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Potential Apocalypse: Avian Flu

Vote and debate.

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Avian flu?

Crap
17
50%
Super-Scared Crap
11
32%
Not Crap (I hope no one votes on this.)
6
18%
 
Total votes : 34

Potential Apocalypse: Avian Flu

Postby nathan. on Thu Sep 29, 2005 11:31 am

Not really, but I think it's really likely that a lot of people are gonna die from this.

http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0510/feature1/

There's also a new book by one of my favorites, Mike Davis, that just came out about this, but I haven't read it.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... ce&s=books
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Postby placeholder on Thu Sep 29, 2005 11:38 am

I just saw a Frontline episode about this. If what is being said about this disease's potential to kill many, many people isn't speculative hysterics, then it is a scary thing.
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...

Postby gio on Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:13 pm

I thought this one already got hype, but it died out... maybe it's back.

I feel like there's always a flavor-of-the-month potential epidemic in the press. West Nile, Mad Cow, SARS, Ebola...

when i was a kid, i remember being terrified by the notion that 'killer bees' would migrate from Mexico (my grandmother said they come up from Mexico) and everyone would surely die a horrible, stinging death.

Ok, that's something different. But the public isn't freaking out about the 'killer heart disease epidemic' that claims 2 million Americans every year.

I guess it's something about the immediacy, or the contagion, that's so terrifying...
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Postby whiskerando on Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:20 pm

I guess it's something about the immediacy, or the contagion, that's so terrifying...


even suicides don't want to be murdered. for whatever reason people don't like the idea of someone or something taking their lives from them. it's much harder to villify your heart for stopping than it is a tiny bug or bacterium.

i'm not afraid of avian flu, to that effect i'm not afraid of AIDS or cancer or typhoid. not that i'm in denial or particularly macho i just don't see the point. using logic doesn't always keep fear at bay but it works more often than you'd think.

people in malaysia die from diarrhea. somewhere on this planet a child is probably dying from chicken pox right now. every disease or infection can kill you; that's what they do.
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Re: ...

Postby DrAwkward on Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:08 pm

gio wrote:when i was a kid, i remember being terrified by the notion that 'killer bees' would migrate from Mexico (my grandmother said they come up from Mexico) and everyone would surely die a horrible, stinging death.


I could be wrong here, but i think the Weekly World News is still perpetuating this fear periodically.
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Postby Bradley R. Weissenberger on Thu Sep 29, 2005 3:31 pm

There is a good article in the current issue of National Geographic regarding this topic.

You do subscribe to National Geographic, don't you?
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Re: ...

Postby gio on Thu Sep 29, 2005 3:57 pm

DrAwkward wrote:
gio wrote:when i was a kid, i remember being terrified by the notion that 'killer bees' would migrate from Mexico (my grandmother said they come up from Mexico) and everyone would surely die a horrible, stinging death.


I could be wrong here, but i think the Weekly World News is still perpetuating this fear periodically.


I have reason to believe my grandmother actually received that information from the Weekly World News.

However, I was five years old at the time... so how was I to know? It's difficult to fact-check when you can't spell. All I knew was the atrocious horror of the notion of being killer-bee-stung to death.

On another note, the Weekly World News is hilarious.
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Urggh

Postby joshsolberg on Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:47 pm

Here's the thing: a viable vaccine already exists for F5N1, or whatever the name of the current "bird flu" is. Many countries are already ordering massive numbers of doses so that, if the virus evolves into a form that can pass from person to person, they will be able to vaccinate whole populations in the geographic areas where the virus appears, and stop its spread in its tracks. Seems like a good idea to me.

Apparently, the US government doesn't think so. For some reason, it isn't bulking up supplies, instead supplemnting its supplies of existing antiviral medications. So, instead of having a proactive approach to controlling a virus that completely destroys a victims lungs and/or brain within something like 48 hours, our government is content to take a reactive approach. That, along with the unwillingness/inability of poorer Asian nations to take measure o assure that infected fowl are killed, will make this thing serious, serious crap.

As a person who gets pretty badly fucked up by any flu virus that comes anywhere near me, I'm scared pretty shitless by this. I read that article at work. A coworker noted while I was reading it that I looked "bothered". Fuck yeah, I'm bothered.
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Postby mackro on Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:13 pm

If it's any consolation... a very high mortality rate from a virus means the epidemic/pandemic it could create would die quicker than one that has a smaller mortality rate. Killer flus that have a small incubation period which take hours to bring someone down have a hard time spreading from one animal to another en masse, no matter what animals are involved.

