for a Manhatten Project: We are so..., you know. He is telling it like it is. Does anyone really understand this? There is nothing that we can do but prepare, but no one is... Read More

  1. by   indigo girl
    CIDRAP - Report on Vietnam - Part 2
  2. by   indigo girl
    Dr. Osterholm in March 2006:
    Quote from
    In its present form, H5N1 has killed over half of the people it's infected. The great flu pandemic of 1918-19, by contrast, killed about 5 percent of its victims.

    ... this thing has continued to mutate from its earliest days, in Hong Kong in 1997. And ... it's mutating in very similar fashion to the way the 1918 virus did.

    ... they actually have gone back and looked at the full genetic codes for 169 avian virus genomes, dating way back...There were two viruses that showed a protein tag at the end of one of the nonstructural genes that actually looks to help cause the cytokine storm that makes this a unique illness.* And guess which two viruses they were: 1918 H1N1, and the current H5N1.

    ... the case of the young girl in Turkey... We definitely have clusters where it's not just bird contact [spreading the virus]...Her virus has now been fully sequenced, and there were three mutations that occurred in that virus, between the bird version and hers. One was the substitution of a glutamic acid with lysine at the 223-hemagglutinin position. That is what changes it from a bird-receptor virus to a human-receptor virus. The second thing was two other substitutions that served to make it look more and more like a human virus.

    ...when people talk about 1918 as a worst-case scenario, well, maybe that isn't the worst-case scenario. That's hard for people to hear...
    Last edit by indigo girl on Oct 27, '06
  3. by   gr8greens
    Indigo.....your obsession with this topic is admirable. I very much enjoy your links and dedication to keeping track of bird flu. My computor-illiteracy prevents me from doing what you seem to do so easily.
    Pleae keep up the good work!
  4. by   indigo girl
    Quote from gr8greens
    Indigo.....your obsession with this topic is admirable. I very much enjoy your links and dedication to keeping track of bird flu. My computor-illiteracy prevents me from doing what you seem to do so easily.
    Pleae keep up the good work!
    I think of it as focused research that I do because it interests me. Placing it here allows me to look at progression, and analyze just why it is a threat. No one can predict if it will become more transmissible. An opinion from someone who has worked with viruses, and uses the moniker, Monotreme at Fluwiki sums it up in this way, and has given permission to use his words:

    Quote from Monotreme at Fluwiki
    The H5N1 virus that originated in China in the 1990?s has novel properties.
    H5N1 is an influenza A virus. Like all flu A viruses, it mutates at a very rapid rate.
    It has already killed millions of birds and many different mammals.
    It has crossed the species-barrier and killed over 140 humans.
    It has killed over 50% of the people it has infected, even with advanced medical care.
    It preferentially kills school-age children and young adults.
    It kills in a similar way to the severe pandemic of 1918 - cytokine dysregulation
    H5N1 is widely dispersed
    It has been found in animals in countries all over the world.
    It has infected many species of birds and mammals.
    Experimental studies have demonstrated that it is highly lethal in mammals, and has gotten more lethal in mammals over time.
    People in many countries have been infected and killed by the virus
    It is very unlikely that H5N1 will be eradicated in the foreseeable future
    It is likely that H5N1 will continue to spread by migratory birds and other means to nearly every country in the world.
    It is likely that hundreds of millions, and possibly billions, of animals will be infected.
    Close association of hundreds of millions of people with hundreds of millions of infected animals provides many opportunities for adaptation of the virus to humans
    H5N1 has already partially adapted to humans, the precursor to pandemic onset.
    Many clusters of human cases indicating human to human spread of H5N1 spread have been observed.
    Clusters are becoming more frequent and larger.
    Human to Human to Human spread of H5N1 was observed in Karo, Indonesia, earlier this year.
    Serial passage of the virus between humans selects for human adaptation
    This adaptation has already occurred for the polymerase complex - H5N1 was recently shown to replicate at high levels in humans.
    Sustained transmission of H5N1 between humans is the only barrier left to pandemic onset. Given that H5N1 is already partially adapted to humans and the many opportunities it will have to finish it’s adaptation in the coming flu season, the risk that a pandemic will begin within the year is very high.
    Although we don’t know what the kill rate of a pandemic strain of H5N1 will be, there is no reason to think that it will be less than the 1918 pandemic strain and many reasons to think that it will be worse, much worse. Historical arguments are non-scientific and ignore basic virology. Risk assessments of the likely severity of an H5N1 pandemic should be based on the very substantial data that has been collected on this virus and not based on what has happened in previous pandemics with different viruses.
    Given the available facts, failing to prepare for a severe pandemic is irresponsible and likely to result in the deaths of hundreds of millions of people.
    That is his assessment, and not everyone over there agrees with him either. But, it is something to think about.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Oct 27, '06
  5. by   indigo girl

    Quote from /
    USDA and DOI are transitioning to a new method of notifying the public. In an effort to maintain transparency, USDA and DOI will post all future suspected LPAI H5N1 detections on the Internet. DOI will maintain a list of all such routine detections as part of the National Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Early Detection Data System (HEDDS).
    Maybe they figure that no one will look, and if they do, they won't understand what is being said, as well as what is not being said.

