Psychics, Pandemics, scaremongering-Flu fear mongering is back-minus the Bird! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 119 Old 10-04-2006, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This article is so pitiful...yet most will fall into its trap.

http://www.courierpostonline.com/app...610040374/1006

I didn't know modern medicine could see into the future so well! (BOLD MINE!)

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New Jersey is struggling to stockpile enough medicines, and to determine who gets first dibs, against a flu pandemic that health officials warned Tuesday is sure to strike, though they can't say when.
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"It is going to be mushrooming around the country. ... Every facet of society would be affected,"

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"There is going to be widespread infection. . . . The population has not experienced this virus before," Jacobs warned.
Umm...what virus? Looks like they gave up on the bird flu-now it is just you know THAT pandemic. I also knwo our local flu shot clinics start next week. My county is "tops" with having enough or more to meet the demand. When i still vaxed I agreed to take my Mom to one of these clinics. Politicians met us at the door and gave out...PILL holders (you know the ones for each day of the week). The shots were given like candy. DD had just gotten over HSP (rare autoimmune disease-Still no lightbulb regarding vaxes for me at this time-well this may have been the first flicker). They offered to give her littel 3yo self the shot. But I said she had just had HSP-it may not be safe. They had no clue either. : The idea of "might not be safe" was surprising to them-but they agreed. If I had not said that-they'd never have asked and woulda just gave it to her. And they do not give out the info. pamphlets-you get a paper with the CDC website for further info...

Let the FEAR Pandemic begin!
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#2 of 119 Old 10-04-2006, 11:14 AM
 
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If only the public remembered how deadly the West Nile Virus was/is. Sigh . . .

Why does the media/the public have to have a disease to fear?
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#3 of 119 Old 10-04-2006, 12:31 PM
 
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Oh I saw this on the news last night. I loved the quote that a flu pandemic could mean 40,000 dead New Jerseyeans.
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#4 of 119 Old 10-04-2006, 02:47 PM
 
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What a pathetic article.... I wonder if people realize that getting the flu shot usually gives them the flu and thats what gets the ball rolling on everyone geting sick. Flu shots are such a sham. I don't know how many times my brother has gotten sick from them. I think all my anti vax talk has finally gotten him to realize that.
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#5 of 119 Old 10-04-2006, 03:28 PM
 
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Sorry, I don't really have time to post right now....

I need to hurry, pull my kids out of their beds and rush to stand in line for fear that I won't get my allottment of vaccine.....


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#6 of 119 Old 10-04-2006, 04:56 PM
 
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I saw a deal like this on TV yesterday, with a cute little old lady saying "Yes, it's very important to get the flu shot - that way if you get the flu it's less severe." : I thought if you got VACCINATED for something, you were AVOIDING GETTING IT? I guess I just don't understand, because I haven't been to medical school, and just gather tidbits of information off the internet. :
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#7 of 119 Old 10-04-2006, 05:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by somanythings View Post
I saw a deal like this on TV yesterday, with a cute little old lady saying "Yes, it's very important to get the flu shot - that way if you get the flu it's less severe." : I thought if you got VACCINATED for something, you were AVOIDING GETTING IT? I guess I just don't understand, because I haven't been to medical school, and just gather tidbits of information off the internet. :
And false information at that you know...:
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#8 of 119 Old 10-04-2006, 06:02 PM
 
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"There is going to be widespread infection. . . . The population has not experienced this virus before," Jacobs warned.
Well....duh. If it makes us sick, it's one we've not experienced before....
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#9 of 119 Old 10-04-2006, 06:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mavournin View Post
Oh I saw this on the news last night. I loved the quote that a flu pandemic could mean 40,000 dead New Jerseyeans.
I wonder how many people die in NJ every year, from all causes combined. There very well be 40,000 dead New Jerseyans this year- not that the flu shot would make any difference in those numbers.

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#10 of 119 Old 10-04-2006, 09:19 PM
 
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I didn't know modern medicine could see into the future so well!
It's not so much a matter of looking into the future as it is of looking into the past.

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"It is going to be mushrooming around the country. ... Every facet of society would be affected,"
This isn't really a prediction; it is essentially the definition of a pandemic.

