Anybody following the bird flu story?


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Tokugawa
June 22, 2005, 10:04 PM
There are a lot of folks in the know who feel a new ,severe flu pandemic is about to hit. In 1918 there were 600,000 deaths in the US from the spanish flu, the population at that time was about 105,000,000, and much less concentrated and dependent on imported supplies. (NYC lost 30,000)

The mortality rate was about .6 percent. Strains of flu circulating right now in Vietnam and China have a mortality rate of from 10 to 100 percent. Obviously a flu with a 100 percent mortality rate is not too efficient at transmitting itself, however the virus is constantly mutating and the direction is toward a reduced lethality and efficient transmission.
I reccomend a web search, try www.recombinomics.com for a start.

Do we as a nation have the fiber it takes to deal with this? Or are we going to have a governmental vacuum to be filled by gangs?

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Standing Wolf
June 22, 2005, 10:12 PM
Do we as a nation have the fiber it takes to deal with this? Or are we going to have a governmental vacuum to be filled by gangs?

Uhhh... what was the difference between government and gangs again? I guess I kind'a forgot.

Sindawe
June 22, 2005, 10:16 PM
[Fred Rogers]

Cay you say "Captain Tripps"?


I've been following it off and on. What I find REALLY disturbing is the reports I've read online of some chicken farmers in China using human anti-viral drugs on their chicken feed, which as lead to some strains of the virus become resistant to the anti-viral drugs.

:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

shermacman
June 22, 2005, 10:27 PM
At risk of sounding anti-hysterical, a grand total of ninety people have died this year.

Justin
June 22, 2005, 10:57 PM
The way I figure it, the bird flu will probably be spread far and wide when the killer asteroid hits Yellow Stone and sets off the Super Volcao there.

:evil:

2nd Amendment
June 22, 2005, 11:23 PM
I don't understand the dismissive nature directed at things like this. We aren't talking conspiracy theories or on-in-a-million long-shots here. We're talking about events that have happened many times before in human history. Events that the Western World has been amazingly free of for a very long time.

High population density is one of the greatest enablers of plagues as is rapid travel. We have both the highest densities and fastest travel in history. As such I don't find it comparable to a meteor strike(though that's certainly happened to devastating consequence before, too) but rather I find it an amazing blessing or stroke of luck that it hasn't already happened. I find it an impossibility to believe it never will again.

As for the results, I think that would depend on just how bad it is. A mortality rate of 1% or less? We'd survive that as a nation, with our infrastructure intact. There would be a lot of fear and a lot annoying short term failures in transportation and maybe even fuel and power distribution but we'd come thru it. But 10% or more? That's 30 million corpses in a matter of weeks. I don't think we'd survive that socially and economically, and constitutionally, intact.

Also, when talking about numbers like that there's a lot more to consider. I forget who put out some numbers and related effects a while back but when you start adding in suicides, emotional and mental consequences, rioting, looting and such you can just about double the initial death toll over the following year or two. The author's point was that what really would destroy a society was not the plague itself but the psychological results afterwards.

Art Eatman
June 22, 2005, 11:24 PM
Take this to APS, okay?

:), Art

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