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  #1  
Old April 28th, 2009, 08:05 AM
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Swine Flu

Hey,

This Flu is starting to sound scary. Lets hope it just dies out.........but what if..........

Who thinks we should start filling the Defender with Food and Gas, and be ready to head for the hills. Granted you might be just as safe to stay put in your home........

Anyone has any cases near you? None that I have heard of in my area yet...........put I am paying attention to the news.......

Flagg
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  #2  
Old April 28th, 2009, 10:33 AM
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Flagg,
I think I'd resist the temptation to stink up the Defender with rotting food just yet...

Asked my doc yesterday - he said they're watching it, and have instated a rule prohibiting anyone with flu-like symptoms from the office. Those people will be told to stay home, and the docs will work with local hospitals to manage medical treatment. Beyond that, he thinks people should relax - it's mostly hitting healthier people with stronger immune systems, and isn't **yet** causing high fatality rates.

Ironically enough I was in for a TB test for some bureaucratic paperwork... we both found something curiously ironic about getting a TB test for paperwork reasons while everyone's starting to panic about swine flu - but neither of us could see why it seemed funny.

All that aside, I think I'd rather load up the boat than a truck. Fewer diseases in the Atlantic, and a sailboat is a fairly self-contained survival pod, anyway.
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  #3  
Old April 28th, 2009, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flagg
Hey,

This Flu is starting to sound scary. Lets hope it just dies out.........but what if..........

Who thinks we should start filling the Defender with Food and Gas, and be ready to head for the hills. Granted you might be just as safe to stay put in your home........

Anyone has any cases near you? None that I have heard of in my area yet...........put I am paying attention to the news.......

Flagg
If you ask my cell bio/immunology/science-y-background part of my brain, it sounds like:

1. A new virus that makes people sick. Like you're sick with the flu.
2. Countries with sub-standard healthcare services (or with large populations who do not have access to good healthcare) will have wider outbreaks with a higher incidence of mortality.
3. Some small percentage of the population will die from this virus due to varied factors, including pre-existing conditions, suppressed or non-existent immune systems, not taking care of themselves, etc. Like the regular flu.
4. There will probably be an immunization for it next year.
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  #4  
Old April 28th, 2009, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMOB
If you ask my cell bio/immunology/science-y-background part of my brain, it sounds like:

1. A new virus that makes people sick. Like you're sick with the flu.
2. Countries with sub-standard healthcare services (or with large populations who do not have access to good healthcare) will have wider outbreaks with a higher incidence of mortality.
3. Some small percentage of the population will die from this virus due to varied factors, including pre-existing conditions, suppressed or non-existent immune systems, not taking care of themselves, etc. Like the regular flu.
4. There will probably be an immunization for it next year.
And if you ask the Pharma/investor part of my brain it sounds like:

panick = more stagnation in the general market + more stocking up on tamiflu = time to invest in some very particular companies and short some others to profit nicely.... then the "normal" side of my brain beats the *#%@! out of the side that thought of crap like that
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  #5  
Old April 28th, 2009, 11:49 AM
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I just returned from Baja Mexico on Saturday and had no problems w/ the drug lords or the swine flu and we drove. Dont believe anything you read................especially from the media.
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  #6  
Old April 28th, 2009, 12:24 PM
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its just a virus. old people and sick people are really the only people that can die from it. And they are only dieing because they don't have the proper healthcare. Most Americans should be fine.

I find it funny that it coincides with allergy season. I was on the subway going to work yesterday sneezing up a storm and everyone was looking at me as if I was giving them SWAINE!
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  #7  
Old April 28th, 2009, 12:50 PM
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One of my best friends 4 year old son just had open heart surgery in San Diego yesterday. They had the hospital in complete lockdown. If you entered the surgery ward you had to wear booties,masks, and scrub down your hands and arms before you could enter. They hospital is taking this very seriously. I agree a healthy person would have no problem with this but it is nice to see health care pros taking the means to protect the old,young, and weak.
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  #8  
Old April 28th, 2009, 01:02 PM
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About 20 years ago I had a particularly bad case of the flu, my roommate had it as well. I thought I was going to die for about a week. It was aweful, the worst I have ever felt in my life. It was one of these flu viri that infects the young and healthy, much like this one.

