Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/20/2005 5:04:01 AM EDT
We've heard similar alarmist pronouncements from the WHO before, but this one bears watching.

www.breitbart.com/news/2005/09/20/MTFH19822_2005-09-20_05-56-51_SCH016489.html

World has slim chance to stop flu pandemic
Sep 20 1:48 AM US/Eastern


By Michael Perry

NOUMEA, New Caledonia (Reuters) - The initial outbreak of what could explode into a bird flu pandemic may affect only a few people, but the world will have just weeks to contain the deadly virus before it spreads and kills millions.

Chances of containment are limited because the potentially catastrophic infection may not be detected until it has already spread to several countries, like the SARS virus in 2003. Avian flu vaccines developed in advance will have little impact on the pandemic virus.

It will take scientists four to six months to develop a vaccine that protects against the pandemic virus, by which time thousands could have died. There is little likelihood a vaccine will even reach the country where the pandemic starts.

That is the scenario outlined on Tuesday by Dr Hitoshi Oshitani, the man who was on the frontline in the battle against SARS and now leads the fight against avian flu in Asia.

"SARS in retrospect was an easy virus to contain," said Oshitani, the World Health Organization's Asian communicable diseases expert.

"The pandemic virus is much more difficult, maybe impossible, to contain once it starts," he told Reuters at a WHO conference in Noumea, capital of the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia. "The geographic spread is historically unprecedented."

Oshitani said nobody knew when a pandemic would occur, it could be within weeks or years, but all the conditions were in place, save one -- a virus that transmitted from human to human.

The contagious H5N1 virus, which has killed 64 people in four Asian countries since it was first detected in 2003, might not be the one to trigger the pandemic, he said. Instead a genetically different strain could develop that passes between humans.

While bird flu cases continued to spread throughout Asia, with Indonesia this week placed on alert after reporting four deaths, Oshitani said the winter months of December, January and February would see an acceleration in cases, and the more human cases the greater risk that the virus would mutate.

Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia were most vulnerable due to the large domestic poultry populations, he said.

MASSIVE, RAPID CAMPAIGN

When a pandemic is first detected, health authorities will need to carry out a massive anti-viral inoculation campaign within two to three weeks to have any chance of containment, said Oshitani.

"Theoretically it is possible to contain the virus if we have early signs of a pandemic detected at the source," he said.

Scientists estimate that between 300,000 and one million people will immediately need anti-virals, but there are only limited stocks. WHO will receive one million doses by the end of 2005 and a further two million by mid-2006.

Even when an avian flu vaccine is fully developed, production limitations will mean there will not be enough vaccine.

"Right now we have a timeframe of four to six months to develop and produce a certain quantity of vaccine and that may not be fast enough," said Oshitani.

Last week French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis won a $100 million contract to supply the United States a vaccine against H5N1. The United States has also awarded a $2.8 million contract to Britain's GlaxoSmithKline for 84,300 courses of an antiviral. The purchases are part of a U.S. plan to buy vaccine for 20 million people and antivirals for another 20 million.

Oshitani said the early vaccines were unlikely to protect against the pandemic virus. "The vaccine should match the pandemic strain. So a vaccine developed for the virus in Vietnam now may not protect you from another virus," he said.

But Oshitani fears that once a pandemic occurs, the world's rich nations may dominate vaccine supply.

"The distribution of a vaccine will be a major issue when a pandemic starts. There is no mechanism for distribution," he said. Asked whether poorer Asian nations such as Cambodia and Vietnam would get a vaccine, Oshitani said "probably not."

Avian flu has moved west from Asia and into Russia, with many fearing migratory wild birds will spread the virus to Europe and possibly the United States via Alaska.

But Oshitani casts doubt on the impact migratory birds are having on the spread of avian flu, saying different sub-types of the H5N1 virus are in Asia and Russia.

"There are so many uncertainties about the pandemic. We don't know how it will start. We don't know exactly how it is spreading," he said.

Oshitani said that the successful containment measures used against SARS, such as quarantining those infected and cross-border checks, would fail against an avian pandemic, as people spreading bird flu may not show early symptoms.

"The pandemic is likely to be like the seasonal influenza, which is much more infectious than the SARS virus," he said.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 5:27:17 AM EDT
then we let WHO dictate who gets vaccines and who does not sounds like there playing god. there is no way that everyone can be inocculated. then you take in the side effect and allergic reactions from these vaccines the death rate maybe higher than the virus itself. then the natural fear of such outbreaks will cause panics too. Don't get me wrong i believe in getting vaccined if needed but sounds like politics are running the show instead.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 5:32:16 AM EDT
I suppose I'm supposed to feel guilty that my babies might get vaccinated before some child in sub-saharan Africa or Asia.

