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Here We Go Again!

Fragrant Harbour A forum for the large number of pilots (expats and locals) based with the various airlines in Hong Kong. Air Traffic Controllers are also warmly welcomed into the forum.

Here We Go Again!

Old 13th Mar 2008, 03:55
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Here We Go Again!

All primary schools, special schools, nurseries and kindergartens will be closed for two weeks from today amid the city's flu outbreak, the health chief announced last night.
The move comes as it was revealed a 21-month-old baby died late last month and a three-year-old boy was moved to intensive care yesterday suffering from severe flu symptoms. This follows the deaths of a three-year-old girl, 27-month-old boy and a seven-year-old boy who were suffering from flu-like symptoms. An expert committee is investigating the cause of the three most recent deaths.
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Old 13th Mar 2008, 07:55
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I read that the H5N1 bird-flu may have developed into a human strain.Boffins are looking at the 1918 H1N1 mutation that killed 50million,to see if H5N1 has done the same thing.If it has then this is very bad news.They always said that the next Pandemic may well come from Southern China.
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Old 13th Mar 2008, 11:56
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Unhappy

Read where? Be very careful how you continue this thread, it could affect everyones livliehood.......
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Old 13th Mar 2008, 12:26
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.......I would hate to be sitting on a big mortgage at the moment!

Hope it doesn't go the "insane, irrational" route.
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Old 13th Mar 2008, 13:39
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Look at history. Any knee jerk reaction will merely provide excellent buying opportunities - whether it be property, shares or golf carts(for you DB folks). There is almost always an upside to the downside.
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Old 13th Mar 2008, 15:30
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I think we should all do a bit of research on the Bird flu... it has a massive mortality rate of over 80% and will likely be highly contageous. Economics will not be the primary concern. The only valuable thing to have is a strong immune system. Keeping ourselves and our families strong and healthy managing our stress levels is a better way of preparing for this or any other illness. Ironically fear is the biggest threat to the immune system so scare mongering is currently the biggest threat!
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Old 13th Mar 2008, 15:42
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bird flu

volarecantare

Perhaps it would be a good idea to mention that the mortality rate that you mention applies to birds, not humans.
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Old 13th Mar 2008, 16:48
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SARS all over again?
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Old 13th Mar 2008, 22:10
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...amazing, here we are speaking of a virus that scientists have predicted could kill millions if it transmutes from animals to humans....and most of you are talking about mortgages and 'buying opportunities'...! I suggest you start talking about flights to home and quarantines...
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Old 14th Mar 2008, 00:32
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Its a good time to buy a flat/house! Prices will continue their rapid assent due to undersupply of larger units that we as expats tend to buy. I would estimate that 20-30% would be realistic on a 2000 sq foot condo either in Central mid levels or Jardine lookout.

Under 1000sq foot maybe a different matter, however LKS is still bullish.

But I guess he would be wouldnt he?

Watch for a mini stockmarket bounce back, perhaps 2500-3000 point. Im buying CX today!
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Old 14th Mar 2008, 00:50
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Storm in a tea cup? I think not.

Just to challange this HKG is infamous for covering up to save face and when they close schools it is a sign of them acting too late ie 3 deaths is often the tip of an ice berg. Closing schools for 2 weeks does not happen every year due influenza and the last time schools were closed for health reasons was in 2003 and was very early on in the pandemic - we all know how few died as a result of SARS and what an impact that had on the HKG economy as a whole.
Southern China has not learnt over the years and the local mentality is always win big, as is the current economic high (while the rest of the world is convincing themselves there is no economic depression) or you loose big and all is lost. Incidently Asias biggest stock market loss yesterday was HKG at 4.79%!
The media hype will be the next twist in the saga as our news readers down south know how to spin a good story - Channel 7's Top gun fly by comes to mind as does any Aussie SARS report.

Last edited by WideGlide; 14th Mar 2008 at 02:25.
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Old 14th Mar 2008, 01:11
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Unhappy Sell! Sell! Sell!

Man, the "sky is falling" today!

Closing schools for 2 weeks does not happen every year
Errr, yes it does. They're called school holidays!!

All that has happened is that the authorities have brought forward the scheduled Easter holiday break by two days. Removes the young-uns from the 'disease exchange centres' (aka schools) as the media continues to sell papers by proclaiming another "shocking outbreak". Whilst the deaths that occured are an enormous tragedy, I think all this talk of pandemics and the imminent destruction of civilisation is just a tad over the top.

Let's see:
It has been an unusually cold & prolonged winter,
therefore the Flu has been widespread and persistent these last few months,
We live in one of the most densely populated areas in the world,
Children have less developed immune systems.

ergo: MANY are getting sick and KIDS are bearing the brunt of it.

Please don't confuse several, dare I say it, statistically insignificant incidents as some sort of doomsday scenario. Most likely, an extremely unfortunate chain of events in these individual cases led to untimely or innacurate diagnoses and tragedy was the result.

The Swiss Cheese model isn't the sole property of the aviation world.

Logic Rant off.
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Old 14th Mar 2008, 01:26
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Closing schools for 2 weeks does not happen every year as a result of Flu. Even the bird flu each year at this time for the last 4 years has not shut school doors as a result.