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Looks like they gave up on the bird flu-now it is just you know THAT pandemic.
Where "they" refers to the media, I wouldn't consider what they have or haven't given up on to be of much concern. Reporters are in the entertainment business. The epidemiological community continues to regard the H5N1 virus as a very serious threat.

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The population has not experienced this virus before," Jacobs warned.
What is being referred to here is the fact that no high-path H5 subtype has ever been known to cause infection in humans before. Whereas we all have different immunological histories, and hence varying degrees of aquired immunity to various strains of influenza, we all have essentially the same degree of aquired immunity to H5N1: NONE.
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#11 of 119 Old 10-04-2006, 09:39 PM
 
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"Get flu ready" is the watchword of the campaign, which urges people to stockpile food and water in case officials order people to stay at home; identify emergency phone numbers; wash hands and stay home if sickened; and keep abreast of alerts in the media.
This is what bothers me. DH and I believe that it is very feasible for America to turn into a Police state. This is just one of the many warnings I have seen that are mainstream. I really think we are in the rabbit hole now, Alice.

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#12 of 119 Old 10-05-2006, 01:21 AM
 
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DH and I believe that it is very feasible for America to turn into a Police state.
Either that, or a Criminal state. The line between the two can be surprisingly fuzzy (so to speak). Either way, I think it's possible to argue that we're nine tenths of the way there now. Whatever the problem is, it always seems to lead to the same solution these days: more power to the president.

Executive order 13295

Actually, it would be more a union of police/criminal states, since strong measures such as seizure, isolation, or quarantine would mostly be implemented at the state level, in accordance with the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act.

Is anyone encouraged by the fact that FEMA would coordinate the response at the federal level?

I wouldn't worry about forced vaccination, though. There won't be a vaccine for this one for at least the first six months anyway, and for a long time after that, not enough doses for any but a privileged few. What's being prioritized to first responders is anti-virals, which work quite a bit differently. When they do work. Which they may not, since resistance has been observed to develop rather quickly.

I would LOVE to believe that the whole thing is just so much media hype, but I'm afraid I took the red pill on that one a long time ago.
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#13 of 119 Old 10-05-2006, 01:40 AM
 
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It' a thing that might or might not happen. I mean, eventually a new flu strain will emerge, as they have been since the dawn of time. But it might not be H5N1, or H5N1 might not be that pathogenic (the CDC states on their basic birdflu info page that they very well might only be seeing the most serious cases, and no one knows how many people might have had mild cases) , or it might quickly become less pathogenic. Who knows?
There have been lots of new flu strains (straight from birds) over just the last decade that could have caused Armageddonish pandemics and didn't.
The Earth could get hit by a meteor out of the blue, too.

There's nothing new and unusual going on right now. We're just tracking it for the first time this closely.
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#14 of 119 Old 10-05-2006, 03:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamakay View Post
It's a thing that might or might not happen.
Yes, I agree. Our ability to monitor a virus like H5N1 -- from its effects on wild and domestic bird populations worldwide to the differences in amino acid sequences between isolates -- means that our heightened sense of awareness of the threat may simply be an artifact of our increased capabilities for performing that tracking (I seem to have seen the same argument made with regard to autism. I'm just sayin'.). It's true that H5N1 may never develop efficient human-to-human transimssibility, and even if it does, it may lose much of its virulence in the process -- but there are a couple of things about this virus that make it a particular concern. First and foremost is the fact that it has already demonstrated an ability to infect humans.

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the CDC states on their basic birdflu info page that they very well might only be seeing the most serious cases, and no one knows how many people might have had mild cases
I always like to point out that if it is the case that large numbers of asymptomatic or subclinical cases are going undetected, it's not very good news. It means that the virus is more easily aquired than we thought, the opportunities for reassortment with human-adapted strains are greater than we thought, and our ability to monitor the situation is worse than we thought. What passes for optimism is the fact that the (admittedly limited) serology does not support the idea.

