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Kitsuki
14-10-2005, 10:43:48
This was an article in the Adver - the Swindon local paper... I love how parochial these papers are - in particular the bold!

It takes scaremongering to a whole new level!

- - - - -

SWINDON is at high risk of killer bird flu, according to health experts.

The Health Protection Agency South West ranks us high on the danger list, because of the town's large number of international travellers.

Dr Peter Crouch, of Taw Hill Medical Centre, says residents should not be alarmed but warned against complacency.

The virus is transmitted from birds to humans and there are real fears that it could mutate to spread from human to human.

If that happens, experts predict a worldwide death toll of between two and 50 million people.

No vaccine has been developed for the potent strain of flu. Instead, attention is being focussed on an anti-viral formula, which limits symptoms.

So far, the Government has ordered 14.6m courses of medicine _ well short of the current UK population of 59.8m.

It is not known how many courses have been earmarked for Swindon and Wiltshire.

Speaking to the Adver from Florida, where he is on holiday, Dr Crouch issued a chilling warning.

He said: "If bird flu hits Britain we can be certain we will see cases in Swindon. Swindon is a commuter town with individuals who regularly commute to London. People should not feel that they are isolated from the danger."

Lawrence Knight, the regional spokesman for HPA South West, agrees

"Being a town with a large population and a high number who travel the globe, it is important for Swindon to have its plan in place," he said.

In the event of a pandemic, health bodies _ including HPA South West and Swindon Primary Care Trust _ will immediately hold crisis talks.

Mr Knight said: "A lot of people will be unwell and we are in close contact with the hospital but there will also be people who can remain at home."

Asked if Swindon would cope if bird flu swept across Britain, Mr Knight replied: "We are taking this threat extremely seriously but any kind of pandemic will bring serious pressures."

Richard Freeman, a spokesman for Swindon Council, said they are close to finalising a plan of action.

"We are currently working closely with all relevant agencies _ including health agencies _ to draw up a response plan which will be used to handle any bird flu pandemic," he said.

Anyone wanting further information can visit www.swindonpct.nhs.uk and follow the link to the Department of Health website.

Kitsuki
14-10-2005, 10:44:32
Oh, and where are all of these international travellers! Since when was Swindon a tourist hotspot...!

Funko
14-10-2005, 10:45:31
People fleeing Swindon!

You yourself were considering a trip to Rotterdam!

MattHiggs
14-10-2005, 10:50:06
The whole population wouldn't need the 'anti-viral' medication - it would probably be given to the old and young. It's only the flu.

DaShi
14-10-2005, 10:52:00
Old and young. Bah! What have they ever done for us?!

Funko
14-10-2005, 10:53:28
The flu is a killer. Even fit young people who really gets flu (rather than just a cold that they say is flu) are totally knocked out and bedridden for a couple of weeks

MattHiggs
14-10-2005, 10:55:35
I know some strains of the virus can cause severe respiratory diseases but these aren't common.

For most people it's a couple of days in bed and some cream of chicken soup.

Nills Lagerbaak
14-10-2005, 10:56:18
Yeah, I'm sure this is nothing but a bout of avian cold. Damn self-pitying bastards!

Funko
14-10-2005, 10:56:29
Couple of days in bed is probably just a cold not flu.

MattHiggs
14-10-2005, 11:07:41
In bed for a couple of weeks with flu?!

I don't know anyone who has been in bed for weeks with flu. So it's either not too serious or not too common.

Funko
14-10-2005, 11:10:48
I know quite a lot. :)

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm

Every year in the United States, on average:

* about 36,000 people die from flu.

http://kidshealth.org/kid/ill_injure/sick/flu.html

For most people, the flu is a drag, but it goes away in a week or two. But for some people, the flu can make them very sick. Those groups include:

Most people who say they have flu just have a cold.

Tizzy
14-10-2005, 11:10:57
The only time I've had flu I was in bed for a week. Well not exactly bed, I couldn't get the bedroom warm enough so I camped out in front of the fire in the living room.

Kitsuki
14-10-2005, 11:14:24
Yeah, a proper flu is a right downer, had it the once myself. If you get better after one or two days you probably just have a really bad cold.

