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Scientists see this swine flu strain as relatively mild

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Little-Acorn, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a doctor, and don't know much about these various diseases etc. But as I've pointed out before, I've heard no specific reasons why this swine-flu outbreak is any worse than the "ordinary" flu bugs that pop up every year. People die from flu every year, and a few people have died from this swine flu this year. And this season isn't over, more people can and probably will die from swine flu.

    But are the deaths from this swine flu strain, more numerous than deaths from the flu strain(s) we had last year? Or the year before?

    Or, what percentage of people who get "ordinary" flu, die from it? And what percentage of people who get this swine flu, die from that?

    I've seen no reports that even ask this question, much less try to answer it. But maybe I haven't looked in the right place. If you've seen such a report or article, can you please post a link to it?

    All I've seen, are people running around like chickens with their heads off, screaming in fear over a "swine flu" that, so far, is no more harmful than every other flu we've gotten over the years. But not giving us any reasons WHY.

    Why all the hooraw over this year's flu, where there wasn't nearly so much panic last year? Or the year before?

    ------------------------------------

    http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-sci-swine-reality30-2009apr30,0,3606923.story

    Scientists see this flu strain as relatively mild

    Genetic data indicate this outbreak won't be as deadly as that of 1918, or even the average winter.

    by Karen Kaplan and Alan Zarembo
    April 30, 2009

    As the World Health Organization raised its infectious disease alert level Wednesday and health officials confirmed the first death linked to swine flu inside U.S. borders, scientists studying the virus are coming to the consensus that this hybrid strain of influenza -- at least in its current form -- isn't shaping up to be as fatal as the strains that caused some previous pandemics.

    In fact, the current outbreak of the H1N1 virus, which emerged in San Diego and southern Mexico late last month, may not even do as much damage as the run-of-the-mill flu outbreaks that occur each winter without much fanfare.

    "Let's not lose track of the fact that the normal seasonal influenza is a huge public health problem that kills tens of thousands of people in the U.S. alone and hundreds of thousands around the world," said Dr. Christopher Olsen, a molecular virologist who studies swine flu at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in Madison.

    His remarks Wednesday came the same day Texas authorities announced that a nearly 2-year-old boy with the virus had died in a Houston hospital Monday.

    "Any time someone dies, it's heartbreaking for their families and friends," Olsen said. "But we do need to keep this in perspective."
     
  2. Popeye

    Popeye Active Member

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    Our Hunger For Cheap Meat Has Created Swine Flu
     
  3. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Well-Known Member

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    So, still no evidence that swine flu is any worse than the run-of-the-mill flu bugs we get every year?

    I didn't think so.
     
  4. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting question. A google of "deaths from flu" brought up a lot about the swine flu, but not much about the regular seasonal flu, other than this somewhat dated info from 2003:

    Since the article attributes the rise to the increase in numbers of senior citizens, it seems unlikely that the numbers could be lower now.

    So, I've begun to wonder just why there is so much fuss about this new flu. We've had flu every year for many years, and this one doesn't look worse, does it?

    It does raise a question about why young, healthy people in Mexico have died from it. Maybe there is fear that it has a potential for being a lot worse.

    Or, my cynical mind asks, is someone making a lot of money from stockpiling anti virus medication? There just has to be money changing hands for that, from the government to the company that makes it, to be exact.

    But, that's just my often correct cynicism talking. It could be totally off base.
     
  5. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

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    That article is about US pig farms. The swine flu originated in Mexico. Do you see a perhaps slight logical problem between trying to connect US pig farms and a flu originating in Mexico? Or does that make perfect sense in "your world"?
     
  6. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    The H1N1 virus is a new flu that humanity has not been exposed to before. Previous historical events when people have been exposed to diseases they have not been exposed to before would include when Columbus discovered the Americas and the 1918 pandemic.

    In 1918 the first wave of the flu hit in the spring (like now) and it was not as severe as the wave that hit later that fall (which killed millions). This happened because flu viruses mutate rapidly as a normal part of their reproduction. They can become more dangerous or they can become less dangerous.

    This virus has a mixture of swine flu, bird flu, and human flues. Because it has elements of swine flu it mixes easily within pigs as if they are a living mixing pot for it to change. Because it contains elements of bird flu it could some day possibly kill as many people as bird flue does (about 40% of all who get it), and because it contains elements of human flu it mixes easily within people and is easy to spread.

    This flu has shown itself to spread easily and projections are that a pandemic is imminent (hence the WHO phase 5 rating which means that a pandemic is imminent). If we look at the number people who probably had it on the first day it hit the US and then the number on the second day and then the number on the third day we can see that it is increasing exponentially. If it continues to increase at the present rate how many days will it be before all Americans have caught it? A pandemic alert level of 5 means that a pandemic is imminent but it does not measure how dangerous it will be. After all if there were an athletes foot pandemic and the whole human race caught it there would still be no or almost no deaths.

    Normally almost no one gets flu at this time of the year. So yes this has shown itself to be more of a concern than seasonal flu. If this is what it does in April what will it do in November. The seasonal flu normally kills a very small percent of people, something like .1%. The 1918 flu may have killed only 2% of the people who got it and the result was that about 50 million people died back when there were a lot less people.

    When 50 million people died economies ground to a halt. Bodies stacked up. Food became scarce. Today we rely on a whole chain of healthy people to pick food in far away lands and ship it to someone who will ship it to someone who will stock it on the shelves for us to buy. What will happen if someone in that chain does not come into work? He might not even be dead he just might be sick, but if he cant ship food then it doesn't move. Wal-mart does not stock any more than what they need for the next day or week. What will happen if the guy who is supposed to put the chlorine in your water doesn't do it? How about the guy who is supposed to keep the nearest nuke plant working?

    How many people do you think this will kill? Go to this thread:
    http://houseofpolitics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7497

    For more info see:

    www.newfluwiki2.com
    http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/
    http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/phase/en/index.html
     
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