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Bird Flu

neilneil

Active Member
It seems like it's comming at us no matter what we do. :(
It's in Turkey now and I heard on the radio today that it either has already or can transfer to migratory birds and then there's no way it will be stopped from comming.

Question is what do we do when it gets here?
We are stocking up on regular flu vaccines but that just reduces the chances of bird flu and regular flu coming together.
When they do finally mix there will be a flu that spreads like regular flu and is as deadly as bird flu.
We (humans) have no natural defence against bird flu which is why it is so dangerous.

-Neil
 

Monty Burns

Well-known Member
Actually, from what I understand, the reason they don't want people to get "normal" influenza is that if its dna merges with the so-far non-human-to-human mix successfully it will THEN become a major problem, it suddenly probably gains human-to-human ... doh!

So, if like me, your immune system is crap at kicking normal flu quickly and you get a regular flu jab - don't miss it this year! Imagine what a b&&ch it will be getting both at the same time! Almost certain death for me :rolleyes:

Hey, think yourself lucky! This time next year I will be living in China ;)



What do you do now if your really paranoid? Get yourself something called Tamoxiflu, i think thats what its called and is *supposed* to give you 80% chance of resisting H5N1 infection to start with. To the best of my CNN watching abilities, there have been no human-to-human confirmed cases ..... yet.


*edit* Steve, its a flu virus that kills roughly 50% of the people it infects.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Aren't we getting a little worked up over something which has killed 68 people? Obviously it isn't great news for those 68 people but compared to just about any other infectious disease its not really going for it is it? Seems a bit like SARS to me.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
if WMD aren't involved, we're perfectly safe
 

KindredSpirit

Active Member
Monty Burns said:
So, if like me, your immune system is crap at kicking normal flu quickly and you get a regular flu jab - don't miss it this year! Imagine what a b&&ch it will be getting both at the same time! Almost certain death for me :rolleyes:
QUOTE]

Know the feeling :eek: Plus just started a family, baby is just 5 months old. I will just have to become a hermit and watch DVDs for the next year :thumbsup:
 

neilneil

Active Member
Tons of fun said:
Aren't we getting a little worked up over something which has killed 68 people? Obviously it isn't great news for those 68 people but compared to just about any other infectious disease its not really going for it is it? Seems a bit like SARS to me.

That's exactly it Tons, currently it's very hard to catch. Ie you have to get it from a bird that is infected. But when a human does catch it is is often fatal because we have no natural defense mechanism do deal with a bird virus.

The big worry is that scientists and the WHO have been predicting it's march across Asia for a while and they have now been proved right.

NOW, if somone 1 in 50 million say unluckily catches bird flu AND also has our regular flu then the flu viruses can mutate together and create a deady bird flue which can jump from person to person with regular flu efficiency. Then we will have a huge problem on our hands.

-Neil
 

DLPMaybe

Active Member
This should be changed to a poll. How many people worldwide will be killed by the birl flu/ next pandemic?

0-1,000
1,000-1,000,000
...
...
...
100,000,000+


Bit morbid but hay ho :eek:
 

MRW

Active Member
I can't understand why the newsreaders don't see the irony when they say:

"The bird flu has reached Turkey."
 

lmccauley

Well-known Member
Tons of fun said:
Aren't we getting a little worked up over something which has killed 68 people? Obviously it isn't great news for those 68 people but compared to just about any other infectious disease its not really going for it is it? Seems a bit like SARS to me.
The government estimate that the next flu pandemic will kill 50,000 people in the UK. That's their low estimate. The high estimate is 700,000. Did that wake anybody up? Here's a link to their contingency plan .

Cheers,
Liam
 

Steve N

Distinguished Member
I work in local government as a QA/ inspector in the food industry.
Avian Flu (bird flu) has been around for years.
This is one off those things that has suddenly got Media attention, grown legs (as they say) and has become the new - lets panic now nonstory story.

I don't want to be too flippant here as obviously it is of very serious commercial concern. But, in the grand scheme of things, relatively harmless to humans.