Greg W
14-10-2005, 11:15:19
By the way. Flu is not always worse than cold, and vice versa. They're both viruses, and you can have a really bad cold, or a really mild flu. So don't assume that just because it's bad it's the flu, or just because it's not bad that it's only a cold.

Funko
14-10-2005, 11:18:35
I think that is incorrect.

Colds can be serious but Influenza is always serious. See the link:

The flu is highly infectious and is a serious viral respiratory infection. Whereas with other viral respiratory infections the symptoms usually are mild and most people can continue working or going to school while ill, with the flu the symptoms are severe and prolonged and cause individuals to miss days of work or school.

MattHiggs
14-10-2005, 11:22:20
People that stay in bed for more than 2 days with flu are 'tards - FACT

Tizzy
14-10-2005, 11:23:19
People that stay in bed for more than 2 days with flu are ill - FACT

MattHiggs
14-10-2005, 11:24:45
or they just want to stay off work

mr.G
14-10-2005, 11:26:39
why not?

Greg W
14-10-2005, 11:31:40
Originally posted by Funko
I think that is incorrect.

Colds can be serious but Influenza is always serious. See the link: Well, it's hard to find a be and end all statement on the 'net. But viruses' impact always depend on the health and immune system of the individual. So I'd be surprised if everyone that suffered the flu always had serious side effects. But, as I said, it's hard to find a conclusive statement on the matter...

MattHiggs
14-10-2005, 12:34:22
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40906000/gif/_40906642_birdflu_special.gif

It's coming to get us....... RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNN!

Funko
14-10-2005, 12:41:15
They all miss us

MoSe
14-10-2005, 12:41:45
Originally posted by Kitsuki
experts predict a worldwide death toll of between two and 50 million people

2 >> 50000000

that's a rather wide spread

MoSe
14-10-2005, 12:42:22
Originally posted by Funko
They all miss us
yeah, they fly either over Milan or Rome....

Fistandantilus
14-10-2005, 12:45:11
It seems birds avoid britain for some reason.

Fistandantilus
14-10-2005, 12:46:01
Originally posted by MoSe
yeah, they fly either over Milan or Rome....

We're doomed! - FACT

King_Ghidra
14-10-2005, 12:59:20
Originally posted by MoSe
2 >> 50000000

that's a rather wide spread

i feel sorry for the two, i wonder who they are

novacane
14-10-2005, 13:42:58
Turkey and bird flu. Deserving bedfellows.

King_Ghidra
14-10-2005, 13:49:21
so no chicken soup for those who get ill :(

Colon
14-10-2005, 13:59:07
Originally posted by MattHiggs
The whole population wouldn't need the 'anti-viral' medication - it would probably be given to the old and young. It's only the flu.

A fly pandemic killed dozens of millions in the years after WW1, and that flu strain quite possibly originated from bird flu as well. Concern is entirely warranted.

Funko
14-10-2005, 14:01:24
Didn't it kill more than both world wars combined?

Colon
14-10-2005, 14:02:07
Estimates range from 20 to 100 million.

Colon
14-10-2005, 14:06:53
Though I'm having the impression the estimates tend to experience inflation.

Funko
14-10-2005, 14:08:26
Hmmm.. and WWII about 50 million, WWI about 15 million, so could have been more than both wars put together.

Colon
14-10-2005, 15:16:06
The bottom line is that flu can kill a lot of people.

Funko
14-10-2005, 15:20:15
Guns don't kill people - flu epidemics do.

mr.G
14-10-2005, 15:28:13
one day i flu away!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Venom
14-10-2005, 16:05:03
Realistically speaking it's the old, young, and infirm at risk. Oh and everyone in any country who has shit health care and stanky, dirty, crowded countries, so that's most of the rest of us as well.

MoSe
14-10-2005, 16:34:40
in summary: natural selection still at work
:D

Lazarus and the Gimp
15-10-2005, 08:30:34
Seeing as how, at the moment, you can only catch it if you snog a chicken, I'm really not bothered.

It "might mutate"? Sure. Then again, it might not. It's the millennium bug all over again.

HelloKitty
15-10-2005, 09:20:27
For the death totals, they don't have full stats because only a few nations kept accurate records, but in the US these were the death rates. Not old people, not babies, everyone. Yeah, that is 50/1000 people died in october 1918!!!

