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Here's something Cheery!

Discussion in 'News' started by ODS-1, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. ODS-1

    ODS-1 Elite Member

    Joined: Jul 21, 2003 Messages: 3,575 Likes Received: 0
    Flu pandemic inevitable, plans needed urgently -WHO
    26 Nov 2004 12:21:25 GMT
    Source: Reuters
    (Adds ministerial statement)

    By Vissuta Pothong

    BANGKOK, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Every country in the world must come up urgently with a plan to deal with an inevitable influenza pandemic likely to be triggered by the bird flu virus that hit Asia this year, a top global health expert said on Friday.

    "I believe we are closer now to a pandemic than at any time in recent years," said Shigeru Omi, regional director for the Western Region of the World Health Organization (WHO).

    "No country will be spared once it becomes a pandemic," he told a news conference.

    "History has taught us that influenza pandemics occur on a regular cycle, with one appearing every 20 to 30 years. On this basis, the next one is overdue," he said at a conference of 13 Asian health ministers trying to figure out how to avoid one.

    "We believe a pandemic is highly likely unless intensified international efforts are made to take control of the situation," he said of the H5N1 avian flu virus, which has defied efforts to eradicate it in several Asian countries, including Thailand.

    The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 and 1919 killed upwards of 20 million people and WHO experts say the next could infect up to 30 percent of the world's more than 6 billion people and kill up to 7 million of them.

    Omi said that to stave that off, the world would have to cooperate closely by sharing information promptly and openly on the virus -- such as how it spreads, why it hits children more easily than adults and how quickly it is mutating.

    Secrecy in China last year helped the deadly SARS virus spread to many other countries before it could be brought under control and Beijing has also been accused of hiding the extent of its AIDS epidemic.

    "Vaccine will protect you from the disease and reduce the impact individually. But vaccination alone will not prevent this outbreak," Omi said.

    "Each country has to come up with a plan because, as I said, a pandemic, it will happen."


    Two U.S. firms are working on a vaccine, but neither is likely to have one ready until March, well after the cooler Asian season in which bird flu thrives best.

    The H5N1 virus, which has already killed 20 Vietnamese and 12 Thais, arrived in Asia about a year ago, probably spread by migrating birds, especially wild fowl heading to warmer climes at the onset of the northern winter.

    Governments have slaughtered tens of millions of poultry in a bid to eradicate it but WHO experts say it is now probably a permanent fixture.

    The wild birds, which can carry the virus without falling ill, are flying south through Asia to escape the northern winter and, in an alarming development, domesticated ducks are showing they too can have the virus without showing it, Omi said.

    Experts say a pandemic will emerge from an animal, most probably a pig, which can harbour both flu viruses that affect humans and the avian flu variety. The two would mate and produce a virus to which people have no immunity, they say.

    That has not happened yet, but Omi said the geographical spread and the impact of the H5N1 virus was unprecedented and had struck animals such as tigers and domesticated cats not previously known to be susceptible to avian flu viruses.

    "We have found that the virus is resilient, very, very versatile," Omi said.

    The Asian health ministers -- from Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam -- promised they would make plans for a pandemic and cooperate to stave it off.

    In a joint statement at the end of the two-day meeting, they pledged to work together to develop vaccines, diagnostic tests for humans and research urgently needed to provide more information on the virus.
  2. !@#$%

    [email protected]#$% Moderator Crew

    Joined: Oct 1, 2002 Messages: 18,517 Likes Received: 623
    perils of overpopulation.

    this thing can make SARS look like a walkin the park.

    Background on Pandemics

    An influenza pandemic is a global outbreak of influenza and occurs when a new influenza virus emerges, spreads, and causes disease worldwide. Past influenza pandemics have led to high levels of illness, death, social disruption and economic loss.

    There were 3 pandemics in the 20th century. All of them spread worldwide within 1 year of being detected. They are:

    * 1918-19, "Spanish flu," [A (H1N1)], caused the highest number of known flu deaths: more than 500,000 people died in the United States, and 20 million to 50 million people may have died worldwide. Many people died within the first few days after infection and others died of complications soon after. Nearly half of those who died were young, healthy adults.

    * 1957-58, "Asian flu," [A (H2N2)], caused about 70,000 deaths in the United States. First identified in China in late February 1957, the Asian flu spread to the United States by June 1957.

    * 1968-69, "Hong Kong flu," [A (H3N2)], caused approximately 34,000 deaths in the United States. This virus was first detected in Hong Kong in early 1968 and spread to the United States later that year. Type A (H3N2) viruses still circulate today.

    Once a new pandemic influenza virus emerges and spreads, it typically becomes established among people and circulates for many years. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization conduct extensive surveillance programs to monitor the occurrence of influenza activity worldwide, including the emergence of potential pandemic strains of influenza virus.

  3. GnomeToys

    GnomeToys Elite Member

    Joined: Jun 24, 2003 Messages: 2,616 Likes Received: 4
    I'm about as afraid of this as I was of SARS... not. I'll start paying attention to these diseases that aren't dangrous to my well developed immune system when I've got AIDS or I'm old enough for it to have weakened.
  4. effyoo

    effyoo Elite Member

    Joined: Sep 2, 2002 Messages: 4,703 Likes Received: 0
    is it just me or does it seem that alot of these flu warnings stem from Asia?
    2 of the 3 pandemics symbols stated were from asia, the SARS epidemic (as far as i know) came from asia, the new 'avian flu' is from asia...
  5. ODS-1

    ODS-1 Elite Member

    Joined: Jul 21, 2003 Messages: 3,575 Likes Received: 0
    ^^^^^ It's because the chinese government always tries to cover it up and never lets anyone else no what's going on, and most likely has such a shitty healthcare system that viruses and pandemics like this go undetected for years.
  6. seeking

    seeking Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: May 25, 2000 Messages: 32,277 Likes Received: 235
    its also very densly populated with poor health care. kind of a recipe for disaster.

    after the election, honestly, i'm like whatever. so americans might die. so? we're not good for much anyway.
  7. ODS-1

    ODS-1 Elite Member

    Joined: Jul 21, 2003 Messages: 3,575 Likes Received: 0
    I think it would suck to see the people I care about die from something that the government could have prevented.
  8. Dr. Dazzle

    Dr. Dazzle Veteran Member

    Joined: Nov 19, 2001 Messages: 8,147 Likes Received: 3
    Fucking Asia and it's super viruses.....
  9. seeking

    seeking Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: May 25, 2000 Messages: 32,277 Likes Received: 235

    i think it sucks to see people die from something THEY could have prevented, but if they didnt care that much, why should i?
    fuck us.