There are two types of this flu, one is practically harmless and the other could be likened to the Salmonella scare in eggs some time ago - that is - quite dangerous to humans if you are old, very young, weak, pregnant or generally have a compromised immune system due to being ill or recovering from illness etc.
The other News slant on this that I find slightly ludicrous is the " It's almost in Europe -it's reached Turkey" scare headlines.
There was a serious outbreak in Holland two years ago and another lesser outbreak earlier this year in Holland.
See here :- http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/h7n7-netherlands.htm
But I don't suppose the "approaching Plague from Johnny Foreigner" storylines would have the same impact if this were commonly known.
 

Nick_UK

Banned
Neil Sumner said:
It seems like it's comming at us no matter what we do. :(
It's in Turkey now and I heard on the radio today that it either has already or can transfer to migratory birds and then there's no way it will be stopped from comming.

Question is what do we do when it gets here?

Sneeze a lot, I expect :D

"It's not the cough that carries you off, it's the coffin they carry you off in"
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
I've been sneezing a bit and I feel the urge to ring bells at the top of ladders, look in mirrors and say "who's a pretty boy" and I've been eating a lot of millet over the last few days, does this mean I've got it ?
 

Miyazaki

Distinguished Member
Am I the only one not bothered one iota about bird flu?
 

Nick_UK

Banned
Well, I'm concerned, but not greatly bothered. My wife suffers from asthma, so she's a little more susceptable, but she will have a vaccination very soon. But there's no point in worrying about things that you have no control over.
 

Miyazaki

Distinguished Member
If you are paying for the vaccination, I wouldn't bother, they are pretty much useless mate.
 

davehk

Active Member
different strain (H7N7) in the Netherlands outbreak tho'

Q: How many people died in the last flu pandemic (1918 Spanish Flu) ?
A: 40-50 million.

So even if the chance of a human-human transmissable strain of the H5N1 avain flu developing is small, the impact if it does is large enough that governments should be doing something to try to contain it, surely?
 

Steve N

Distinguished Member
JohnG said:
I've been sneezing a bit and I feel the urge to ring bells at the top of ladders, look in mirrors and say "who's a pretty boy" and I've been eating a lot of millet over the last few days, does this mean I've got it ?
The symptoms look pretty serious I'm afraid.
Have you been trying to head butt yourself in the mirror yet.
 

lmccauley

Well-known Member
davehk said:
different strain (H7N7) in the Netherlands outbreak tho'

Q: How many people died in the last flu pandemic (1918 Spanish Flu) ?
A: 40-50 million.

So even if the chance of a human-human transmissable strain of the H5N1 avain flu developing is small, the impact if it does is large enough that governments should be doing something to try to contain it, surely?
There have been 2 flu pandemics since 1918.

1957 in which 2 million people died (17% of the UK population developed flu and 30,000 excess deaths were recorded, of which 6,700 were ascribed to flu).

1968/69 in which 1 million people died (8% of the UK population developed flu and 78,000 excess deaths were recorded, of which 11,000 were ascribed to flu).

The government is taking action. I provided a link to their plan earlier in the thread. Here's the summary:
Pandemics of influenza have swept the world from time to time
throughout history, three times in the last century. They caused
widespread illness, large numbers of deaths, including among children
and young adults, and huge societal disruption, concentrated in just a
few weeks. There is currently rising concern that a new influenza virus
with pandemic potential will emerge and spread, and a further
pandemic can be expected. When that will be is not known, but the
consequences, when it does, will be serious. Around a quarter of the
population could be affected, with over 50,000 deaths in the UK alone.
This could be over one or more waves, each lasting around 3 months.

This document updates the UK’s 1997 Multiphase Contingency Plan for
Pandemic Influenza. It sets the scene and outlines the UK’s plan for
responding to an influenza pandemic. It is based on the framework
currently recommended by the World Health Organization for national
pandemic plans. The response is divided into phases, starting with work
to be done before a pandemic happens, followed by a step-wise
escalating response as a pandemic evolves.