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/influenza/maps/images/graph.gif

The regular "flu" you get each year is a regular old human strain that has evolved with humans in order to propegate, not to kill.

Remember, we don't have drugs to cope with this. Antibiotics are worthless against a virus. Our antivirals are crap. The drugs the UK ordered, who cares? They won't do much good if a pandemic hits.

There have been at least 2 smaller pandemics that i can think of, the Hong kong flu in the late 60s (68 I think) and the "asian" flu in the late 50s. Both of which killed tens of thousands in the US alone.
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
Seeing as how, at the moment, you can only catch it if you snog a chicken, I'm really not bothered.

It "might mutate"? Sure. Then again, it might not. It's the millennium bug all over again.

When they say "might mutate" they are trying to use words that the populace can understand. In the process they completely fuck up their point. Snogging a chicken would definitly do it, but the virus will be in bird fecal matter and saliva. So anyone who handles live poultry is at risk.


Remember though, humans CANNOT get bird flu (which is why bird flus that move to humans are poorly named, they are really humanswinebird flus). However, pigs can get bird flus and birds can get pig flu and pigs can get human flu.

So, thanks to the chinese and the way they keep thier livestck we have a huge risk of another pandemic.

What exactly is happening?

Well, lets say a pig gets a human flu. That is a very sick pig. Our bodies have devised strong resistances against certain things. Human influenzas are one of those. Why? Well if we didn't we would all be dead and the influenza virus would have no breeding ground. So a sucessfull disease doesn't kill its host for a long time if at all.

We have few in built resistances against other species influenzas.

The virus replecates in cells by making all the parts it needs and then in the cell just putting them all together until the cell bursts.

Now lets say the pig with a human flu also catches a pig flu. You now have an animal that has two closely related virues sharing the same cells. They both do the same thing but their structures, the things that our bodies can recognize and fight, are different.

Now in this pig new flus with random mixes between the pig and huiman flu start being made. Most will be nonfunctional for reasons we don't need to go into, but some may flourish (which in this case it must have).

Now if this flu jumps into humans (remember the swine flu scares that luckily never happened?) because it contains the binding protien that says "bind to human cells rather than pig cells" you get a new virus that is potentionally deadly.

Thats the swine flu.

Now the "bird" flu is worse. A bird with a flu catches one of these mixed pig/human flus. Now the bird is going to die, they don't deal well with respiratory disease, but they will spread it. Plus in the birds the mixed pig/human virus is mixing with bird virus making an even more potent killer since it will contain bird flu markers which humans have no innate resistance to. The result is a flu that kills very rapidly, but unlike things like E Bola which are super fast, it doesn't kill fast enough to not be spread.


THE POINT!!!!

The rural chinese are fucking stupid for keeping pigs and ducks penned up against each other AND those pens up against the house to make it easy to move the dung to the stove to heat the house.

The virus has been transmitted to humans form birds and killed. That means it is one of these nasty mixes.

The virus cannot spread from human to human effectivly. This is good news.

So what do they mean when they say mutate?

Well you could talk about a typical mutation where the virus changes due to poor regulation of DNA synthesis, which happens non-stop and is the reason we never gain immunity to the flu (you are immune to every flu you ever have had though, just influenza mutates so fast and often that each flu is a new strain).

Or you could just take this one step further and imagine a case where a human with a human flu catches this mixed bird flu. If whichever protien on the virus that is defective is replaced by a human one, you now have a spreadable killer. And most likely it is only 1 protien that is preventing virulence.

So if you get a person with both flus you have a very good chance of producing that.

There is very good reason for the govornments to be responding the way they are. Hell, last week Bush asked for permission to declare martial law from congress if the flu hits (ok he said maintain legal order using the military in place of police, but thats the definition of martial law).

Not counting HIV its been a long time since the last pandemic. We are overdue. People are worried for a reason.

Lazarus and the Gimp
15-10-2005, 10:42:11
Darkstar! We've missed you.

Lazarus and the Gimp
15-10-2005, 10:52:00
Well according to the BBC, if it mutated and if it reached Britain and if 25% of the population caught it, they estimate the death toll at approximately 50,000.