Normal schools ie govt schools only close next thursday which means schools have closed a week ahead of the easter holidays and not 2 days. Perhaps other ESF/INTL schools have differrent holidays but the masses are at Govt schools.
Secondary schools may close from monday which is still ahead of the holidays with temperature monitoring at all schools compulsory as of today.
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Old 14th Mar 2008, 01:48
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Talk it up guys!!!
It will take more than a few sneezes to stop this property surge. Government today says it is releasing 30% less new apartments this year thereby reducing even further the limited supply of units!!! Stock market going down the gurgler, mortgage rates heading south, why wouldnt property be high on your portfolio at the moment???
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Old 14th Mar 2008, 02:11
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Assets that have a certain future!

If Bird Flu breaks out property prices and economics will be the least of our worries...The mortality rates make SARS look like a doddle! Best thing to do is to build up health and immune systems and lower stress levels. Rich or not and moving to Vancouver or wherever will be irrelevant. Strong immune systems will be the biggest most valuable asset and funnily enough it appears that the "Rich" who have had huge access to the damaging effects of modern medicine and over use and abuse of antibiotics will in fact be among the hardest hit by this one.
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Old 14th Mar 2008, 02:23
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From The Bangkok Post

'Thais warned of Hong Kong flu

The Public Health Ministry has warned Thais who plan to travel to Hong Kong to be careful and protect themselves from the flu that has broken out there. The warning follows an outbreak of influenza at local schools in Hong Kong, where almost 500 students have been infected with the disease.'

http://www.bangkokpost.com
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Old 14th Mar 2008, 03:07
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Volar
It is my belief that one of the qualities of "Bird Flu" is that it attacks the immune system and that, the stronger the immune system the worst it is. (Or something like that) That is why so many young people are killed by it. But i agree as far as the whole abuse of antibiotics here in Donkey Kong!!!
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Old 14th Mar 2008, 05:09
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There seem to be some confusion the current flu in HK is just that a flu not sars and not bird flu and does happen almost every flu season, however it has also raised the concerns of the bird flu. Bird flu is an RNA virus and is highly mutable and adaptable and virulent. One of the fears is that a human who HAS a flu contracts a strain of Avian flu from a bird and this strain then mutates to initiate human to human infection which would lead to the pandemic.

BW, The mortality of birds is very high but the stated mortality rates for human is well over 60%, much higher than SARS which was only around 8% I think and was not very virulent in some areas higher they just are not sure as all cases are not reported in the rural areas. It is though however that there may be a possibility than many cases go unreported and people manage to survive so these figures are difficult to really know.


All current cases of bird flu have been so far bird to human contracted. The virus has not yet transmuted into the human to human form.This is why there are concerns especially in Indonesia when a "cluster" eg a family all contract Avian flue at the same time. SO far all this incidents have been though to be due to family genetic predisposition rather then human to human. Once there is a confirmed human to human case this means that it has mutated into the final stage of pandemic and they will do everything in their power to contain it. However with free transportation as it is the fear is that it would spread globally in just a few days or weeks.

It is not until this happens that they can even begin to prepare a vaccine and then the fear is that the very scientists and doctors who have this ability are themselves on the front line so to speak.

However, WHO expert Hassan al-Bushra has said:
"Even now, we remain unsure about Tamiflu's real effectiveness. As for a vaccine, work cannot start on it until the emergence of a new virus, and we predict it would take six to nine months to develop it. For the moment, we cannot by any means count on a potential vaccine to prevent the spread of a contagious influenza virus, whose various precedents in the past 90 years have been highly pathogenic"

Fenwicks girl, the scientist do not yet have any idea as to what way the mutated human to human virus will mutate but the avian virus seems extremely virulent and can survive in arctic conditions and up to 37 degrees for some time. Based on the 1918 flu epidemic which was similar they suspect it could be extremely high.
It was true that Sars and this recent flu deaths in HK attacked the very young however I do not believe that the flu attacks the immune system in the way for example HIV does. A strong immune system, stress management and a positive attitude seems to be all we have to combat this threat at the moment.

Apparently the life span of such a virus is about 6 months and if nothing at all was done it would spread globally do its damage and in 6 months peak and die off. Who knows what's ahead but it does make on stop and think about priorities doesn't it and maybe is well time we all did that. It would be an unfortunate if it required such a potential threat to the human race in order for us to begin to re look at our values.

I am no expert on ANY of this but I have been following it for some time and it appears that even those who are experts have great trepidation but NO idea what's ahead. heir only current "weapon" was killing birds (which makes me this that if we kill of the "hosts" the virus will Need to make a bigger effort to leap and mutate and survive) and Tamiflu which has now proven to be not as effective and in fact carries sometimes fatal side effects.

In all that I have read I am left with the feeling that major changes are taking place possibly at a level of natural balance that makes sense. In a world where we all need to feel secure and like to think we can solve every problem this one seems to fall into the lap of each one of us individually to take stock and prepare ourselves for whatever happens. The best way it seems is to distress, natural methods of strengthening health and a strong immune system.

When I first started to look in this I must say I felt rather hopeless as I read the facts and the fiction around it. It lead to a complete change of outlook on life for me and my family and in some ways that has been a gift. A certain amount of understanding acceptance and then positive action takes away the biggest enemy which is fear! But hiding our heads in the sand wont work either. WHO knows if this virus turns out not to be as bad as it is predicted yet it serves to give us all a big wake up call then it is a good thing!

Life should go on as normal but hopefully with more awareness and appreciation of things that are important!

Last edited by volarecantare; 14th Mar 2008 at 05:47.
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Old 15th Mar 2008, 06:51
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Mate, are you writing the script for a new Doomsday movie? I think I shall ignore the sevens this year and get on the first flight home!
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