Link Posted: 9/20/2005 5:44:32 AM EDT
The sky is falling, the sky is falling

Don't we have a possible epidemic/pandemic every year, but somehow it never seems to spread to us?
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 5:55:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2005 5:56:16 AM EDT by Johnny_Reno]

Originally Posted By fiend:
The sky is falling, the sky is falling

Don't we have a possible epidemic/pandemic every year, but somehow it never seems to spread to us?




[NewOrleansResident] That's right. We're safe this year because nothing bad happened to us last year.[/NewOrleansResident]
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 6:03:16 AM EDT
Well whaddaya know? The ungrateful punks who are against the USA and went commie/islamic don't have the medical technology we have. So what's the bad news?
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 6:42:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KlubMarcus:
Well whaddaya know? The ungrateful punks who are against the USA and went commie/islamic don't have the medical technology we have. So what's the bad news?




No kidding, inject the flu into a known terrorist at Gitmo, then let him go in Afganistan.
Innoculate all of our soldiers there.
Let nature take care of the rest

only problem, I think, is that bio warfare is illegal
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 6:47:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By xxTAPxx:
No kidding, inject the flu into a known terrorist at Gitmo, then let him go in Afganistan. Innoculate all of our soldiers there. Let nature take care of the rest only problem, I think, is that bio warfare is illegal

Airlines are going out of business and we can lock down air terminals pretty tight, check ships offshore, and the Mexicans will kill people who are infected out of fear. So if there's a pandemic coming from Asia, we can slow it's spread to the USA while we mass produce vaccines or medicine that will allow us to survive.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 6:49:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fiend:
The sky is falling, the sky is falling

Don't we have a possible epidemic/pandemic every year, but somehow it never seems to spread to us?



Ever heard of the Great Spanish Influenza? It ended World War I.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 6:50:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2005 7:16:09 AM EDT by Cheesebeast]
I am not a doctor and I don't play one on TV but I take this topic seriously. Go to CDC.gov and read over what they have to say about Avian flu. They are not in the business of crying that they sky is falling, but this is a significant and very real threat to people worldwide.

Avian flu is currently endemic in many wild bird populations. That is bad, as these birds migrate and infect both domestic and other wild animals. The more places that infected birds go, the more contact they will have with humans and our livestock. Human to human transfer of the Avian flu is the real problem. That has occurred, but it has been limited so far.

The mortality on Avian flu borders 50%. I understand that a vaccine is being worked on, but anyone who thinks that the manufacture and distribution of vaccine is instant is woefully ignorant. It is a royal bitch to manufacture viral vaccines! Avian flu does respond- if the patient takes the medication within the first two days of the onset of infection- and it can be "managed" by Tamiflu and I think Relenza (sp?). Many countries are stockpiling those antiviral drugs. That is well and good, if you are one of the lucky ones who has access to those drugs. I hope we have the ability to license and rapidly make those drugs until a vaccine is manufactured and distributed. If plans are not in place to do that then we are morons.

I think Avian flu is related to Influenza A. It is an ancient virus, but it mutates (antigenic drift?) into new populations. Often the process goes from birds to pigs to humans. The reason Asia is the source of so many of these viral problems is they have everything in place for it to happen. Lousy sanitation in rural areas, domestic fowl living side by side with pigs, and of course humans.

The sky isn't falling. But please educate yourself about the 1918-1919 pandemic and it's impact on our country. PBS's series American Experience did a documentary on this that is well worth seeing.

Link Posted: 9/20/2005 6:55:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2005 6:56:11 AM EDT by Cheesebeast]
Deleted, double post.

So there.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 8:43:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cheesebeast:
Avian flu is currently endemic in many wild bird populations. That is bad, as these birds migrate and infect both domestic and other wild animals. The more places that infected birds go, the more contact they will have with humans and our livestock. Human to human transfer of the Avian flu is the real problem. That has occurred, but it has been limited so far.

Looks like we need to stock up on shotgun shells, too.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 8:46:50 AM EDT
Of course you need more shells! As Buddha should have said: "When in doubt, buy ammo."

The irony of the avian flu is everyone is saying not be a "chicken little". So far this flu is pure murder for chickens!
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 8:47:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2005 8:48:49 AM EDT by mjohn3006]
.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 9:03:20 AM EDT


Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:18:32 AM EDT
The heard needs thinning anyway....

Momma Nature is all sorts of pissed off at us, so it would seem.
Top Top