That's less than a 1 in 1000 chance of any one of us kicking the bucket.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
15-10-2005, 12:01:42
Originally posted by HelloKitty
For the death totals, they don't have full stats because only a few nations kept accurate records, but in the US these were the death rates. Not old people, not babies, everyone. Yeah, that is 50/1000 people died in october 1918!!!

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/influenza/maps/images/graph.gif



That's a very strange graph. It would assume a normal monthly death rate of about 1 %; the october spike would mean 5 million dead in a single month, while the website where the graph is from also says 600.000 in total.

But it can't be a single miss of a factor of 10 (or 12, if death rates are annualized), because a 1 % death rate would be quite small for the time, it should be closer to 2 %, I think.

edit: gives more like a 1.5 % rate, which would fit a factor of 10 error or annualized numbers....

Colon
15-10-2005, 14:10:23
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
Well according to the BBC, if it mutated and if it reached Britain and if 25% of the population caught it, they estimate the death toll at approximately 50,000.

That's less than a 1 in 1000 chance of any one of us kicking the bucket.

If you extrapolate that at global scale, that's at least 5 million. Not considering most of the globe doesn't have western standards of medical facilities.

And also not considering that it would affect a lot people slightly more than the standard headache-running nose deal, rendering them incapacitated.

Lazarus and the Gimp
15-10-2005, 23:19:24
That's flu for you.

Colon
16-10-2005, 00:07:59
I'm so dying to hear your opinion on AIDS and malaria.

LoD
16-10-2005, 00:19:10
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
Darkstar! We've missed you.

:lol:

Lazarus and the Gimp
16-10-2005, 10:35:13
Originally posted by Colon
I'm so dying to hear your opinion on AIDS and malaria.

It's a fact. Every outbreak of flu kills a large number of people, and if you catch it you'll be knocked flat for a week- but will probably be fine unless you fall into one of the danger groups. Particularly if you're old. Old people have this distressing tendency to die of it, which bumps up the mortality figures.

Lazarus and the Gimp
16-10-2005, 10:37:20
I had a suspected case of malaria once. That was fun- but not as much as the anti-malaria medication that caused me to go four days with no sleep at all.

DaShi
16-10-2005, 10:52:42
So basically, you were me for four days. :(

Colon
16-10-2005, 15:11:34
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
It's a fact. Every outbreak of flu kills a large number of people, and if you catch it you'll be knocked flat for a week- but will probably be fine unless you fall into one of the danger groups. Particularly if you're old. Old people have this distressing tendency to die of it, which bumps up the mortality figures.

Flu usually doesn't kill people in a direct way, but rather due to bacteria finishing off weakened lungs. The Spanish Flu did kill people in a direct way, causing internal bleedings, suffocating them, causing acute inflammation of the brain cells and so on.
When it broke out it in the French army, it incapacitated almost half the troops, killing 5 to 10%. And those were young men.

It's an issue of scale, it kills more people, beyond the traditional danger groups, and many others need to get hospitalized, rather than resting it out. It's also an issue of precedent, it's happened before, in similar circumstances as now, and there's no reason why it couldn't happen again.

What you're saying is like arguing we should pay no heed to nuclear safety-rules because a meltdown isn't a fact.

Lazarus and the Gimp
16-10-2005, 19:22:07
Originally posted by Colon

When it broke out it in the French army, it incapacitated almost half the troops, killing 5 to 10%. And those were young men.



Young men over 80 years ago, a sizeable proportion of whom would have been carrying the initial stages of TB, were not as well-nourished as young men today, had no access to anti-virals and little access to fever treatments, and were living in trenches and/or cramped barracks.

DaShi
17-10-2005, 10:10:31
Originally posted by Colon
Flu usually doesn't kill people in a direct way, but rather due to bacteria finishing off weakened lungs. The Spanish Flu did kill people in a direct way, causing internal bleedings, suffocating them, causing acute inflammation of the brain cells and so on.
When it broke out it in the French army, it incapacitated almost half the troops, killing 5 to 10%. And those were young men.


That's nothing compared to the Russian Flu which punches you in the face and insults your mother.

MoSe
17-10-2005, 10:35:13
One Flu Over The Cuckoo's Nest