# Bird Flu - going pandemic?

• News
Smurf said:
TSM IS BACK!!!! WOOOOOTT!
*sending out chain PM*
Hey dude, even evo said she missed you.
It appears the line between 'ahole and infamous' is as thin as the one between 'genius and madness'.

Sold any T-shirts?

loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
The Smoking Man said:
In my research on the topic, I came across a statistic on the http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/2003/fs211/en/" [Broken] showing that EVERY YEAR 250,000 to 500,000 people die of flu.
How on earth is that possible? I've had pneumonia twice in the last four years and West Nile once and I was never anywhere near death. Is this just killing the elderly and very young, or what?

I hate to say this and be branded a 'conspiracy theorist' but just how much of the controversy has to do with marketing the product http://www.tamiflu.com/consumer_recognizing.asp" [Broken]?

Take a look at the link above which will take you to the Tamiflu 'diagnosis site'. Use the wheel and take a look at the difference between how they diagnose the difference between flu and cold symptoms.
A possible reason for the 'fear mongering' that I keep talking about? Or should we seriously be as concerned as the talking heads want us to be?

Last edited by a moderator:
loseyourname said:
How on earth is that possible? I've had pneumonia twice in the last four years and West Nile once and I was never anywhere near death. Is this just killing the elderly and very young, or what?
A possible reason for the 'fear mongering' that I keep talking about? Or should we seriously be as concerned as the talking heads want us to be?
I have the same questions as you.
The last incident which happened in Canada was traced to a patient 0 that travelled there on a plane. From what I understand, there were only about 10 people infected on the flight which was presumably a 777 or something equally large. http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/sars/".
This was during the first outbreak.
Since then
On April 20, an interim report by Ontario Justice Archie Campbell's inquiry offered 53 recommendations including the establishment of a provincial centre for disease control. Campbell observed that Ontario's health system had been unable to manage the crisis because it was "broken." The province's medical infrastructure was pushed to its limits and the region's hospitality industry was also paralyzed by of the outbreak.
A day after that report, an independent expert panel on SARS presented another 50 suggestions. The panel observed that local officials, who are the first to observe an infectious outbreak and are best poised to contain it, had the least resources available to them.
Here is a http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/sars/timeline.html" of the whole SARS incident on a day to day basis.
From what I am seeing, in a totally defenseless system, the world coped.
Now we are aware and prepared better than the first time.
Any new illness will be a different mutation however and things that worked the last time may not work this time.
In short ...

Last edited by a moderator:
devil-fire
The Smoking Man said:
Any new illness will be a different mutation however and things that worked the last time may not work this time.
In short ...
vaccines won't work with difference viruses but i think the idea behind a lot of this pandemic awareness/preparedness has to do with contagious viruses in general. maybe giving authority to health officials in an emergency situation could be an example of a new measure being introduced (i don't actually have a clue what they are up to).

Skyhunter
I hate to say this and be branded a 'conspiracy theorist' but just how much of the controversy has to do with marketing the product [PLAIN said:
http://www.tamiflu.com/consumer_recognizing.asp"[/PLAIN] [Broken]?
I don't mind being labeled a conspiracy theorist.

So here is an interesting link to a possible conspirator.

http://www.mercola.com/2005/oct/25/rumsfeld_to_profit_from_avian_flu_hoax.htm#

Last edited by a moderator:
Skyhunter
The Smoking Man said:
The plot sickens.
I wonder if Rummy has his stock in the same kind of blind trust Bill Frist uses.

Where is outsider when you need him. He would understand this "jack-move" better than me.

We have an epidemic, Bush declares Marshall law, and Rummy gets rich.

I know. I know.

But just because I am paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get me!

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
loseyourname said:
How on earth is that possible? I've had pneumonia twice in the last four years and West Nile once and I was never anywhere near death. Is this just killing the elderly and very young, or what?
Yes, most of the deaths from the annual flu epidemics are the elderly. That's also a worldwide figure, not just the US.

