Bird Flu


In a country over a billion strong, world wide there have been less than 600 deaths.

Has anyone noticed the media blowing the “pandemic” out of proportion? To those that think not - Do you know how many people die each day in car accidents?


sorry kid, but they are truly speaking sense for once. If this disease becomes transmissible from human to human, and this is likely, given the way that these viruses mutate so quickly (after all, there is a different flu vaccine every year because of the rapid mutation rate), then the bird flu could easily become the pandemic the press is so worried about. The experts are worried, very worried. I’m an acute and chronic lung disease expert, and I am worried too. The time to worry is now, before we have a pandemic, as now is the only chance we are going to have to prevent the pandemic. In 1918, the first really big flu pandemic, the young people died, the soldiers died, everyone died.
stanford report
"The effect of the influenza epidemic was so severe that the average life span in the US was depressed by 10 years. The influenza virus had a profound virulence, with a mortality rate at 2.5% compared to the previous influenza epidemics, which were less than 0.1%. " 675,000 in the US died, and half the soldiers from the US who died in World War 1 died from the flu. Of the population of 1.8 billion people worldwide, at least 24 million died from the flu. That too was a bird flu that got spread from person to person.

THe press often gets it wrong. probably not in this case.

By the way, the US now has about300 million; China is about 1.3 billion; India is just over 1billion.


I’m willing to bet all my net assets against all your net assets that this is a pile of stinking crap.

12 monthes. If there’s a pandemic, you own everything I own - If not - you’re screwed.

Wanna bet?


Take a couple of deep breaths, chill, and think about what I am trying to say, OK? There is a real reason to worry. As a pulmonary physiologist PhD, with real bona fides (I now work in Pulmonary Medicine at Johns Hopkins), but I am not a virus guy, I am an acute and chronic lung disease guy, which is a little different than a flu guy, OK?, I am saying that there is reason to be prepared for dealing with this. Ignoring it is not going to be helpful, especially for our government, and for the governments in China, and Vietnam, and Indonesia. When the bird flu starts going from person to person, then we will be in trouble. That is the message that should go out. We don’t have a pandemic now, we probably won’t have one this year, or the year after. But, if they don’t prepare for one, and how to stop one, then when it comes, outside the US, where we have lots of hospitals, and lots of other buildings where people can be cared for, and most people live in places where they can be isolated, outside of places like the US, a whole lot of people are going to die from the flu. Pay attention or don’t, but speaking as someone who knows, I am telling you that there is real reason to be concerned.


I worked as a dealer and a boxman in a casino for five years - I just heard “NO BET” …

On the “worry” list, this “pandemic” rates under getting struck by lightning.



hee hee. as my daughter would say, no duh!

I’m not worried. I am more resigned, actually. There is no way they can stop it if it happens. If it doesn’t, or if the flu mutates to ‘less lethal’ before it mutates to ‘let people pass me amongst themselves’, then there won’t be any big deal. I recommend the recent book about the 1918 flu, though. Flu:The Story Of The Great Influenza Pandemic by Gina Kolata. It is a fascinating story about what happened then, and how they started the process of reconstructing it from the victims. Apparently there was a fad in England at the time of putting peoples bodies in coffins preserved in 100% alcohol, so they tried to find flu victims preserved that way. I don’t think they found any though. Ended up digging up bodies from the permafrost in Alaska to finally get the virus. Fascinating book.


Irregardless - the media is blowing this way the “f” out of probability.

They should be focusing more on seniors driving if they wanted to save lives.


This is the first time I’ve heard “Probably not this year or the year after.” That lessens my concern in that there’s time to prepare. I figured we were going to get caught with our pants down (again). They are perhaps crying “Wolf” too often recently, and I think there’s a lot of people who don’t understand the idea of the current flu shots (I heard someone say yesterday, "Well, I didn’t get a flu shot last year and I didn’t get the flu) and certainly not a vaccine for the bird flu. Thanks for the info.


See what the media is causing?

At this moment - driving or riding in a car is far more deadly than the “pandemic” yet people are worried about this crap.

thanx media - you suck!


I base that mostly on the small number of cases of any transmission. There has been quite a bit of bird flu amongst the chickens, but very little transmitted to people. I expect that to change too, but obviously it is a difficult disease to get now. So, I would guess a couple of years before the risk of it becoming easy to get into people and then easy to transmit between people goes up a whole lot.

