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Pig flu and an economic crisis...

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Pig flu and an economic crisis...

Old 26th Apr 2009, 08:46
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Pig flu and an economic crisis...

Swine flu has 'pandemic potential' | Travel News | News.com.au

Swine flu has 'pandemic potential'

By Adriana Barrera and Catherine Bremer in Mexico City, Mexico with wires

Reuters

April 26, 2009 01:34pm

* WHO warns of flu 'pandemic'
* Possible swine flu case in London
* Checks set up at Asian airports

A NEW flu virus that has killed up to 81 people in Mexico could start a global epidemic, the World Health Organization warned on Saturday as the disease spread further in the United States.

Australia's health protection officials, including chief medical officer Jim Bishop, are today holding talks on how to guard the nation from the pig flu outbreak in Mexico and the US.

The Department of Health and Ageing is liaising with the WHO, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health experts, a spokeswoman for the department says.

"Anyone that has returned from Mexico with influenza-like symptoms since March this year should seek advice from their general practitioner or public health unit," she said.

Australia's airports were not officially on alert but were aware of the situation, she said.

Mexico's crowded capital of 20 million people, where most of the victims have died, hunkered down in fear of the swine flu and the government said it would isolate sick people if necessary.
Related Coverage

It said the flu had probably killed 81 people, raising the likely death toll from 68, and that more than 1300 people were believed to have been infected.

All schools in and around the sprawling capital and the central state of San Luis Potosi were ordered closed until May 6 and Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova called for all bars, clubs, stadiums, movie theaters, churches and other religious centers to be shut to limit further infections.

While all of the deaths so far have been in Mexico, the flu is spreading in the United States.

Eleven cases have been confirmed in California, Kansas and Texas, and eight schoolchildren in New York City caught a type A influenza virus that was likely to be the swine flu, health officials said on Saturday.

The World Health Organisation declared the outbreaks a "public health event of international concern" and said they could cause a pandemic - a global epidemic of serious disease.

The last flu pandemic was in 1968 when "Hong Kong" flu killed about 1 million people globally.

A new pandemic would deal a major blow to a world economy already knocked into its worst recession in decades by the crisis in financial markets.

In Mexico City, parents cancelled children's parties, bars were closed and residents stocked up on DVDs as people stayed home for the weekend to avoid contamination by a virus that has never been seen before.

"I think it's worse than they're telling us," said 35-year-old Lidia Diaz, sniffling and wearing a surgical mask as she headed to a clinic in the capital.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon issued an emergency decree giving the government special powers to run tests on sick people and order them to be isolated.

WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan urged all countries to boost their surveillance for any unusual outbreaks of influenza-like illness and severe pneumonia.

"It has pandemic potential because it is infecting people," Dr Chan said in Geneva. "However, we cannot say on the basis of currently available laboratory, epidemiological and clinical evidence whether or not it will indeed cause a pandemic."

"The most worrying fact is that it appears to transmit from human to human," said Thomas Abraham, a spokesman for the WHO.

These features, along with the fact that unusually young healthy adults have fallen victim, and not the very old or very young, have given rise to fears of an epidemic or even a pandemic.

A British Airways cabin crew member was taken to a London hospital as a precaution after developing flu-like symptoms on a flight from Mexico City. It was the first such reported precautionary measure in Britain.

Hong Kong, Japan Checks

As far away as Hong Kong and Japan, health officials stepped up checks of travellers with flu-like symptoms. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was actively looking for new infections.

"We are worried and because we are worried we are acting aggressively on a number of fronts," the CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat said. "The situation is serious."

In Mexico, most of the dead were aged 25 to 45, a worrying sign because a hallmark of past pandemics has been high fatalities among healthy young adults.

The new flu strain - a mixture of swine, human and avian flu viruses - is still poorly understood.

A significant worsening of the outbreak could hit tourism and consumer spending in Mexico, already weakened by the global economic crisis and an army-led war on drug cartels.

No countries or global bodies have issued travel bans to Mexico but some countries alerted travellers to check websites for information on the flu outbreak.

The WHO says the virus from 12 of the Mexican patients is genetically the same as a new strain of swine flu, designated H1N1, seen in the people in California and Texas, who have recovered.

With AAP.
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Old 26th Apr 2009, 09:56
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The end is nigh! The end is nigh!! The sky is falling!! We're all doomed I tell you!