After that experience I am particularly wary of this one, it has all the hallmarks to be a really bad one because it is coming from a high density third world city with lots of time to mutate.

It has crossed one barrier and that is the animal/human to human/human tranmission vector.

The real question is not what will happen next week but if the virus will go dormant and then mutate into a truly dangerous strain and kill a whole bunch of folks in about three or four months.

I travel overseas for business a lot and while I am not overly concerned at present, I am watching the situation closely.

It reminds me of hurricane season in a way.
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  #9  
Old April 28th, 2009, 02:57 PM
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I feel like between the mdeia coverage of this and the economy Armageddon is coming
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  #10  
Old April 28th, 2009, 03:03 PM
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Armageddon isn't until 2012, you've got time.
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  #11  
Old April 28th, 2009, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjf
I feel like between the mdeia coverage of this and the economy Armageddon is coming
nahh... Armageddon was last week...

didn't you get the memo?
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  #12  
Old April 28th, 2009, 03:06 PM
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Isnt that the year when the US will get the Defender again
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Originally Posted by JimC
Armageddon isn't until 2012, you've got time.
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  #13  
Old April 28th, 2009, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC
Armageddon isn't until 2012, you've got time.
Jim, i think it's 2011, december i believe.
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  #14  
Old April 28th, 2009, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC
Armageddon isn't until 2012, you've got time.
Morning or afternoon? I've got stuff to do first thing y'see
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  #15  
Old April 28th, 2009, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landrovered
After that experience I am particularly wary of this one, it has all the hallmarks to be a really bad one because it is coming from a high density third world city with lots of time to mutate.

It has crossed one barrier and that is the animal/human to human/human tranmission vector.

The real question is not what will happen next week but if the virus will go dormant and then mutate into a truly dangerous strain and kill a whole bunch of folks in about three or four months.
High-density third-world country = substandard health care without some functional utilities AND people who cannot afford to buy pharmaceuticals or see a physician. What translates into a sure disaster for Mexico or the Congo could just be a blip for the U.S. My experience with viral mutations is that they select for the environment they're in (i.e. a favorable mutation to a Mexico City environment will likely stay active, even if they're all random mutations). That mutation may not make any headway in a more highly-adapted environment. And given that they're random, a virus could just as easily frameshift into a little piece of genetic nonsense. That happens considerably more than a virus becoming more potent.

I personally think that if, all of a sudden, we hear that first hundreds, then *thousands* of people are dying, then we're in for a ride. If that happens in a third world country, maybe not a huge ride. If it happens in Belgium, Turkey, or Russia, then watch out.
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  #16  
Old April 28th, 2009, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC
Armageddon isn't until 2012, you've got time.
The Mayan's did not make it to the end of their own calendar...

Follow-up Post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by diesel_jim
Morning or afternoon? I've got stuff to do first thing y'see
Let's go with Afternoon... I want to be able to get a good nights sleep so I can stay up for the Armageddon.
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  #17  
Old April 28th, 2009, 07:52 PM
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There are some interesting things about the recent outbreak...

If you look back through recorded history there seems to be flu pandemics regularly with the longest interpandemic period ~43 years. The last identified, although small, was ~40 years ago. This is part of the reason that the epidemiologist have been watching avian flu, thinking it might be the next. Avian flu is trouble because it has a high mortality rate, but not a huge problem for now because it has poor/non-existent human to human transmission.