I stress "have a small incubation period", because that's a major key in the ability for a virus to start a pandemic... if a virus has a very small incubation period (which I induce is the case with this particular strain of avian flu), then while it's certainly NO FUN to contain, there is a chance it could be contained and controlled in a smaller amount of time, without becoming a global human disaster of levels we've never seen. Some quarantining would be absolutely necessary, as well as some precautions, like extra protective wear, of course. WHO is on the case of course, and they are still worried.. but I'm hoping they're worried to overcompensate for what would be happening.

Did i mention that WHO is a grossly underrated organization who should be praised more often? They probably have the most difficult job on the planet.. especially during the annual ebola flare-up in Africa. I just couldn't imagine.
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Re: ...

Postby Peripatetic on Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:29 pm

gio wrote:when i was a kid, i remember being terrified by the notion that 'killer bees' would migrate from Mexico (my grandmother said they come up from Mexico) and everyone would surely die a horrible, stinging death.


I saw a National Geographic special about this when I was about 10, and it still crosses my mind once in awhile. I think the way they showed it on the map, we were all going to be stung to death by 1995 or something. I guess all those ulcers growing up were'nt worth it...
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Re: ...

Postby gio on Mon Oct 03, 2005 1:37 pm

Peripatetic wrote:
gio wrote:when i was a kid, i remember being terrified by the notion that 'killer bees' would migrate from Mexico (my grandmother said they come up from Mexico) and everyone would surely die a horrible, stinging death.


I saw a National Geographic special about this when I was about 10, and it still crosses my mind once in awhile. I think the way they showed it on the map, we were all going to be stung to death by 1995 or something. I guess all those ulcers growing up were'nt worth it...


wow, so it wasn't only in the Weekly World News!

I had no idea that National Geographic was such a fear-mongering media conduit.
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Postby scelops on Mon Oct 03, 2005 3:10 pm

JoshGoldburg says:

Here's the thing: a viable vaccine already exists for F5N1, or whatever the name of the current "bird flu" is.


However:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/0 ... index.html

Just reported today.

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Postby todd_v on Mon Oct 03, 2005 6:36 pm

Yeah, After the killers bees and then SARS it's hard for me to get worked up about anything in the news.
Speaking of things that are supposed to make us scared, are they still using those color coded terror alerts? I miss those.
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Postby joshsolberg on Tue Oct 04, 2005 11:41 pm

scelops wrote:JoshGoldburg says:

Here's the thing: a viable vaccine already exists for F5N1, or whatever the name of the current "bird flu" is.


However:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/0 ... index.html

Just reported today.

-K


Sweet. I'm a professional wrestler/car aficionado now? Time for a camel clutch! (By the way, that story referred to the antiviral drug, not the vaccine which, supposedly, is still in its test phase, so I think the "However:" would more appropriately be a "Furthermore:" or maybe even "Gulp.")
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Postby Mazec on Wed Oct 05, 2005 4:59 am

As long as the survivors of the avian plague get to roam the wasteland in pursuit of food and gasoline, then, no, I'd say it's not crap.
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Postby Terrainasaur on Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:33 pm

Mazec wrote:As long as the survivors of the avian plague get to roam the wasteland in pursuit of food and gasoline, then, no, I'd say it's not crap.


I heartily second this!
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Postby Lazybones on Thu Oct 06, 2005 1:39 am

Set sails for some post-technical barbaristic fun!
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Postby yut on Thu Oct 06, 2005 2:30 am

Relax... The world won't end until 2012. We've got 6 years and a bit left.
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Postby Linus Van Pelt on Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:54 am

Lazybones wrote:Set sails for some post-technical barbaristic fun!


Does post-technical mean post-EADF?

Color me super-scared!
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Postby slowriot on Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:30 am

i'm not going to dismiss it completely, but, i mean... west nile virus and SARS were both supposed to be global pandemics, too.

two interesting facts to note are, there are something like 150 million people living in china and many of them are in conditions bordering on squallor, with poultry in a very near vicinity, and only fifty or so people have died.

normally with viruses, at first the death rate is very high, because only a small sample of the population contracts it. as a wider popultion begins to become exposed, the number usually drops. at first this strain had like an 87% mortality rate but that's already dropped something like thirty percentage points.

this guy would have you believe otherwise:
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