I love the way the media dine out on this stuff. Nothing like a bit of mass hysteria to keep the masses at bay. Classic example of it on TV3 News "Special" just after bro'Town. Watch the stock prices of the big Pharma's head skyward. I love a good conspiracy me.
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Old 26th Apr 2009, 10:36
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OK then , we would love to see your recent photos posing with pigs, preferably the species you can find in LAX, how about standing in front of a confirmed infected individual in Mexico/ LAX/ NYC/AKL/LHR and then breathe in as the infected person coughs in your face.
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Old 26th Apr 2009, 10:37
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Apparently its just reached NZ too.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25388522-23109,00.html
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Old 26th Apr 2009, 10:41
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Wow together with that other Pandemic SARS life is over. Oh that's right SARS didn't really go anywhere and it was going to kill all life on earth back a couple of years ago. Motor Vehicles killed more people in the last week than any pandemic started by an animal will do.
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Old 26th Apr 2009, 10:42
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I think this unexpected twist plus Wayne Swan , our treasurer saying just this evening stated that contrary to all that was said before this evening, the recession will be longer and more difficult than initially thought.

Might just spell the end of the airlines/ tourism/ overseas travel business as we know it.
All will be bankrupt and come out leaner, as Obama promised GM bankruptcy. it will be fast painful but a new company will emerge and all baggages gone
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Old 26th Apr 2009, 15:12
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NZ now!

I guess the Sheep Flu jab doesn't give 'protection'>>
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Old 26th Apr 2009, 23:23
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Swine Flu is not a laughing matter. Just pray that we can keep it out of Australia.

If/when The W.H.O. comes clean, your industry is going to stop. The case fatality rate is looking like 5%, which is twice as bad as the 1918 pandemic.

hint: The tell tale in this comment (if true) is that medical staff are running away.


I'm a specialist doctor in respiratory diseases and intensive care at the Mexican National Institute of Health. There is a severe emergency over the swine flu here. More and more patients are being admitted to the intensive care unit. Despite the heroic efforts of all staff (doctors, nurses, specialists, etc) patients continue to inevitably die. The truth is that anti-viral treatments and vaccines are not expected to have any effect, even at high doses. It is a great fear among the staff. The infection risk is very high among the doctors and health staff.

There is a sense of chaos in the other hospitals and we do not know what to do. Staff are starting to leave and many are opting to retire or apply for holidays. The truth is that mortality is even higher than what is being reported by the authorities, at least in the hospital where I work it. It is killing three to four patients daily, and it has been going on for more than three weeks. It is a shame and there is great fear here. Increasingly younger patients aged 20 to 30 years are dying before our helpless eyes and there is great sadness among health professionals here.
Antonio Chavez, Mexico City [/b]
BBC NEWS | Scotland | Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West | Scots tourists in swine flu alert
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Old 26th Apr 2009, 23:58
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SARS or Avian Influenza (H5N1 or H7N3 or H7N7 or H9N2)?

Avian Influenza is alive and well. It is all over the place with identified cases in Indonesia, Cambodia, Turkey, Thailand, Vietnam, Eqypt, China.

According to WHO the latest outbreak in Egypt of Avian Influenza of the 67 cases diagnosed some 23 have been fatal.

On the 8th April 2009 WHO reported that the 110 confirmed cases of human infection In Vietnam, 55 have been fatal.

On the 22nd January 2009 WHO reported that of the 141 confirmed cases in Indonesia, 115 were fatal.

On the 2nd of February 2009 WHO reported that of the 38 confirmed cases in China, 25 have been fatal.

Kind of makes you wonder how many are unreported and not confirmed in under developed areas or where diagnoses has been actively suppressed by local government.

I am still VERY concerned regarding Avian Influenza - should it mutate into an airborne virus I am convinced a pandemic would result.

Likewise - the method of transmission of the Swine Influenza could determine the impact on the population. Also the characteristics that it appears to attack middle age healthy people is a concern - kind of like the 1918 Spanish Flu is a concern. But it appear that no one really knows the extent of it yet and its proper characteristics.