My trouble is that there isn’t much they can do. they’ve tried killing all the chickens, but that doesn’t seem to get done quick enough. They have it in Europe now, I know we have had it in Maryland. The press doesn’t need to talk it up, I agree with dreamaster on that. The governments do need to work on how to contain a pandemic though. It may come.

edit: the problem is, dreamaster, that the time to worry about it is before it happens, when you have a chance to limit the damage. If people didn’t smoke for 40 years, they mostly wouldn’t get emphysema. We treat it way after the damage has happened. If they had fixed the levees in New Orleans 5 years ago, it might not have flooded. How many dollars might htat have saved? And what about keeping them from building where we know its going to flood?

all of these things would save a lot if they were done before the fact, but we tend as a nation to stick with the “What, me worry?” attitude. And that includes flu epidemics.



The entire east coast of the United States is going to get wiped out when La Palma blows its top. There’s another dinosaur killer headed our way from outer space in 2032. Yellowstone is a super volcano - when it triggers. we’re all dead. Global warming is irreversable, and the entire sea cost will be underwater within thirty years.

Need more disasters for the government to prep for?


There is an island across the Atlantic with a huge ustable mass on it that can fall at any time into the ocean, triggering our own East Coast tsunami. How’s that?

But, see, we have had a bird flu pandemic, in 1918, that killed a huge number of people. And we now have a virulent bird flu that is only missing one thing, the ability to spread between people. I expect a couple of years before it develops that ability. I don’t expect 5 years. This isn’t like the examples you gave, where there is no reasonable way to assess risk. There is a real risk, given the previous flu mutations that have been seen before, There was a similar epidemic in 1957, I think, which wasn’t as virulent, so people didn’t die like they did in 1918. But this form of bird flu IS virulent. Young people die from it , not just children and the aged.

damn, its raining and the dog is outside. gotta go. then, bed. so good night.


Wanna bet a pandemic over la palma?

no? didn’t think so…


Hey dreamaster,

From, just shows how right you are.

  1. Quote of the Day
    “There is no reason not to have turkey for Thanksgiving.”

– USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Administrator Ron DeHaven, on overreaction to a possible avian flu outbreak.


I hope that includes turduckens . . .


I always wanted to try that. Deep-fried, of course!


I’d love to try . . . wouldn’t want to put it together though


While you may be right that the media is blowing this up a bit, the H5N1 flu virus is a looming threat. It may not eb a problem today or tomorrow, but it will be at some point. What makes the flu such a problem is its genome, which can shuffle and mutate…there is a theory that the 1918 epidemic was caused by coinfection in a pig of both the human and swine flu viruses (Its been a little while since I studied this stuff, so if I’m off on details, sorry). The two flu virus genomes can mix, and create a version of the flu that is so different than anything that our immune systems have seen before, that we will have little to no immunity to it. Thats what the fear is now. H5N1 is totally different than the flu that we see every winter (which is H3N2 I think?), and if it becomes human-to-human transmissible, thats the next pandemic that will likely kill millions upon millions worldwide.

While you may be right that there are lots of disasters that could occur, your comparison of a meteor hitting the earth and peoples’ worry about the bird flu is an appeal to the ridiculous. One is something that we have very little control over, and one is something that modern science has taught us a great deal about, and with that understanding comes active ways of combatting it.

I wouldn’t recommend that anyone lock themselves in an airtight room any time in the immediate future, but the flu is a serious disease, and something to be concerned about. It kills many times more people every year than say West Nile virus, but no one really worries about the flu. And you’re not complaining about all the coverage of West Nile on tv… (but don’t take that as a challenge either!)

Anyway, thats my two cents. Ultimately, yeah the news coverage is annoying, but personally, I’m glad that people are trying to prevent the next big flu pandemic.


aaaaa CHOOOO!!!


keep in mind that same media also gave us paris hilton, et all…and blow by blows of OJ’s whole drama-rama from start to finish! dude we got MRSA and that stomach flu thing that’s killing people too. oh and tyhe plastic bottles that babies drink from leaching bad chems…we need t o know what’s going on the only reason it seems so scary now is we are saturated with media.