A possible reason for the 'fear mongering' that I keep talking about? Or should we seriously be as concerned as the talking heads want us to be?
I think it's premature to be stocking up on Tamiflu, that's for sure (and I wouldn't quickly dismiss TSM's suggestion that the manufacturers of Tamiflu might be helping contribute to hyping the risk to sell their product...even the generic manufacturers stand to profit now that they are using the fear of an epidemic to force Roche's hand in licensing Tamiflu). There is no guarantee that if it can jump from human to human that the virus will be as deadly as in those who have managed to contract it directly from birds, as Patty's post and link suggests. Part of the "fear" being spread is that the people being infected are generally young and otherwise healthy, but that doesn't easily explain why the other people also handling the same birds aren't being infected...it's possible they are more susceptible for some reason. The other issue is "when." While there are indicators it could gain the ability to mutate to a form that can infect from human to human, we have no idea when that might happen, if it happens. People are stocking up on drugs like Tamiflu as if it's going to happen this winter, but there's no way to know that. It could take 5 or 10 or 50 years to make that jump.

Moonbear said:
Yes, most of the deaths from the annual flu epidemics are the elderly. That's also a worldwide figure, not just the US.
I think it's premature to be stocking up on Tamiflu, that's for sure (and I wouldn't quickly dismiss TSM's suggestion that the manufacturers of Tamiflu might be helping contribute to hyping the risk to sell their product...even the generic manufacturers stand to profit now that they are using the fear of an epidemic to force Roche's hand in licensing Tamiflu).
Only one problem.

Remember the most knowlegeable doctors talking about Tamiflu a few months ago ... 'don't use it' they said 'because you will breed a version of H5N1 that is Tamiflu resistant.'

Now follow this http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=slv5-&p=Tamiflu resistant&ei=UTF-8" and tell me the Tamiflu website has not done damage to our ability to make headway against the disease.

Now that BOTH Tamiflu and Relenza are ineffective, what will you do?

Last edited by a moderator:
SOS2008
Gold Member
russ_watters said:
Don't those two sentences contradict each other?
No. I was saying that even if you don’t ingest meat, there are still ways you could contract disease. At the same time, the way animals are raised (overcrowded or unsanitary conditions) may contribute to problems of unsafe meat. Moonbear provided great information on both points.
Skyhunter said:
I don't mind being labeled a conspiracy theorist.
So here is an interesting link to a possible conspirator.
http://www.mercola.com/2005/oct/25/rumsfeld_to_profit_from_avian_flu_hoax.htm#
So…the Bush cabal has questionable business connections? No!

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
The Smoking Man said:
Only one problem.
Remember the most knowlegeable doctors talking about Tamiflu a few months ago ... 'don't use it' they said 'because you will breed a version of H5N1 that is Tamiflu resistant.'
Now follow this http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=slv5-&p=Tamiflu resistant&ei=UTF-8" and tell me the Tamiflu website has not done damage to our ability to make headway against the disease.
Now that BOTH Tamiflu and Relenza are ineffective, what will you do?
Who said both are ineffective? Those articles say Tamiflu is ineffective and governments shouldn't rely on just one treatment. Well, that would make sense whether resistant strains had already been found or not. Antivirals are really only a stop-gap measure anyway, they won't stop an epidemic, they'll just stop infected people from dying...if the drugs work on that strain.

By the way, you don't "breed" resistance for drugs, you select for resistance. The gene for resistance had to already exist in the virus.

Last edited by a moderator:
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
Viruses can mutate rapidly and these resistance things are on the outside. I don't believe they have to have pre-existing resistance.

Moonbear said:
By the way, you don't "breed" resistance for drugs, you select for resistance. The gene for resistance had to already exist in the virus.
Cool, I always love it when people throw semantics at me.

I guess I'll go home now and tell my father he never actually used to breed championship boxers ... he selected for them. :rofl:

So what you are saying is that now the main virus, the H5N1 has mutated to become resistant to Tamiflu, we have to wait for a version of 'SARS' which is a mutation that not only spreads between humans but also mutates to a weaker strain without the resistance of the main strain.

You'll also find that Tamiflu is a prophylactic for all flu, not just the SARS varient and seems to have its widest use in Vietnam and Japan both of whom have reported Tamiflu resistant strains.

Since it has been hypothesized that the origin of the future virus will be SE Asia and the Tamiflu antiviral is in rampant use there now, what we'll be hit by is most likely to be Tamiflu resistant strain.