My personal viewpoint is that the patterns in clusters we have seen to date (which, as even the CDC now concedes, are surely the result of human-to-human transmission) indicate that the virus has been stumbling upon little pockets of genetically-determined susceptibility in human populations (typically, we see siblings infected, or siblings and one parent, but not siblings and both parents). A single infection in a human is a dead-end for a virus fine-tuned by selection to infect birds, but every time we get one of these clusters, the virus has a greatly increased opportunity to evolve better infectivity and transmissibility for humans, and once inside a human host, selective pressures strongly "motivate" it to do that.

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I mean, eventually a new flu strain will emerge, as they have been since the dawn of time
Yes. Epidemiologists point out that such events occur with a certain regularity, which is what they mean when they say "we're overdue". But, since the dawn of time, never has the structure of human society made it so vulnerable to such an event. That's what's new and unusual. We (most of us) live at the top of a vast technological pyramid, and if you knock out a couple of the foundation stones, we could be in real trouble in a hurry. We're just not set up for having a quarter or a third of everybody out sick all at the same time. The basis for much of our economy is what is called "just-in-time delivery". Americans get downright cranky when their cable TV goes out; shut off the power for a couple of days, and they'll come completely unglued. If this thing breaks, the first thing they'll do is head for the grocery store, and they'll strip the shelves bare, just as happens during the approach of a hurricane. Truck drivers and utility plant operators look to me like good candidates for antiviral prophylaxis. I, for one, wish them all the very best of health.

I don't worry a lot about the Earth being hit my a meteor, but if astronomers announced that they had spotted a big one headed our way, my level of concern would rise considerably, even if they couldn't say for certain whether it would hit or miss.
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#15 of 119 Old 10-05-2006, 11:39 AM
 
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I would LOVE to believe that the whole thing is just so much media hype, but I'm afraid I took the red pill on that one a long time ago.
Heheheh. You're the exact opposite of most everyone here. For us, knowing reality is knowing that they're full of sh*t and trying to sell a story. I don't know who you're reading, but most of the experts I've seen quoted say H5N1 will probably NOT be the big one.

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(I seem to have seen the same argument made with regard to autism. I'm just sayin'.)
Dymanic, I don't know if you've realized it or not, but there is no such thing as asymptomatic autism. Therefore, you cannot possibly draw any sort of correlation between autism and asymptomatic infection with H5N1. (Well, you can, but it would be totally nonsensical.) Furthermore, even if we're talking about "mild" autism as compared to mild H5N1-related illness, there's STILL a huge difference. A mild flu will be over with in a week. Mild autism lasts your whole life. You could get away with not being dx with the flu before it's over, but seriously, the likelihood of living your whole life without anyone realizing you were on the spectrum is pretty slim. It could happen, but it would be pretty freakin rare.

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I always like to point out that if it is the case that large numbers of asymptomatic or subclinical cases are going undetected, it's not very good news.
Ah, yes, it's such terrible news to hear that a virus causes mostly asymptomatic infection. : Honestly, the way you think is almost incomprehensible to me. Say H5N1 has infected hundreds of thousands, with only 300 cases being identified. WHY would that be something to worry about? That would mean that H5N1 is no more deadly than any other flu virus - it just happened to be the one that got the most attention. So basically you're telling us that we should fear it if it's mostly deadly, but not transmissible and we should also fear it if it's rarely deadly but highly transmissible? In your world, is there ever a time that we don't need to live in fear of a flu virus? Because it seems like you've got most scenarios covered there. Or do you think that if a flu is somewhat deadly and somewhat transmissible, then we don't have to fear that one? Do you believe we should live in fear of every virus that occasionally kills someone? Have you considered what kind of impact that sort of stress could have on the immune system? Living in fear ain't good for ya, man.
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#16 of 119 Old 10-05-2006, 12:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Plummeting View Post
You're the exact opposite of most everyone here.
I hope that's ok.

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For us, knowing reality is knowing that they're full of sh*t and trying to sell a story.
If I understand you correctly, you're saying that the basis of your opinion has a lot to do with biases you percieve in various sources.

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I don't know who you're reading, but most of the experts I've seen quoted say H5N1 will probably NOT be the big one.
I'm basing my opinion mostly on what I have learned about the details of the way influenza replicates and mutates, and on how the human immune system responds.

