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Old 04-07-2006, 01:00 PM   #21
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While the current deaths are less than a hundrd, thats with the current virus. Te problem isnt the current virus but what it could mutate into. The scare is the more birds that are infected the more likely it will mutate. Imagine the current cold flu virus but with no vaccine and killing very other person who gets it.

The deaths in asia dont really correlate to what could happen. Thats just how many people have ben killed by the one that kills birds. The potential virus that kills people, is the worry.
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Old 04-07-2006, 01:20 PM   #22
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i think it will blow over.

no worries
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Old 04-07-2006, 01:51 PM   #23
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Personally i dont think there is much to worry about...but if you are here are some q&a from the times online:


But will avian flu transfer to humans?

With considerable difficulty, yes. Experience so far suggests that the only people likely to catch it are those closely connected to poultry-farming. Handling birds, and coming into contact with their droppings, are the principal risks. Birds excrete the virus in faeces which dry out and form dust that can be inhaled.

What about eating poultry?

That is perfectly safe, so long as the birds are properly cooked. The virus is destroyed at normal cooking temperatures of 70 C.

Is avian flu dangerous to humans who catch it?

Very dangerous. About half the confirmed cases of the disease in humans have proved fatal. But it is possible that there have been many unconfirmed cases, so the true death rate may be lower than that.

Could it acquire the ability to spread easily in humans?

That is the major concern. Earlier world epidemics (pandemics) of flu originated in avian flu viruses that mutated to become easily-transmissible in humans. In the process, the virus trades virulence for transmissability - so it becomes far less lethal.

What is needed to allow this to happen?

Time, and the close association - perhaps in single human patient, or in an animal such as pig - of avian and human flu subtypes. Nobody can predict if the deadly mutation will occur, or when. But the more widespread avian flu is, the more likely the mutation is.

What would the effects be?

A worldwide spread of new form of flu to which nobody had any acquired resistance, infecting perhaps quarter of the world population and killing anything between two and 50 million.

Isnít it rather leap from few dead birds in Scotland to millions of people dying? Isnít this just another health scare?

It is big leap, but it has happened before. The 1918-19 pendemic was triggered by an avian strain that mutated, and it killed 20 million (some say 40 million) people. So we know it can happen.

But that was in 1918. Surely we would be better prepared
True, up to point. We will have stocks of anti-viral drugs such as Tamiflu which may help. But the sheer scale of the infection is likely to overwhelm healthcare facilities, such as intensive care beds. Vaccine production - even if an effective vaccine is prepared in time - is far too limited to protect more than fraction of the population.
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Old 04-07-2006, 03:23 PM   #24
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Saw this on another forum:

As long as any poultry is cooked right, then there isn't a danger of bird flu due to the fact that the virus likes to chill out in areas of the animal a) not usually eaten and B) dealt with via normal cooking.

The most prescient danger comes from the Orient, where the standards of hygiene between poultry and humans is at it's least (i.e. where people live with their chickens and are in danger of inadvertantly coming into contact with it's faeces).

In the western world, where we have factory-ised everything, then the danger diminishes substantially until the virus can transmit between human to human.

Apparantly there is a danger when a human with an effectively transmitted disease catchs avian flu (because the virus can then adopt / intermingle with virii that are easily tranmittable - like Human Flu or Measals or some such disease). That suggests that the most obvious place for the disease to become easily transmittable is in a country which has an ineffective health service (a third world country).

To sum up: for a human to catch Avian Flu in Scotland, you either have to eat it's faeces or (presumably) have the kind of relations you reserve for a blonde american pop star.
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Old 04-07-2006, 04:09 PM   #25
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Originally posted by TheJake@Apr 7 2006, 03:20 PM
i think it will blow over.

no worries
Or maybe it will fly over...
Let there be adventure.
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