What came out of http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/09/30/birdflu.drugs.reut/" [Broken] was a warning that we are putting all our eggs in one basket.

Since Tamiflu is a pill that has storage capabilities at room temperature, Roche has won out in the popularity wars at the expense of Relenza which is just as effective however it is an inhalent.

What is happening is that the work of 'Ward' (A Roche Pharmaceutical Engineer) is being publicised as the dfinitive work on the subject and the possibilities are running that not only will we be running at 100% production on Tamivar in the Roche labs but we will be converting over the generics to production of this medicine too.

Basically, the Hong Kong warning is that we are setting ourselves up for a big fall.

If it gets away from is in SE Asia which is using Tamivar in 100% of suspect cases, it will have to be a Tamivar resistant version.

Now, I am sure that Roche is very happy you are buying their product. They are even happier still that governments are not ony encouraging it's production they are even recomending they license production to the Generics. Never before in history has a Drug company been ordered to make money on this scale.

The problem is that when the virus finally hits the good ole USofA, you might as well suck the cardboard from the carton it comes in for all the good it will do you.

Since Tamivar is being used as the first line of defence in the nations originating the virus, it only follows that the pandemic will be resistant if it escapes and your only 'defence' is going to be the second line ... Relenza ... the inhalent (Which the HK doctors say should be receiving the attention it needs to produce at least an IV version).

Here's the plain, simple facts ... because Tamivar was used in the treatment of SARS and was found to be successful, the treatment of SARS reduced the fatalities to 10%. It is currently estimated that if a Tamiflu resistant strain goes global (Pandemic) we'll be looking at up to 70% fatalities.

The sad fact is, you wont be able to get Relenza for love nor money.

http://www.recombinomics.com/News/10150501/H5N1_H2H_Tamiflu.html" [Broken] a little blurb on what they are seeing in Vietnam.

Last edited by a moderator:
By HELEN BRANSWELL

TORONTO (CP) - There is additional, unpublished evidence of resistance to the anti-flu drug Tamiflu in human cases of H5N1 avian influenza, an U.S. expert in antiviral drugs hinted Saturday.

Dr. Frederick Hayden suggested data that have not yet hit scientific literature point to the existence of more cases where H5N1 viruses evaded the drug that countries around the world have been stockpiling as a hedge against a feared pandemic.

"There's other information that's not in the public domain right now," Hayden, a professor of clinical virology at the University of Virginia, said in an interview.

Hayden is co-chair of an international scientific group that closely monitors for emergence of viral resistance to neuraminidase inhibitors - the drug class to which Tamiflu belongs. He would not elaborate on how many cases may have been discovered.

Scientific and medical journals typically refuse to publish previously disseminated material, so researchers carefully guard new data until publication.

"I feel comfortable with the statement that was in the report that we put out from the Hanoi meeting . . . I think what the statement was 'several cases,' " he said.

The meeting Hayden referred to was a World Health Organization-staged gathering of international influenza experts that took place in Hanoi from May 10-12.

The report of that meeting, published late last month in the New England Journal of Medicine, contains a brief reference to drug-resistant viruses having been isolated "recently in several patients . . . who were treated with oseltamivir" - Tamiflu's generic name.

A footnote attached to the statement refers to a report of a previous WHO meeting of flu experts, held in Manila from May 6-7.

The Manila meeting report contains information on only a single case where Tamiflu-resistant virus was recovered from an H5N1 patient. That case, a 14-year old Vietnamese girl who fell ill in late February, is currently the only publicly acknowledged finding of a Tamiflu-resistant virus.

A detailed analysis of viral clones grown from a specimen taken from the Vietnamese girl was released Friday by the journal Nature.

There was some initial confusion attached to the publication, which a number of experts felt represented new evidence of resistance to the drug.

Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka, senior author on the Nature paper, had not been at either WHO meeting, nor had he read the report of the Manila meeting. He confirmed Saturday that the virus he and his collaborators studied bore the same identification number as the one reported on at the Manila meeting.

"It must be the same virus," he said.

The analysis Kawaoka and his co-authors produced showed that while the girl's virus was at least partially resistant to Tamiflu, it was fully susceptible to another neuraminidase inhibitor, zanamivir.