    Quote from
    This test involves the inoculation of 4- to 8-week old disease-free chickens and observation for signs of AI for 10 days. According to the USDA and World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), highly pathogenic AI is defined as any AI virus that is lethal for 6 or
    more of 8 chickens (75% mortality). Pathogenicity is confirmed 10 days from when the chickens are inoculated with the virus grown from the gold standard virus isolation test. Only H5 and H7 subtypes undergo chicken pathogenicity testing because of their potential to become HPAI, all others are considered to be LPAI.
    So, if only 5 chicks die or they die on day 11, it's not announced?
    Interestingly enough, they have not released any of the genetic sequences. This is transparent?
    What they also don't say is that though the confirmatory test detected low path, it does not exclude a co-infection by high path, and that is exactly why they are testing.

    There is now a third detection of H5N1 in Michigan.
    This time H5N1 was detected in mallard ducks in St. Claire Co, north of Detroit. Of course, now USDA is not issuing News Releases on these findings, so you have to use the link to keep track.
    USDA refuses to release test results on H5N1 samples or any genetic sequences.
    The way that they are choosing to issue these reports, lowers the profile, obscuring the increased number of sightings in different states.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Oct 28, '06
  6. by   fusster
    Just out of curiosity, how long can the flu virus generally survive outside of the body. I know we don't really know that much about the avian flu, but are there any predictions?
  7. by   indigo girl
    Quote from fusster
    Just out of curiosity, how long can the flu virus generally survive outside of the body. I know we don't really know that much about the avian flu, but are there any predictions?
    I am not really sure. It's in the water from the ducks, etc. It's in the fecal material like manure from chickens. It is constantly being released into the environment by birds or whatever it infects. Human cases have massive diarrhea. I just don't have an anwer for how long it survives. Handling any waste, dead birds or caring for an infected person puts you at risk without using the right kind of mask, gloves, etc. Is that what you are concerned about?
  8. by   fusster
    Well I'm just worried about if there's an outbreak and it becomes contained, is there still a risk of getting the bird flu days/weeks/months later by touching something the patient may have come into contact with? The fact that it can be in the water is really scary as well.
  9. by   indigo girl
    Quote from fusster
    Well I'm just worried about if there's an outbreak and it becomes contained, is there still a risk of getting the bird flu days/weeks/months later by touching something the patient may have come into contact with? The fact that it can be in the water is really scary as well.
    I would think infection controls measures such as wiping down door knobs, and discarding soiled linen the way we do now is going to help. Bleach should be stored. My concern would be large numbers of patients in a health care facility. Will there be enough clean linen? Meds? Food? Picture that hospital in Katrina with no power, no supplies. I have seen plans in one facility for establishing an on site morgue. They believe this is respiratory, but I would be careful with anything infected.

    Drinking water will become a problem if many are sick and the treatment plants can not do their job. That is why storing bottled water or your current tap water is advised.

    They do say, however, if pandemic occurs it will be in waves, months apart.
    The model they base this on of course is the 1918 pandemic.
  10. by   Cosper123
    75 deaths worldwide in 16 years since this strain has been around. to put that into perspective we have 550,270 deaths to cancer every year according to the the usa alone.

    however, that number has steadily increased in the last 5 years or so, but again, lets put that into perspective. where has this increase been? oh yes, in countries where people have a tendancy to live amongst their animals and have poor sanitation systems/habits.

    in addition comments such as this do not help - "human to human to human spread of h5n1 was observed in karo, indonesia, earlier this year."

    as some may have noticed, no source was sited here. and for such a ground-breaking revelation as human to human transmission...i hate to be a stickler for the details...but i'd like a credible source. i ask this not just to be difficult, but as i said this is a serious claim to be throwing around so lightly just to make a point. lets discuss this serious matter on the merits of truth, not propaganda and scare tactics. in the spirit of such a discussion, i offer this tidbit -

    the failure of the twenty human isolates to match the 50 avian isolates suggests birds are not the source of h5n1 in most of the human cases in indonesia. - courtesy of the world health organisation

    please take the time to consider that this merely says that in the situation in karo, indonesia...that transfer between the 50 isolates from the birds they had, didn't match the cases that the human isolates were derived from. this doesn't mean it was human to human, as this statement does not take a lot into consideration. and this my friend, was the closest thing i could find to validate your 'sky is falling' claim that it is transmittable between humans.