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I don't know if you've realized it or not, but there is no such thing as asymptomatic autism. Therefore, you cannot possibly draw any sort of correlation between autism and asymptomatic infection with H5N1.
The correlation I was drawing was between the argument that the percieved threat of H5N1 is an artifact of a increased surveillance and similar arguments which have been made that percieved increases in cases of autism are an artifact of redefinition of the condition in the DSM. I was just making a little joke; we don't have to clog this thread up with it.

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Say H5N1 has infected hundreds of thousands, with only 300 cases being identified. WHY would that be something to worry about?
I addressed that already.

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So basically you're telling us that we should fear it if it's mostly deadly, but not transmissible and we should also fear it if it's rarely deadly but highly transmissible?
No. As long as it stays deadly but poorly transmissible, it's not going to cause a pandemic. If it became highly transmissible, the resulting pandemic could produce severe and widespread social disruption even if virulence remained low. If enough people call in sick at the same time, systems start to break down. They don't have to call in dead.

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In your world, is there ever a time that we don't need to live in fear of a flu virus?
Of the 16 known HA subtypes, none of the H4, H6, H8, or H10-H16 subtypes have ever been shown to infect humans. I wouldn't worry about any of those, unless they suddenly started doing so, and more than half of the cases were fatalities.

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Living in fear ain't good for ya, man.
As I've said before, you have to earn the right not to live in fear, by taking reasonable precautions. Just because you buckle your seat belt, that doesn't mean you're living in fear -- and if you don't, you should be.
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#17 of 119 Old 10-05-2006, 01:47 PM
 
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As long as it stays deadly but poorly transmissible, it's not going to cause a pandemic. If it became highly transmissible, the resulting pandemic could produce severe and widespread social disruption even if virulence remained low.
Plummeting, my dear, why do you even bother? It takes an extraordinary amount of discipline to maintain the level of fundamental ignorance exhibited in the above statement.
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#18 of 119 Old 10-05-2006, 01:57 PM
 
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I guess I thought that anyone could understand the fact that a highly transmissible virus that results in mostly subclinical infection or mild illness wouldn't cause much more problem than the typical flu. People don't even call in sick to work when they have a subclinical infection and most people don't call in sick to work when they have a mild illness.

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I wouldn't worry about any of those, unless they suddenly started doing so, and more than half of the cases were fatalities.
But dymanic, what we were talking about is the fact that H5N1 almot certainly does NOT cause 50% of those infected to die.
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#19 of 119 Old 10-05-2006, 02:01 PM
 
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No. As long as it stays deadly but poorly transmissible, it's not going to cause a pandemic. If it became highly transmissible, the resulting pandemic could produce severe and widespread social disruption even if virulence remained low. If enough people call in sick at the same time, systems start to break down. They don't have to call in dead.
This is where I believe you've been the unwitting victim of a propaganda machine. Now, the reason for the propaganda might very well be altruistic, but it's still a misconstrued representation of the facts, and designed for mass manipulation.
RISK(communication)=Hazard + Outrage
That means to get people freaked out (and thus prepare for the possibilities), sometimes the truth needs to be spun a little bit, and freakishly unlikely worst case scenarios burned into people's minds as impending, unavoidable actualities.
There's a mathematical formula out there on exactly how unlikely something needs to be to cease warranting fearmongering.
This is an interesting insight into the minds of the people that tell CDC scientists to create worst case scenarios, to be given to the media department, to be distributed to the media.
http://www.psandman.com/col/birdflu.htm

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We (most of us) live at the top of a vast technological pyramid, and if you knock out a couple of the foundation stones, we could be in real trouble in a hurry. We're just not set up for having a quarter or a third of everybody out sick all at the same time.
And that's what's not going to happen.
That's the one in a million chance of something very bad that would be so bad if it were to happen that 'they' have decided it warrants being proclaimed as an impending actuality.
Things are going to get really interesting once there is a vaccine stockpile. Coz once it's there, it's going to have to be used. Vaccine manufacturers aren't charities. If they agree to make something, it will only be with a guarantee that the supply will be demanded.