The last really big pandemic was the 1918-1919 "Spanish Flu", infected ~1/3 of the world's population with ~50 million deaths. This pandemic came in what appear to be three distinct waves, starting March of 1918. The first wave actually didn't kill that many people, and was somewhat patchy in geographical distribution. It was the second wave in the fall of 1918 that proved to be the most fatal and widespread. There was a third and again smaller wave in the early part of 1919. All the influenza A circulating since have been genetic descendents of this 1918 H1N1. The Spanish Flu was also notable for having a unusually high mortality rate amongst young healthy adults. There are a number of speculated reasons for this but one of the popular ones is that it was actually the active immune systems of these individuals that caused a hyper immune response, respiratory failure and death.

So, this new swine flu is also an H1N1 variant. It is appearing to be developing an springtime early wave and also appears to be easily transmissable person to person. The data we have to work with is spotty at best but the current numbers look like a ~10% fatality rate in Mexico--for comparison the 1918 flu had a ~2.5% fatality rate.

In some ways this is every viral epidemiologists wet dream. Everybody has been waiting for something big to happen and so there is a lot of early speculation going on. What is actually going to happen is still a complete unkown. Probably something to keep an eye on, but we won't know for awhile if this is the next big thing or just another flash in the pan alarm.

If you want to do more reading the CDC has a good synopsis of some of the events of the Spanish Flu.
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol12no01/05-0979.htm

Place your bets now...

--S
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  #18  
Old April 28th, 2009, 10:12 PM
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Something like 30,000 people die a year from the regular flu. This is nothing but typical hysteria caused by the 24 hour news cycle.

Besides, if it gets bad, Obama will save us.
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  #19  
Old April 28th, 2009, 10:55 PM
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So if you pick the pharm comp that makes the right flu shot you are in the money
Quote:
Originally Posted by abraded
There are some interesting things about the recent outbreak...

If you look back through recorded history there seems to be flu pandemics regularly with the longest interpandemic period ~43 years. The last identified, although small, was ~40 years ago. This is part of the reason that the epidemiologist have been watching avian flu, thinking it might be the next. Avian flu is trouble because it has a high mortality rate, but not a huge problem for now because it has poor/non-existent human to human transmission.

The last really big pandemic was the 1918-1919 "Spanish Flu", infected ~1/3 of the world's population with ~50 million deaths. This pandemic came in what appear to be three distinct waves, starting March of 1918. The first wave actually didn't kill that many people, and was somewhat patchy in geographical distribution. It was the second wave in the fall of 1918 that proved to be the most fatal and widespread. There was a third and again smaller wave in the early part of 1919. All the influenza A circulating since have been genetic descendents of this 1918 H1N1. The Spanish Flu was also notable for having a unusually high mortality rate amongst young healthy adults. There are a number of speculated reasons for this but one of the popular ones is that it was actually the active immune systems of these individuals that caused a hyper immune response, respiratory failure and death.

So, this new swine flu is also an H1N1 variant. It is appearing to be developing an springtime early wave and also appears to be easily transmissable person to person. The data we have to work with is spotty at best but the current numbers look like a ~10% fatality rate in Mexico--for comparison the 1918 flu had a ~2.5% fatality rate.

In some ways this is every viral epidemiologists wet dream. Everybody has been waiting for something big to happen and so there is a lot of early speculation going on. What is actually going to happen is still a complete unkown. Probably something to keep an eye on, but we won't know for awhile if this is the next big thing or just another flash in the pan alarm.

If you want to do more reading the CDC has a good synopsis of some of the events of the Spanish Flu.
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol12no01/05-0979.htm

Place your bets now...

--S
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  #20  
Old April 29th, 2009, 07:09 AM
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Picking the right Pharm Comp isn't hard. Sanofi Pasteur I believe is the only U.S. manufacturer of injectable vaccine. There are only a handful of companies worldwide that produce a measurable quantity.

For those conspiracy theorists---Tamiflu, being the best flu medication we have is patented by Gilead. It looks like the current swine flu is susceptible, but some strains are not. The active stockpiling of this drug is going on now, just like when the bird flu scare took place. One of the pieces of news at the time was that Rumsfeld had been chairman of the board at Gilead prior to joining the Bush admin. He reportedly still holds a large amount of Gilead stock. So, at least he seems to be placing the right bets.
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