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One Hundred Ill on A380

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One Hundred Ill on A380

Old 6th Sep 2018, 09:14
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Anyone who’s been on a cruise ship knows how strict the hygiene standards are due to the speed with which an illness can spread amongst hundreds of people in a confined area for an extended period of time.

An airliner can be worse as people are much closer together and breathing recirculated air. Toilets have a heavy demand on them as each passenger makes multiple visits during a long flight. Aircraft routinely visits places with poor hygiene standards and endemic diseases.

I’m surprised incidents like this don’t occur more often.
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Old 6th Sep 2018, 09:19
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Originally Posted by msjh
I assume you have an Armageddon cupboard full of key supplies in case the unlikely happens? 😉
As I said, the unlikely always happens eventually. And an EID is not especially unlikely, there have been several and there will be more. We were very lucky that the last Ebola pandemic did not explode into the massive cities of Nigeria, it came very close, and in fact it was a mix of luck and an excellent pro-active response by the Nigerian authorities that prevented that.
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Old 6th Sep 2018, 11:40
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Originally Posted by double_barrel
As I said, the unlikely always happens eventually. And an EID is not especially unlikely, there have been several and there will be more. We were very lucky that the last Ebola pandemic did not explode into the massive cities of Nigeria, it came very close, and in fact it was a mix of luck and an excellent pro-active response by the Nigerian authorities that prevented that.
Interestingly, I remember reading this a few months ago....

http://uk.businessinsider.com/bill-g...-coming-2018-4
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Old 6th Sep 2018, 12:26
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Originally Posted by msjh
I assume you have an Armageddon cupboard full of key supplies in case the unlikely happens? 😉
msjh, I did a triple masters in public health, epidemiology and biostatistics. I have no illusion that a global pandemic is in our future, of a SARs (SARS-CoV), H5N1, Zika, Influenza, Ebola or similar form. The millions of years of development on the planet for organisms never provided the vectors that we have today, and the lack of concern on the issue itself, outside of CDC, ECDC and other institutions that are charged with responding to outbreaks. The history of our misuse of antibiotics is depressing; we have ensured that the exiting tools on hand to manage infections has been compromised, (but we got happier chickens to turn into nuggets), and established the next series of superbugs, with the latest revelation of a new MRSA yesterday.

Overcrowding, poor water supply, and lousy public hygiene guarantees that there is a bad day out there on the horizon. Pray that the geeks that took up science instead of twitter can act fast enough to isolate, identify, and develop attenuated samples to provide antibiotics and antivirals in a time that is meaningful to the outcome. We have been very lucky to date; the most serious diseases are to some extent constrained by their own lethality. It is a matter of statistical certainty that at some time, an aerosolised, lethal, slow onset vector will emerge, and at that time it will be a challenge to the capability of the planet to respond. History has shown that the delay in acknowledgement by the political masters alone will make it difficult to put the genie back in the bottle.

If you are wondering about the next apocalyptic event, historically, we get hit by asteroids of consequence rarely, and those that are extinction level in epochal timeframes, yet catastrophic disease outbreak that can take out a large percentage of the global population occurs quite frequently, every couple of hundred years, we get whacked hard, and sometimes, much more frequently, as in recent times, but we have successfully intervened in the major events in the last 40 years. That is by good management, and a huge dose of luck. Luck is not a plan.

The massive population explosion of the planet places us at risk from all stressors of the ecosystem we are a part of, going from 1B around 1800 to 7.6B today. It is quite conceivable to have an event in the next few decades that takes out 30% of the population, it has happened before, we are currently losing the race against the bugs.
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Old 6th Sep 2018, 12:31
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Weren't all the ill pax in Economy? Could it have been food poisoning after the first meal out of DXB?
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Old 6th Sep 2018, 13:40
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Originally Posted by fdr
msjh, I did a triple masters in public health, epidemiology and biostatistics. I have no illusion that a global pandemic is in our future, of a SARs (SARS-CoV), H5N1, Zika, Influenza, Ebola or similar form. The millions of years of development on the planet for organisms never provided the vectors that we have today, and the lack of concern on the issue itself, outside of CDC, ECDC and other institutions that are charged with responding to outbreaks. The history of our misuse of antibiotics is depressing; we have ensured that the exiting tools on hand to manage infections has been compromised, (but we got happier chickens to turn into nuggets), and established the next series of superbugs, with the latest revelation of a new MRSA yesterday.