Weirdly, I'm not entirely convinced it's a bad idea. The massive failures of the influenza vaccines of the past and present make me extremely skeptical of what good a vaccine might do, but at the same time, although I'm personally not afraid of being killed by whatever pandemic does eventually emerge, I'm sure there will be lots of deaths. Not a collapse of society or anything like that, but lots of deaths, nevertheless.
And it would be nice if there was a vaccine that could help.
My main issue is with the attitude of the public health authorities of "We're manipulating you people for your own good."
That really rubs me the wrong way. They already do that with all the vaccines mandated for children, and I'm sort of resentful of the fact that what 'they' say can't ever be taken at face value. And that beneath the surface, the attitude is "Well, ok, it's a bit of a lie, but it's still for their own good."
I'm not the kind of person to just say "Oh. Ok, then. Whatever you say." to that.
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#20 of 119 Old 10-05-2006, 04:33 PM
 
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I guess I thought that anyone could understand the fact that a highly transmissible virus that results in mostly subclinical infection or mild illness wouldn't cause much more problem than the typical flu.
But his statement clearly demonstrates that he doesn't understand. He says that a low virulent flu virus that stays low virulence can cause social destruction. Anyone in full possession of reality will understand that we encounter highly transmissible, low virulence, pandemic flu viruses every year - it's called flu season - yet they are never accompanied by the social upheaval described by panicky Patty. As it turns out, a prerequisite condition for pandemic viruses to potentiate social upheaval is HIGH virulence. Your buddy is objectively and empirically wrong. But what's worse is that you keep pushing him to extract further explanations when you can clearly smell where he's pulling them from.
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#21 of 119 Old 10-05-2006, 05:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by insider View Post
Anyone in full possession of reality will understand that we encounter highly transmissible, low virulence, pandemic flu viruses every year - it's called flu season - yet they are never accompanied by the social upheaval described by panicky Patty. As it turns out, a prerequisite condition for pandemic viruses to potentiate social upheaval is HIGH virulence.
Hell, I even understand that.


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Your buddy is objectively and empirically wrong. But what's worse is that you keep pushing him to extract further explanations when you can clearly smell where he's pulling them from.
That's not her buddy.

Plummeting is doing what she believes is right and we are all learning from it.
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#22 of 119 Old 10-05-2006, 05:11 PM
 
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I guess I thought that anyone could understand the fact that a highly transmissible virus that results in mostly subclinical infection or mild illness wouldn't cause much more problem than the typical flu.
I guess I thought that anyone could understand that "subclinical" and "fatal" are not the only possible degrees of severity, and that it is not only the degree of severity which differentiates the seasonal flu epidemic from the global pandemic -- the much higher number of people affected is arguably more important than the severity of the typical case. Influenza isn't just a case of the sniffles; if what you have really is flu, chances are it will put you flat on your back for at least a week. Not only that, but widespread absenteeism needn't be limited to those who are actually ill. If mortality remains high, lots of folks will call in sick even though they really aren't.

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But dymanic, what we were talking about is the fact that H5N1 almot certainly does NOT cause 50% of those infected to die.
There is no evidence for large numbers of subclinical cases. You are attributing considerable weight to evidence which might exist. As you noted above, the CDC acknowledges that it does not know that no subclinical or asymptomatic cases exist. Without justifying your reasons for doing so, you have stretched that to "they almost certainly exist". It's not the same thing. Serology has been performed on known contacts of confirmed cases, and the results indicate that the virus is not easily transmitted between humans. Serology has been performed on cullers and others who are known to have had exposure to birds known to be infected, and the results indicate that the virus is not easily transmitted from bird to human. Do you suppose the virus is somehow mysteriously contagious only when no one is looking? And how do asymptomatic cases pass the virus on, anyway? They don't cough, they don't sneeze, they don't have runny noses, and those are the most important modes of travel for the virus.

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Originally Posted by mamakay
This is where I believe you've been the unwitting victim of a propaganda machine. Now, the reason for the propaganda might very well be altruistic, but it's still a misconstrued representation of the facts, and designed for mass manipulation.
Again, I'm seeing information being evaluated primarily on percieved bias of sources. What are the facts, as you see them, that nullify the threat?

