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Is the swine flu a threat?

by The_Absolute
Tags: swine, threat
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The_Absolute
#1
Apr25-09, 09:12 AM
P: 182
I live in Arizona, and I've been hearing all the news about the new swine flu outbreaks in Mexico and in California/Texas. If the worst case scenario with this virus were to occur, how many people would approximately die from this? Hundreds of thousands? Millions? Hundreds of Millions? Billions perhaps? What is the kill rate of this virus? Could it threaten the safety of the entire human species? Will I be safe if I stay in my house and stockpile extremely large quantities of food and water?
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WhoWee
#2
Apr25-09, 09:49 AM
P: 1,123
The CDC doesn't seem to indicate taking extreme measures.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/24/swine.flu/

The new strain of swine flu has resisted some antiviral drugs.
Health Library

* MayoClinic.com: Influenza (flu)

The CDC is working with health officials in California and Texas and expects to find more cases, Schuchat said.

A pandemic is defined as: a new virus to which everybody is susceptible; the ability to readily spread from person to person; and the capability of causing significant disease in humans, said Dr. Jay Steinberg, an infectious disease specialist at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta. The new strain of swine flu meets only one of the criteria: novelty.

History indicates that flu pandemics tend to occur once every 20 years or so, so we're due for one, Steinberg said.
The_Absolute
#3
Apr25-09, 10:12 AM
P: 182
Quote Quote by WhoWee View Post
The CDC doesn't seem to indicate taking extreme measures.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/24/swine.flu/

The new strain of swine flu has resisted some antiviral drugs.
Health Library

* MayoClinic.com: Influenza (flu)

The CDC is working with health officials in California and Texas and expects to find more cases, Schuchat said.

A pandemic is defined as: a new virus to which everybody is susceptible; the ability to readily spread from person to person; and the capability of causing significant disease in humans, said Dr. Jay Steinberg, an infectious disease specialist at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta. The new strain of swine flu meets only one of the criteria: novelty.

History indicates that flu pandemics tend to occur once every 20 years or so, so we're due for one, Steinberg said.
Approximately how many people die from these flu pandemics? Is this swine flu actually more dangerous/deadly than the Avian flu? Are the two somehow related?

Moonbear
#4
Apr25-09, 01:45 PM
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Is the swine flu a threat?

Nothing I'm reading so far indicates that this will be any worse than other "severe" strains of flu. Likely the same general concepts apply, that the most vulnerable will be the elderly, the very young (infants and toddlers) and the immuno-compromised. It says everyone is susceptible, but doesn't mean everyone will be exposed, catch it, or be worse off than if they managed to catch any other strain of flu that would just leave them feeling really horrible for a few days.

The only particularly notable thing about this strain, and what it sounds like caught the CDC's attention, is that it's spreading outside the usual flu season. The flu season is usually over by now, but it seems this strain is still spreading.

Edit: Strike that...it seems it is affecting otherwise healthy adults
Most of Mexico’s dead were young, healthy adults, and none were over 60 or under 3 years old, the World Health Organization said. That alarms health officials because seasonal flus cause most of their deaths among infants and bedridden elderly people, but pandemic flus — like the 1918 Spanish flu, and the 1957 and 1968 pandemics — often strike young, healthy people the hardest.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/26/wo...html?ref=world

Still, it seems to remain only a small number of cases and a small number of deaths, so it may be like all the panic about SARS, which was quickly contained and controlled and didn't turn into the huge pandemic everyone feared. Modern knowledge about disease transmission may help prevent such large scale pandemics when a new virus strain is detected sufficiently early to focus on prevention rather than treatment.
hypatia
#5
Apr25-09, 05:08 PM
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We got word here around April 5, from Canada, the blood samples sent there tested positive for Swine Influenza A/H1N1. The finding of elements, three animal strains and one human strain suggests that it developed by genetic re-assortment rather than a direct mutation.
Its migrant worker season, I would advise us all to maintain the same standards{wash hands often, ect.} as we do during the hight of flu season. I'm not sure its in the news yet, but cases have now seen in New York, Kansas, and Missouri. So far all USA cases have been mild, and are responding well to normal flu medications.
The_Absolute
#6
Apr25-09, 05:56 PM
P: 182
How is this new virus transmitted?
hypatia
#7
Apr25-09, 07:29 PM
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From respiratory droplets, which are expelled from the respiratory tract during coughing or sneezing. So standing with in 2 feet of a person with the virus, who is coughing/sneezing with out covering the mouth/nose, is a good way to get it.They{the droplets} don't remain suspended in the air, so most people contact them from a surface with their hands, followed by touching the nose or mouth.
signerror
#8
Apr25-09, 08:34 PM
P: 223
Many posts by public health experts at Effect Measure (part of the Scienceblogs network organized by Seed magazine):

http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/swine_flu/

Dedicated CDC page:

http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/

Recent news:

