Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Bird Flu Could be on the Verge of an Outbreak

Which would basically make Rita/Katrina look like a walk in the park. We're talking 1918-19 flu epidemic here. 20 million died then. [[[Note added 9/22: The BBC reports that 40 million died in 1918-19.]]]

Bird flu, by the way, is fatal 90% of the time in birds. It's not as fatal in humans, but a pandemic would kill a projected 2 to 50 million people. Isn't that nice?

Here's some more information.

So, tell me again, what's the biggest threat facing the US (and the world)? What is the Bush admin doing about bird flu? Are they doing anything like this?

7 Thoughts:

Blogger Demotiki said...

Doug,

When you worry about God's Bird Flu, the terrorists win.

Andrew

Thursday, September 22, 2005 8:42:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

EU summit on bird flu. What are we doing?

Thursday, September 22, 2005 9:02:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I know, Andrew...I'm a member of Al-Qaida for even mentioning that our Holy Leader might be missing yet another Big Issue.

But since the Apocalypse is nigh, who cares, right? We'll all be with Jesus soon, anyway.

Well, not me. I'll be in Hell.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 9:07:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

From the CDC site's Q&A on avian flu:

"What is the risk to humans from the H5N1 virus in Asia? Updated May 24

The H5N1 virus does not usually infect humans. In 1997, however, the first case of spread from a bird to a human was seen during an outbreak of bird flu in poultry in Hong Kong. The virus caused severe respiratory illness in 18 people, 6 of whom died. Since that time, there have been other cases of H5N1 infection among humans. 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.

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."

"may one day..." Uh-huh.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 9:11:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Responsibility to fight avian flu rests with all national governements. Of course.

What is the chance Bush even knows about avian flu?

I'm sure the right wing-nuts will want this to be handled by the private sector.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 9:19:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Apparently, Bush made an appeal a few days ago at the UN. Of course, other countries were already on it, and Bush has been ignoring this for some time, as evil Ralph Nader pointed out over a year ago.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 9:31:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

OK, he knows about it and has made one directive I know of.

I'd love to see what our plan is -- antiviral drug stockplies? distribution plans? personnel plans?

If anyone finds anything, please post it here.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 9:31:00 AM  

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