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There's a mathematical formula out there on exactly how unlikely something needs to be to cease warranting fearmongering.
Perhaps it's a quibble, but the word "fearmongering" implies the promoting of an unreasonable fear. If the theatre really is on fire, sounding the alarm isn't fearmongering, it's just being responsible. I think you're talking about a "Risk Assessment Matrix".

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Things are going to get really interesting once there is a vaccine stockpile.
It may start sounding repetitive, but I'll keep repeating it anyway: this is not currently a vaccination issue, because there is no vaccine against this virus.
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#23 of 119 Old 10-05-2006, 05:36 PM
 
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Again, I'm seeing information being evaluated primarily on percieved bias of sources. What are the facts, as you see them, that nullify the threat?
The threat that one third of the population is going to call in sick to work on the same day?
Why don't you ask me for facts that nullify the threat of pink unicorns storming the White House and overthrowing the American government?
It's absurd.
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Perhaps it's a quibble, but the word "fearmongering" implies the promoting of an unreasonable fear. If the theatre really is on fire, sounding the alarm isn't fearmongering, it's just being responsible. I think you're talking about a "Risk Assessment Matrix".
Right.
And seriously promoting the notion that the birdflu is going to cause a complete societal breakdown is like calling in a bomb threat to a skyrise because you saw a suspicious looking character walk into the building.

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It may start sounding repetitive, but I'll keep repeating it anyway: this is not currently a vaccination issue, because there is no vaccine against this virus.
But there will be. Human trials are being conducted this very minute.
And the CDC is negotiating with vaccine manufacturers right now.
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#24 of 119 Old 10-05-2006, 07:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dynamic
It's not so much a matter of looking into the future as it is of looking into the past.
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Originally Posted by dynamic
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The population has not experienced this virus before," Jacobs warned.
What is being referred to here is the fact that no high-path H5 subtype has ever been known to cause infection in humans before. Whereas we all have different immunological histories, and hence varying degrees of aquired immunity to various strains of influenza, we all have essentially the same degree of aquired immunity to H5N1: NONE.
So then they are looking into the future?

No doubt a bleak one, with everyone home from work sneezing?
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#25 of 119 Old 10-05-2006, 07:27 PM
 
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Perhaps it's a quibble, but the word "fearmongering" implies the promoting of an unreasonable fear. If the theatre really is on fire, sounding the alarm isn't fearmongering, it's just being responsible. I think you're talking about a "Risk Assessment Matrix".
This is the thing - it is an unreasonable fear. The virus is not easily transmissible, even laboratory attempts to make it easily transmissible by combining the DNA with other flu viruses have failed. So the whole mass hysteria being propogated by the media about the bird flu is nothing more than fear mongering. It's not responsible to scare people about something that is unlikely to happen.

Honestly, when you read the research about this virus, how it's spread & how difficult it is to spread, you realize that there are many things that have to change before this virus could potentially even have the ability to cause a pandemic. And basic biology states that if/when those mutations do occur, there's a very high likelihood that the virus will lose it's virulence. Viruses need hosts in order to survive, kill the host & the virus dies too. And being as the cause of death from H5N1 has to do with where the virus lodges in the lungs, and that it has to lodge up higher in the respiratory tract before it actually will become highly contagious, that takes out the main mortality factor.

For those of you in Canada, either the Sept or Oct issue of Chatelaine had an article about bird flu. And one of the things that it talks about having on hand is adequate birth control because you don't want to be having babies in the middle of a pandemic. : I mean, come on... I can understand telling people to have some backup food and water jic, but if tons of people are going to die, wouldn't it be prudent to have women getting pregnant and having babies? (Sorry, totally OT but it bugged me.)

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Quote:
It may start sounding repetitive, but I'll keep repeating it anyway: this is not currently a vaccination issue, because there is no vaccine against this virus.
But there will be. Human trials are being conducted this very minute.
And the CDC is negotiating with vaccine manufacturers right now.
Yep, and once that vaccine is approved people are already so terrified of the bird flu that they'll line up for the shots in droves. All of this fear-mongering now is just preparation to ensure there's high uptake of the vaccine... who cares if the virus ever actually mutates - the money has already been guaranteed to vax manufacturers by the US government... and if they're paying for a vaccine they better use it, right?