Mexico Takes Powers to Isolate Cases of Swine Flu
Quote Quote by New York Times
“My government will not delay one minute to take all the necessary measures to deal with this epidemic,” Mr. Calderón said in Oaxaca State during the opening of a new hospital, which he said will set aside an area for anyone who might be affected by the new swine flu strain that has already killed as many as 68 people in Mexico and sickened more than 1,000 others. Most of the cases were reported in the center of the country, but there were other cases in pockets to the north and south.
Students Fall Ill in New York, and Swine Flu Is Likely Cause
Tests show that eight students at a Queens high school are likely to have contracted the human swine flu virus that has struck Mexico and a small number of other people in the United States, health officials in New York City said yesterday.

I invite the moderators to edit this post at will, to put anything they see as relevant here in this first post of the thread.
signerror
#9
Apr25-09, 08:36 PM
P: 223
You know, someone once told me that the developed world will never have a pandemic, not until pigs will fly. Well, swine flu.
signerror
#10
Apr25-09, 08:48 PM
P: 223
The first case was seen in Mexico on April 13. The outbreak coincided with the President Barack Obama’s trip to Mexico City on April 16. Obama was received at Mexico’s anthropology museum in Mexico City by Felipe Solis, a distinguished archeologist who died the following day from symptoms similar to flu, Reforma newspaper reported. The newspaper didn’t confirm if Solis had swine flu or not.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...J6Q&refer=home

signerror
#11
Apr25-09, 08:50 PM
P: 223
CDC twitter:

http://twitter.com/CDCemergency
Ivan Seeking
#12
Apr26-09, 01:16 AM
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Who remembers the 1975 outbreak? Back when that hit and everyone was talking about a possible pandemic, I read about the 1918 outbreak.

Just a bit of perspective.
Phrak
#13
Apr26-09, 01:36 AM
P: 4,513
Quote Quote by The_Absolute View Post
I live in Arizona, and I've been hearing all the news about the new swine flu outbreaks in Mexico and in California/Texas. If the worst case scenario with this virus were to occur, how many people would approximately die from this? Hundreds of thousands? Millions? Hundreds of Millions? Billions perhaps? What is the kill rate of this virus? Could it threaten the safety of the entire human species? Will I be safe if I stay in my house and stockpile extremely large quantities of food and water?
Are you an infant, over the age or 65? Do you have chronic pulmonary disorder?

Didn't think so.
NeoDevin
#14
Apr26-09, 01:42 AM
P: 687
Does mexico have universal flu vaccine? Does it help with this strain?
TheStatutoryApe
#15
Apr26-09, 02:02 AM
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P: 1,550
Its apparently gotten here to California. Last I heard doctors weren't too terribly worried buy advised caution and a visit to the doctor if you have flu symptoms.
drankin
#16
Apr26-09, 02:43 AM
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P: 175
I hope this doesn't turn out to be THE bug we've all been told is due to hit the human race.
signerror
#17
Apr26-09, 02:43 AM
P: 223
NZ Quarantines 25 People Amid Swine Flu Alert
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- Twenty-five students and teachers in New Zealand, some with flu-like symptoms, were quarantined and tested for swine flu after returning from a trip to Mexico, officials said Sunday, as Asia stepped up surveillance for the deadly virus.

At least 81 people have died from severe pneumonia caused by a flu-like illness in Mexico, according to the World Health Organization, which declared the virus a public health emergency of ''pandemic potential.''
signerror
#18
Apr26-09, 02:47 AM
P: 223
Quote Quote by NeoDevin View Post
Does mexico have universal flu vaccine? Does it help with this strain?
According to the CDC, there is no vaccine effective against this strain. However, antivirals may be effective:

Is there a vaccine for swine flu?
Vaccines are available to be given to pigs to prevent swine influenza. There is no vaccine to protect humans from swine flu. The seasonal influenza vaccine will likely help provide partial protection against swine H3N2, but not swine H1N1 viruses.
http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/key_facts.htm

Are there medicines to treat swine flu?
Yes. CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir or zanamivir for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with these swine influenza viruses. Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaler) that fight against the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body. If you get sick, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms).
http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/swineflu_you.htm

Waiting for an expert to expand on this answer.


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