    at the very best at this point, we can assume/deduct that some guy with pidgeon feces on him shook hands with another guy who then got it as well. that sounds like more of a fomite situation to me, not human to human trasmission. and until we've approached this with a rational assessment of what really happened (like maybe, say...along the lines of the scientific method?) then we really have no place making such grand accusations of human to human transmission.

    yeah last great flu pandemics were in...1901 and 1918...we're due. and with greater populated cities, public transportation, etc. we are prime for a big whopper. but also take into consideration we don't live as in close proximation with livestock as we once did...and those who do in rural areas are still heavily isolated to rural areas. yes there are migratory birds that come well into the cities and such...but when is the last time you got bombed by a passing pidgeon or had to scrape up duck feces in the park. so your biggest risk by far will be that fellow nurse who lives on a ranch somewhere on the outskirts of the city. just avoid them if they don't look like they bathe often...there, pandemic solved

    in the end it's a what you'd do to prevent any flu. eat well, take your vitamins, get plenty of sleep, etc. if you believe the cytokine dysregulation information then eat nothing but candy bars and take up smoking (not really a good idea boys and girls, remember the flu is a respiratory should probably just drink heavily )

    most importantly....wash your hands, wear a mask around someone coughing and sneezing without covering themselves properly, and if you have a habit of frequently putting your hands in your mouth or eyes then stop

    all in all imo you people need to be much more concerned with bacteria

    yes the bird flu should be taken seriously, but not moreso than many other things as i see it. i mean what can we really do against this flu anyhow? not like vaccines are gonna help, they are after all a shot in the dark and completely useless if it does become transmitable between humans...because it would have undergone either antigenic shift or antigenic drift at that point. your biggest precautions are the ones i listed above...avoid sickly people (again, wear a mask if they aren't covering up their sneezes and coughs properly), wash your hands, practice good hygiene in general, and avoid touching your mouth and eyes unless you have just washed your eyes.

    bacteria on the other hand...the medical field and patients are actually helping that problem.

    so yeah, if anything is going to keep me up at's the impending doom of the suped up bacteria strains.
  11. by   indigo girl
    Dr. Niman's commentary on the recent USDA report on birds tested in Michigan:

    Quote from /
    The USDA site suggests the isolation failures were due to a lack of viable H5N1, but viability is dependent on isolation procedures and each test has a detection limit, and results indicate the sensitivity of the isolation procedure is lower than the PCR test. This detection limit may also be impacted by handling, shipping, and pooling of samples.

    Dual infections may also limit isolation and dual infections are common in wild birds as indicated by the isolation of H5N3 and H6N2 from H5N1 positive samples.

    An alternative approach for detecting high path H5N1 involves sequence analysis. Recombination is common between H5N1 and low path serotypes, including H5.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Oct 27, '06
  12. by   indigo girl
    UN holds avian flu meeting in Iran:
    WHO to report on ethical issues in pandemic planning:
    Quote from
    ...the discussions focused on four main topics: equitable access to therapeutic and prophylactic measures; ethical aspects of interventions such as quarantine and social distancing; what healthcare workers should be expected to do during an outbreak and what obligations are owed them; and issues that arise between governments when developing a multilateral response to a pandemic...

    "The recognition that emerged very strongly [at the meetings] was that it was going to be essential to have public engagement in all aspects of planning and a frank and candid recognition that the questions of the pandemic are going to be not just technical questions, but also ethical questions," Capron said.

    In response to a question about vaccine rationing, Capron said, "One of the things that emerged very strongly is the necessity for good ethics to rest on good facts." Some at the meeting challenged the assumption that children and elderly people will be at greatest risk, and suggested, he said, that health agencies may need "contingency plans depending on what the virus turns out to be like, how it behaves."
    Last edit by indigo girl on Oct 27, '06
  13. by   indigo girl

    I took a class in Herbal Medicine years ago, sponsored by the Sisters of the Medical Mission. They were missonary nuns, who were also registered nurses. I think this is the formula that they used for colds. I was very happy to find this. Will it help for flu? I really don't know, but in the absence of Tamiflu or if it doesn't work, at least this is safe for children as you can see by the ingredients. Getting them to take it, on the other hand...

    I should mention, however, that it looks like health care workers and their families as well as emergency personel (police, fireman), and water treatment workers, etc., will be given Tamiflu if it is available. This is not a substitute for whatever your doctor would give you. It is a mixture of herbs that people already commonly eat, and therefore safe unless of course, you have an allergy.

    This would be antiviral due to the garlic and onion. Probiotic due to the type of vinegar used. And, will bring up phlegm, useful to prevent pneumonia.

    Wear gloves, and glasses if you make this. The peppers are hot. Someone on the blog I found this on, said their daughter mixes some with chocolate and puts it on ice cream. Actually, it's not a bad idea if you like that type of thing.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Oct 28, '06