FWIW - and maybe someone here will have the actual link or numbers because I don't have it anymore... there have been more people die in a single non-pandemic flu season than in the 1968 pandemic. (Seems to me it was sometime in the 1980's - can anyone help with that?) And the whole world didn't come crashing down. And the experts have been saying for a long time that we're overdue for a pandemic, but pandemics don't just happen because it's "time," they happen because of what's going on in the life of the population and the world at the time. It's not as simple as identifying a nasty virus and saying it's the next big pandemic... there is more to it than that.

I'm so sick of hearing about this darn bird flu/pandemic hype. I wish the media would actually do some proper research and give a balanced report so that people don't live in fear of hearing that bird flu has arrived.

(And for the record, I'd rather have no notice of a meteor rushing towards the earth than to spend my last week or however long living in fear. Fear is simply not a healthy place to live and I want to enjoy every last minute of my life. What good would the panic serve anyways? Same thing with most other things... Life is short enough as it is, and we all die eventually, why waste the time we do have on earth worrying about dying?)
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#26 of 119 Old 10-05-2006, 07:29 PM
 
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Why don't you ask me for facts that nullify the threat of pink unicorns storming the White House and overthrowing the American government?
It's absurd.
What I'm asking for are facts that would indicate that the H5N1 virus cannot aquire the changes it needs in order to become easily transmissible between humans, or why such changes would necessarily be accompanied by a (say) thirty-fold drop in virulence. Alternatively, you might provide arguments explaining why an event directly affecting the health of a third or more of a population would not significantly impact that society's economy, distribution of goods, etc. "It's absurd" isn't an argument; it's a naked assertion.

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seriously promoting the notion that the birdflu is going to cause a complete societal breakdown is like calling in a bomb threat to a skyrise because you saw a suspicious looking character walk into the building.
I'm not among those whose concerns extend to a complete societal breakdown. I'm concerned about temporary but serious shortages due to interruption of supply chains, and (possibly) sporadic interruption of power and other basic services. The chances for recieving any kind of medical services during a pandemic look especially poor.

Let's say you are a pre-Katrina resident of New Orleans. How clear does it have to be that the city is threatened before it becomes reasonable to consider taking precautions? When the storm actually makes landfall? If you are among those who waited until evacuation was no longer an option, to whom will you turn for aid? FEMA?

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Human trials are being conducted this very minute.
And the CDC is negotiating with vaccine manufacturers right now.
I don't see what that has to do with whether or not the virus will evolve efficient human-to-human transmissibility.

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Originally Posted by aira
So then they are looking into the future?
They are looking into the past, and extrapolating into the future.
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#27 of 119 Old 10-05-2006, 07:41 PM
 
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Yep, and once that vaccine is approved people are already so terrified of the bird flu that they'll line up for the shots in droves. All of this fear-mongering now is just preparation to ensure there's high uptake of the vaccine... who cares if the virus ever actually mutates - the money has already been guaranteed to vax manufacturers by the US government... and if they're paying for a vaccine they better use it, right?
And on that note.
Have you seen this?
This is a quote from none other than Glen Nowak...the director of the CDC's communication department....the originator of the "seven step recipe" for creating a demand for flu vaccines.

http://darwin.nap.edu/books/03090950...c2099970315001

Quote:
Focusing on the important role in mitigating pandemic influenza of both annual immunization (to build demand for flu vaccine, and therefore supply in the event of a crisis) and prompt vaccination against a pandemic strain, the chapter continues with a consideration of strategies to increase immunization uptake before and during a pandemic.
What does THAT mean?
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#28 of 119 Old 10-05-2006, 07:47 PM
 
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...it is not only the degree of severity which differentiates the seasonal flu epidemic from the global pandemic -- the much higher number of people affected is arguably more important than the severity of the typical case.
Here's the take home message: seasonal epidemics are pandemics - they are not geographically restricted and, in fact, they spread more rapidly and more readily than global pandemics. BTW, the term global pandemic is redundant: pandemic means global.