With regards to airline travel - packing lots of people with no previous interaction into a very confined area - possibly being infected by one person - then these people moving onto their own social groups in society and spreading contact is a great concern for me - as it prevents the containment of a rapidly spreadable disease. I would have thought that diseases that show some time from infection to display of symptoms (ie look and feel OK but have a communicable disease) is a great concern.

The cleanliness of aircraft have a lot to be desired. You have to ask yourself "How well have these toilets been disinfected and who was last using it?" . The Avian Influenza has been reported to last up to 6 days in fecal matter.

I am very concerned. I believe the impact for the airline industry of a pandemic in an economic depression would be severe.
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Old 27th Apr 2009, 00:01
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Got the horn,
The end is nigh! The end is nigh!! The sky is falling!! We're all doomed I tell you!
I hope the world is exaggerating, but I suspect that you will be shown to be a twit for making such a post.
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Old 27th Apr 2009, 03:58
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Swine flu is showing itself to be very efficient at human to human transmission but not as lethal as Bird flu.

Bird flu is much more lethal (around 80% Case fatality rate), but it is difficult to contract without handling dead fowl.

Just hope that Bird flu does not meet swine flu in Indonesia, then you might get a real "slate wiper" that fices the global warming problem permanently.
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Old 27th Apr 2009, 04:16
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Flu A Threat

A coupel of years back i wrote a webpage on the potential H5N1 pandemic threat. It includes a number of links to some of the worlds forem,ost authorities on the Flu A threat and I post a link to that old page here for anyone interested.

H5N1 - Information and Resources

Hope it is of some help.

The threat is serious but we are considerably better prepared thamn before. Interesting times indeed.

Cheers,
Brad
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Old 27th Apr 2009, 04:18
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The problem is that they are concern that the avian flu might "leap" across to an infected swine flu individual or animal and than the virus will merge and mutate to a even more complex avian-swine-human combined flu.

With the winter upon us in Australia, the winter flu is also floating around, this is pretty scary if it hits here. I mentioned this in the thread "qantas will die in 6 months" when the flu first pops up and members there dissed me for being alarmist and all dismiss it as mighty Qantas once again , will conquer all. Fact is, alot of flight attendants themsleves are afraid to contract any flu virus from passengers.

Expect sickies to go up on trips to America.

Anti viral like relenza and tamiflu only works if the symptoms are caught at the earliest stages of the infection, not when it is already progressing, all medicine are useless when the infection had progressed, as in mexico.
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Old 27th Apr 2009, 04:23
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Quote-

"Fact is, alot of flight attendants themsleves are afraid to contract any flu virus from passengers."

____________

Actually, fact is you wouldn't know sh1t from clay.
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Old 27th Apr 2009, 04:24
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Its not going away Australia on alert for deadly swine flu | National News | News.com.au

Very bad timing.
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Old 27th Apr 2009, 04:34
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once again, pro management staff will spin you that this will not kill you, only put you on sick leave for days, that's all. This is as clear as clay or shit for that matter as it will get.

No masks or gloves at Qantas please, we are a premium airlines all staff on board are superheroes certified by marvel comics, all immune.

SHARES of Singapore Airlines Ltd, Asia's most profitable carrier, slumped on Monday morning on concern the swine flu outbreak in Mexico and other parts of North America will cause travel cutbacks. Bloomberg news reported.

'If this persists, transportation stocks will be affected,' said K. Ajith, an analyst at UOB-Kay Hian Research in Singapore.
'This is a global concern.'

Last edited by iriver88; 27th Apr 2009 at 04:51.
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Old 27th Apr 2009, 04:53
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when will the uncivilised folks in the 3rd world stop 'fiddling' with their livestock....?
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Old 27th Apr 2009, 05:06
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the timing of

these new disease could have not come at a worst time. looks like the LAX flights will be empty very quickly and more aircraft put against the fence if this virus can't be contained. a particulary worrysome development for QF as the LAX/LHR strategy is bound to fall apart and little new markets have been developed. Masks and gloves should be compulsory for crew asap.
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Old 27th Apr 2009, 05:19
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Yeah my point exactly. I hope its a media stir but have a sinking feeling its not! Its got a SARS feeling to it.
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Old 27th Apr 2009, 05:54
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Sunfish, is swine flu not as lethal as bird flu ? Here's an expert's view (he headed the fight against SARS in Hong Kong) and it isn't good news:

Video - Breaking News Videos from CNN.com
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