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Not doomsday, but this is disturbing, and ups the ante

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http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/health/1500A...a_Bird_Flu.htmlWHO: Bird flu spread among family membersBy MARGIE MASONAP MEDICAL WRITERJAKARTA, Indonesia -- The World Health Organization has concluded that human-to-human transmission likely occurred among seven relatives who developed bird flu in Indonesia.In a report obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, WHO experts said the cluster's index case was probably infected by sick birds and spread the disease to six family members. One of those cases, a boy, then likely infected his father, it said.

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That's old news, I heard about it over a month ago. It's really not worth worrying about. If you're going to worry about every time a contagion mutates you will not live your life.

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Hi John...That is fine, and that is your opinion.On the other hand a mutation of that magnitude in a pathogen like Asian Flu (HN51), is both disturbing and does up the ante no matter what you say, in my opinion.Maybe I watched too many Sci-Fi

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Seems more likely to me that sanitary conditions in the community are the cause.Man gets infected fecal matter on his clothes, which infects his family.By the time investigators arrive on scene those clothes have been cleaned (or the man burried in them) and the evidence is gone.

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Thats exactly what happent here, bad hygeine caused these deaths. The virus has not mutated so nothing to worry about, yet.

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jwenting: Ok...sounds reasonable. I can see that.John...please excuse my use of the term "mutation". It's what I typed, but now what I meant to express. What I meant to say was "change".Cheers,bt

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Given that this virus has in 4 years killed less people worldwide than the common flu does during a regular outbreak in the USA over a week there's nothing to worry about anyway...Media hype fueled by politicians and "scientists" who want to have a nice disaster brewing to get funding for pet projects in their home towns/states.

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Hi Jeroen, your first paragraph is accurate to a point, but it does not tell the whole story.Yes, it has killed less, but when it strikes, it appears to kill with a lethality that has not been seen in a virus for a long time. Additionally, it has been the most decimating and widespread virus to hit the avian species in recorded time.Three links below: 1st to the WHO, 2nd to the latest WHO update on this very topic that started this thread, and 3rd to the Avian Flu FAQ along with a germane extract.bthttp://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/en/index.htmlhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_06_20/en/index.htmlhttp://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influ...s/en/index.htmlThe widespread persistence of H5N1 in poultry populations poses two main risks for human health.The first is the risk of direct infection when the virus passes from poultry to humans, resulting in very severe disease. Of the few avian influenza viruses that have crossed the species barrier to infect humans, H5N1 has caused the largest number of cases of severe disease and death in humans. Unlike normal seasonal influenza, where infection causes only mild respiratory symptoms in most people, the disease caused by H5N1 follows an unusually aggressive clinical course, with rapid deterioration and high fatality. Primary viral pneumonia and multi-organ failure are common. In the present outbreak, more than half of those infected with the virus have died. Most cases have occurred in previously healthy children and young adults.A second risk, of even greater concern, is that the virus

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You can't really say anything about how lethal it would be in a modern society with good healthcare.Remember that it's struck almost exclusively in rural areas in third world countries (or countries where conditions in rural areas are third world like China).People often can't get adequate healthcare even in the best of times, often resorting to witchdoctors either for lack of real physicians and hospitals or because their tribal traditions includes a massivel distrust of outsiders.Even if they do have access to healthcare services those are often beyond what they can pay for, and they're often in worse physical condition due to malnutrition caused by an unvarried diet (often consisting of little more than a bit of rice on most days).In those cases where it struck people living in or near major cities those tended to survive when they could get medical care.

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Paranoia? Moi, or someone/something else?bt

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Hello JeroenYes...everything you say is true. The reality of any pandemic type event is unclear. Theories can be had, models can be made, but we don't have much of a real experience to validate our models with. At best, we have estimates.But since you took us down this path, I ask you what about the regions of the planet that live like you describe? The reality is there are whole sections of this planet that do not have even rudimentary housing, sanitation, medicine...what about those folks? I don

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trust me I'm one of the most paranoid ppl going. I only have to get a pain in my chest or palpitations and I have a panic attack. But bird flu even H5N1 although bad is not doomsday, Aids has more chance of wiping out humanity, or war of course.

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Agreed...note the title of this thread, "Not doomsday..."Also don't think I ever aluded to, nor did anyone in this thread that I've seen, about the decimation of humanity.See...we're on the same page!bt

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Those regions also have poor transportation networks causing the epidemics to be localised.People get sick and either die or recover before they can reach the next town or city and spread the disease.That's the main reason why Ebola has never gone global, and that disease is a lot more lethal and contageous than is the flu.It's sad for the people involved of course, but on a global scale the damage is minimal.As there are diseases effecting far more people that don't get hardly any funding because almost everything goes to some high profile virusses (Ebola, HIV, H5N1), IMO the money now spent on those could be better spent.As they're viral diseases there can be no cure anyway (the number of viral diseases that can be cured is exactly 0, there is no inaccuracy in that number), and they mutate rapidly enough that effective vaccins are impossible to generate (especially HIV and Ebola).

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If we were ruthless enough and put enough resources into it we could wipe out AIDS today.Sure it would mean putting tens of million millions (including most of the population of several medium sized countries) into quarantine for life (or just killing them to save us the cost of building and maintaining a quarantine facility the size of Mexico) and testing billions for the virus several times over a period of a few years, but it could be done.Sure we may have to cordon off Africa for 25 years to make sure it doesn't pop up again, but it could be done.HIV spreads only by direct human to human contact and is therefore containable using such draconian measures.Airborne virusses are impossible to contain that way. Mind I don't advocate such measures, even though I'm extremely paranoid and they would mean less risk to me in the long run.In the short term it's too easy for people in power to abuse such schemes to get rid of "elements" they don't like and corruption is too likely to get some infected people excluded from the quarantine (so it's in part my paranoia that tells me it's not a good idea ;) ).It's also too expensive, too hard on the economy and society as a whole.

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