Again the take home message: seasonal flu strains are pandemic. The only difference between our seasonal flu pandemics and the big pandemic is the level of virulence. Low virulence pandemics are what occur annually yet they never produce social upheaval. Clearly D is wrong. What are his options? He can try to argue that seasonal epidemics are not pandemics but that would require him to figure out where the strains originate and where they spread to each year. If he does indeed do that he will never post the information because it'll prove him wrong. Seasonal flu is pandemic.

His other option is to muddle the point, try some more ad hominem attacks, and divert all attention away from the fact that he can not supply evidence for his claim that low virulence pandemics cause societal upheaval. This is the option he will choose.
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#29 of 119 Old 10-05-2006, 07:47 PM
 
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The virus is not easily transmissible, even laboratory attempts to make it easily transmissible by combining the DNA with other flu viruses have failed.
The fact that it is transmissible to humans at all is what causes the concern. Nature has demonstrated before that she is capable of accomplishments which scientists are unable to duplicate in their laboratories, and she has far more resources at her disposal. (And on a technical point, influenza is an RNA virus).

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And being as the cause of death from H5N1 has to do with where the virus lodges in the lungs, and that it has to lodge up higher in the respiratory tract before it actually will become highly contagious, that takes out the main mortality factor.
It's a little more complicated than that.


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For those of you in Canada, either the Sept or Oct issue of Chatelaine had an article about bird flu. And one of the things that it talks about having on hand is adequate birth control because you don't want to be having babies in the middle of a pandemic. I mean, come on... I can understand telling people to have some backup food and water jic, but if tons of people are going to die, wouldn't it be prudent to have women getting pregnant and having babies?
During the Spanish Flu pandemic, pregnant women became fatalities in a higher percentage than in any other demographic group. (Fetal suppression of maternal immunity is implicated as the primary causal factor).

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And for the record, I'd rather have no notice of a meteor rushing towards the earth than to spend my last week or however long living in fear.
Hence my comment about the red pill. But as a parent, I feel responsible for doing anything I can that may increase my child's chances of surviving such an event, if what I have seen indicates that the threat is genuine. The survivability of a meteor impact depends a lot on just how big a rock we're talking about. But you see how the meteor thing ties in with what we were discussing above? It's a nice analogy. Earth has always been threatened by meteors, but until we had enough knowledge and the technology to monitor them, we were unaware of the threat. Now that we do, we are obliged to consider ways to make the event more survivable.
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#30 of 119 Old 10-05-2006, 08:08 PM
 
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What I'm asking for are facts that would indicate that the H5N1 virus cannot acquire the changes it needs in order to become easily transmissible between humans, or why such changes would necessarily be accompanied by a (say) thirty-fold drop in virulence. Alternatively, you might provide arguments explaining why an event directly affecting the health of a third or more of a population would not significantly impact that society's economy, distribution of goods, etc. "It's absurd" isn't an argument; it's a naked assertion.
Because it would have to have a considerable drop in virulence to survive.
When was the last time any influenza pandemic killed more than one or two percent of the population?
And why?

Also...how in the world would one third of the population be affected at the same time? It would take an unimaginable alignment of the moon and stars to bring about such a catastrophe.
Look at the transmission of seasonal influenza. Or any of the other virus for that matter. Even accounting for plane travel and buses and cars, viruses spread over the course of months. Not whole regions within days.

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Let's say you are a pre-Katrina resident of New Orleans. How clear does it have to be that the city is threatened before it becomes reasonable to consider taking precautions? When the storm actually makes landfall? If you are among those who waited until evacuation was no longer an option, to whom will you turn for aid? FEMA?
I was annoyed when Oprah mad that analogy, and it's still annoying.
I'm not saying it shouldn't be studied.
But people like yourself have been convinced that something horrible and disastrous is going to happen when it's really very, very unlikely.
You're calling for an evacuation of NOLA before it's even know if the tropical storm that's brewing at sea is going to hit the continent.

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I don't see what that has to do with whether or not the virus will evolve efficient human-to-human transmissibility.
I'm saying it's (probably) going to become a relevant vaccination issue.

ETA: just for the record, the moon and stars aligning thing was a joke.
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