The prime objectives are to save lives, reduce the health impact of a
pandemic and minimise disruption to health and other essential services,
while maintaining business continuity and reducing the general disruption
to society that is likely to ensue, serious though this will be.

Strong leadership, organisation and co-ordination and clear lines of
accountability and communication will be key to preparing for, and
responding to a pandemic. The Department of Health (England) is the
lead Government Department, supported by the Health Protection
Agency. The Department of Health will

• co-ordinate the UK health response

• procure appropriate antiviral drugs and develop strategies for their
optimal use

• facilitate the development, manufacture and supply of an effective
vaccine and develop strategies for its use

• lead work with the devolved administrations to secure consistent
public health and health service responses across the UK

• lead the public health and health service responses in England (the
devolved administration Health Departments will undertake this role
in their countries)

• provide information and input to other Government Departments and
other services to assist them in their response arrangements, particularly
those for maintaining essential services.

• provide information for the media and public in co-ordination with the
Government News Co-ordination Centre.

The Health Departments will be advised by a UK National Pandemic
Influenza Committee. Once the pandemic is confirmed, cross-Government
co-ordination and liaison with the Devolved Administrations for the civil
emergency response will be provided through the Civil Contingencies
Committee.

The roles and responsibilities of the key organisations at UK national,
devolved administration, regional and local levels are described. These
organisations need to develop their own plans, covering their part of the
response and consistent with both the UK plan and their own plans for
other relevant emergencies. Further guidance for NHS organisations, and
a check list for other organisations, will be developed alongside this plan.

Two key medical interventions may help to reduce the health impact:
immunisation, and the use of antiviral drugs active against influenza.
Both vaccine and drugs are likely to be in limited supply and will need to
be used in the most effective way, according to nationally agreed
principles and protocols.

A vaccine will need to be developed specifically against a new pandemic
influenza strain when the strain is known. Preparatory work will be
undertaken which should facilitate development of a suitable vaccine
when the need arises, but even routine influenza vaccines take several
months to manufacture, and there may be additional technical difficulties
in the development of a pandemic vaccine because of the particular
properties of the virus. This means that it will take time before vaccine
can be produced on a large scale and it may not be available at all for the
first wave of a pandemic. Clear, transparent policies are described for
prioritising its use as and when it becomes available.

In the meantime, antiviral drugs will be used to gain maximum benefit
according to their availability. The Department of Health, in liaison with
Health Departments in the Devolved Administrations, is actively working on
building up stockpiles of suitable antiviral drugs, and on strategies for their
optimal use. Assessment of their effectiveness in use will be important
during all phases of the response to further inform these strategies.

In the event that medical interventions such as vaccines and antiviral
drugs are absent or in limited supply or prove ineffective, other public
health or social interventions may help to limit or slow the spread of the
disease. Measures such as hand washing, isolation of cases, effective
handling of contacts and limiting non-essential travel and mass
gatherings of people may ‘buy’ valuable time, particularly in the early
phases. Real time modelling and any new evidence will be used to assess
whether such measures should be used.

Communications are a crucial element of the response. Many groups,
not least the public, will need clear, accurate information and advice
about the actions they can take. They will also need assurance that their
concerns are being addressed.

A pandemic is, by definition, an international event. The UK has certain
international obligations in communicable disease control, to the World
Health Organization and the European Union. The UK also expects to
play a full part in supporting these organisations in their efforts to
control an influenza pandemic.

Preparedness planning is an ongoing activity and this plan will be regularly
reviewed and updated. Comments are invited to feed into this review
 

Nick_UK

Banned
Games Guru said:
If you are paying for the vaccination, I wouldn't bother, they are pretty much useless mate.


All "at risk" people get the jabs free. That includes OAP's and those who suffer from life-threatening conditions, like asthma, bronchitis, heart disease, etc. I wouldn't say they were useless - can't see the NHS spending billions on vaccine if it was useless.
 

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