The authors suggested their findings point to the practicality of adding zanamivir -which is sold as Relenza by GlaxoSmithKline - to national pandemic stockpiles.

Some countries, notably the United States and Germany, have done so. But Relenza has never made huge inroads with consumers and is made in limited quantities.

Last edited by a moderator:
Skyhunter said:
I wonder if Rummy has his stock in the same kind of blind trust Bill Frist uses.
Where is outsider when you need him. He would understand this "jack-move" better than me.
We have an epidemic, Bush declares Marshall law, and Rummy gets rich.
I know. I know.
But just because I am paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get me!
I wonder if it the sam blind trust Cheney has when he calls a meeting with Halliburton people and refuses to divulge the content of that meeting... while still receiving 'deferred payments' (salary).

Art
Moonbear said:
It could take 5 or 10 or 50 years to make that jump.
The chief British medical officer gave a news conference a couple of weeks ago.

He explained that the danger is if a person already has a human form of flu and then contracts avian flu at the same time. The two can interact to produce a new strain which is potentially deadly.

He didn't believe this was likely to happen this year as he thought it was probably too late into the flu season for this particular combination to be statistically likely however he believes by next winter the odds favour the emergence of a new deadly strain.

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Over time, aides and advisers said, the hope is that Mr. Bush will be able to re-establish his image as a strong leader by showing people that he has plans to address issues like high energy costs, illegal immigration and the risk of an influenza pandemic.
NY Times, October 30, 2005, The Overview
After Upheavals, President Seeks to Steady Course
By RICHARD W. STEVENSON and ROBIN TONER

Is Bush planning to exploit the fear of the bird flu pandemic!?

Astronuc said:
NY Times, October 30, 2005, The Overview
After Upheavals, President Seeks to Steady Course
By RICHARD W. STEVENSON and ROBIN TONER
Is Bush planning to exploit the fear of the bird flu pandemic!?
I can't wait until he declares a war on birds.

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Astronuc said:
NY Times, October 30, 2005, The Overview
After Upheavals, President Seeks to Steady Course
By RICHARD W. STEVENSON and ROBIN TONER
Is Bush planning to exploit the fear of the bird flu pandemic!?
I have to admit I wouldn't mind him shifting focus to a war on flu. :uhh: Who knows, maybe he'd botch it and accidentally improve health care. Okay, too much wishful thinking, I know.

cronxeh
Gold Member
Moonbear said:
I have to admit I wouldn't mind him shifting focus to a war on flu. :uhh: Who knows, maybe he'd botch it and accidentally improve health care. Okay, too much wishful thinking, I know.
I'm afraid he will offshore this war and make the penguins fight it, and then realize they are birds themselves and turn against us

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
BBC On-line - Avian influenza

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/world/2005/bird_flu/default.stm

I heard this morning that the US government has established an $8 billion plan to deal with flu. Of this$6 billion will be spent on vaccine readiness - a financial boon to the pharmaceutical companies.

And then down the road, the government will probably spend more $billions on different vaccines. Evo Mentor Astronuc said: Of this$6 billion will be spent on vaccine readiness - a financial boon to the pharmaceutical companies.
And then down the road, the government will probably spend more \$billions on different vaccines.
The problem with the vaccines is that they are only good that year, then they are thrown out.

Evo said:
The problem with the vaccines is that they are only good that year, then they are thrown out.
It goes deeper than that, Evo.

Vaccines are strain specific.

If you take the vaccine for Swine Flu, you can still get HK Flu.

Most vaccines are a cocktail of whatever is going around that year.

A mutation in the current year can make the whole thing worthless.

rachmaninoff
This is the part that cracked me up:
The president also said the United States must approve liability protection for the makers of lifesaving vaccines. He said the number of American vaccine manufacturers has plummeted because the industry has been hit with a flood of lawsuits.
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/health/AP-Bush-Flu.html [Broken]
:rofl:

Last edited by a moderator:
SOS2008
Gold Member
So what do people think about Bush's 7.1 billion plan? http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9883713/ "I'm not going to take any chances." Could this be another photo-op for additional spending on protecting Americans...but are we really protected?