On the positive side, the world is better prepared for an influenza pandemic than at any time in history.
Preparedness measures undertaken because of the threat from H5N1 avian influenza were an investment, and we are now benefitting from this investment.
For the first time in history, we can track the evolution of a pandemic in real-time.
I thank countries who are making the results of their investigations publicly available. This helps us understand the disease.
It is possible that the full clinical spectrum of this disease goes from mild illness to severe disease. We need to continue to monitor the evolution of the situation to get the specific information and data we need to answer this question.
From past experience, we also know that influenza may cause mild disease in affluent countries, but more severe disease, with higher mortality, in developing countries.
No matter what the situation is, the international community should treat this as a window of opportunity to ramp up preparedness and response.
GENEVA — WHO chief Margaret Chan says "it really is all of humanity that is under threat in a pandemic."
-- Henry Makow Ph.D. is the author of "A Long Way to go for a Date." His articles exposing fe-manism and the New World Order can be found at his web site
Once infected with a pathogenic influenza, the blood vessels in a patient’s lungs become porous and fibrinogen—a protein involved in blood clotting—leaks into the lungs. The protein clogs the lungs’ alveolar sacs, where gas exchange takes place, and an acute respiratory disease syndrome results. In a desperate effort to save its charge, the immune system recruits such a storm of immune cells that the lungs suffer oedema. In effect, patients drown in their own fluid only days after infection. Patients with the most responsive immune system produce the greatest immune storms. It remains to be seen, however, whether the same mechanism explains the age distribution of the current outbreak.
What are the signs and symptoms of swine flu in people?
The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu.
Are there medicines to treat swine flu?
Yes. CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir or zanamivir for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with these swine influenza viruses. Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaler) that fight against the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body. If you get sick, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms).
What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?
There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:
* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
* Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
* If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.*
From October 2001 to December 2003, several Ebola outbreaks of the Zaïre subtype were reported in Gabon and the Republic of the Congo with a total of 302 cases and 254 deaths.
The [Amoy Gardens apartment complex in Hong Kong SARS ] outbreak was traced to one man who had been undergoing kidney dialysis at a local hospital and was staying at his brother’s apartment. The patient’s symptoms included fever and diarrhea. Investigators found that plumbing in the building was likely to blame for the virus’s unusual transmission pattern: drain traps in the shower floors were either dry, faulty, or missing. When residents turned on bathroom fans, this sucked air from the common waste drainpipe into their living space. Virus in droplets or aerosol from the victim’s stool entered other apartments with these ambient air currents. This demonstrated that the virus could infect people via the fecal-oral route as well as the respiratory route, and became the working hypothesis for most of the transmission that occurred in the building, Block E, where the man stayed. But that explained only part of this unusual super-spreading event: residents of apartment buildings downwind of the building where the man stayed also became ill. That suggested that the virus might have been carried some distance by prevailing winds on the night the man visited his brother—a frightening prospect indeed.
(from a diagram caption) This diagram detailing SARS transmission in Singapore shows the important role of “super-spreaders” in transmitting the disease. Five people caused more than half of the 205 cases there.
“But overall, the sum total of control for SARS was barely adequate. Flu is a considerably harder problem. The fact that we barely controlled SARS is not at all reassuring.”
Here we examine the impact of the border controls imposed by the United States or Great Britain to reduce numbers of inbound travellers (the results are very similar for both countries). Figure 2a shows how a 90%, 99% or 99.9% reduction in imported infections might delay the peak of the US pandemic by 1.5, 3, or 6 weeks, respectively (comparable delays would be expected for other Western countries given the similar mobility of their populations). To put these reductions into context, the 2003 SARS crisis resulted in an 80% reduction in travel to and from Hong Kong. The magnitude of the impact of border controls is governed by the rate at which global infection prevalence increases. A tenfold reduction in numbers of visitors delays arrival of infection for approximately as long as it takes global prevalence to increase tenfold to compensate — 12.5 days using the global model assumed here.
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.
Dr. Brian Evans, executive vice-president of the CFIA, said at a news conference in Ottawa that the pigs were apparently infected by a farm worker who had recently been in Mexico and fell ill upon his return.
Apr30 : 11 countries, 257 cases, 8 deaths ( 1 US, 7 Mexico).
Apr29 : 11 countries, 148 cases, 7 deaths.
May01 : 11 countries, 331 cases, 10 deaths ( 1 US, 9 Mexico).
May02 : 15 countries, 615 cases, 17 deaths ( 1 US, 16 Mexico).
May03 : 18 countries, 898 cases, 20 deaths.
over 1,000 reported cases now and still no one dead outside of the initial group that got it in Mexico
Bayer's AIDS release was entirely, deliberately purposeful. Don't be so foolish to attribute to incompetence what can be attributed to profit motive.
I can see how a pharmaceutical company might be very interested in having the ability to both create and release viruses, and run mop-up on remedying and relieving the ill effects. They've done it before and they'll do it again.
Agribusinesses are spreading their entire production line across the world. For example, the Thailand-based CP Group, now the world's fourth-largest poultry producer, operates poultry facilities in Turkey, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the U.S. It has feed operations across India, China, Indonesia and Vietnam. Trade in live animals is also expanding in geographic extent.
These new configurations act as a cushion against the market's putative ability to correct corporate inefficiencies.
For instance, the CP Group operates joint-venture poultry facilities across China, producing 600 million of China's 2.2 billion chickens annually sold. When an outbreak of bird flu occurred in a farm operated by the CP group here in the province of Heilongjiang, Japan banned poultry from China. CP factories in Thailand were able to take up the slack and increase exports to Japan. In short, the CP Group profited from an outbreak of its own making. It suffered no ill effects from its own mistakes.
There is, then, another reason why the 'swine flu' tag fails. It detracts from an obvious point: pigs have very little to do with how influenza emerges.
They didn't organize themselves into cities of thousands of immuno-compromised pigs. They didn't artificially select out the genetic variation that could have helped reduce the transmission rates at which the most virulent influenza strains spread. They weren't organized into livestock ghettos alongside thousands of industrial poultry. They don't ship themselves thousands of miles by truck, train or air. Pigs do not naturally fly.
The onus must be placed on the decisions we humans made to organize them this way. And when we say "we," let's be clear--we're talking how agribusinesses have organized pigs and poultry.
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