Overcrowding, poor water supply, and lousy public hygiene guarantees that there is a bad day out there on the horizon. Pray that the geeks that took up science instead of twitter can act fast enough to isolate, identify, and develop attenuated samples to provide antibiotics and antivirals in a time that is meaningful to the outcome. We have been very lucky to date; the most serious diseases are to some extent constrained by their own lethality. It is a matter of statistical certainty that at some time, an aerosolised, lethal, slow onset vector will emerge, and at that time it will be a challenge to the capability of the planet to respond. History has shown that the delay in acknowledgement by the political masters alone will make it difficult to put the genie back in the bottle.

If you are wondering about the next apocalyptic event, historically, we get hit by asteroids of consequence rarely, and those that are extinction level in epochal timeframes, yet catastrophic disease outbreak that can take out a large percentage of the global population occurs quite frequently, every couple of hundred years, we get whacked hard, and sometimes, much more frequently, as in recent times, but we have successfully intervened in the major events in the last 40 years. That is by good management, and a huge dose of luck. Luck is not a plan.

The massive population explosion of the planet places us at risk from all stressors of the ecosystem we are a part of, going from 1B around 1800 to 7.6B today. It is quite conceivable to have an event in the next few decades that takes out 30% of the population, it has happened before, we are currently losing the race against the bugs.
That's genuinely interesting. But it doesn't answer the question ... ;-)
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Old 6th Sep 2018, 16:27
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Devil A Matter of When and Not IF!

Excellent posts, double barrel and fdr! When I started this thread I must admit that thoughts of a Global Pandemic were on my mind. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 1918 influenza pandemic known as the Spanish Flu. One third of the Earth's population - then 500 million - contracted the disease; 20 to 50 million perished. One of the faster aircraft of that era was the Fokker Dr.I triplane, which featured a Vne of 115 m.p.h. Had mid-air refueling been available, von Richthofen and/or Snoopy the Beagle could have completed a global circumnavigation in 209 hours or 8.69 days. Today's commercial aircraft perform the same feat in about forty hours - no point on our planet is more than 20 hours away from its complimentary antipode.

Now consider that, within the last 48 hours, a new cogener of MRSA (methycillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) was discovered. This strain is resistant to every known antibiotic in our armamentarium. Another finding is a fifth member of the Ebola virus family. (If you have not read Richard Preston's The Hot Zone, I urge you to do so. Frightening nonfiction!) 86 deaths now reported in the Congo; some of those are in a large city.

Many of my family members are physicians. One of my friends was the Chief Epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All echo the sentiments expressed in the title of my post - fatal third space exsanguination or apnea secondary to neural quadriplegia is but twenty hours away at any time, and viruses don't care whether they're flying economy or business class!

Now off to drink a beer and think happier thoughts!

- Ed



FOKKER DR.I 1918

Last edited by cavuman1; 6th Sep 2018 at 17:07. Reason: Insert Image
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Old 6th Sep 2018, 16:56
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OK, it's the 100th anniversary of the Flu pandemic of 1918. But consider:
  • we've learned a lot about flu (and other virus and non-virus diseases). Simple example: flu jabs that largely protect millions every year. Not perfect but pretty good.
  • our communications are astonishingly better. News of the outbreak of an illness can spread around the Earth in seconds, versus weeks in 1918. Indeed, news of an illness can travel dramatically faster than the disease itself, which certainly was not typically the case in 1918.
  • We're healthier than we were in 1918. Yes, the news highlights the obese but most people today are immensely healthier than they were a hundred years ago.
  • And that's largely because around the world there is far less poverty than a hundred years ago.
  • In the Western world at least there are good health systems. Compared with a hundred years ago, there are much better health systems in most places.
I am quite aware that it is possible to sketch out a scenario where a new and deadly bug ravages the world. But I remain an optimist: our health is better, our health systems are better and our ability to identify and stop new diseases is pretty good. And I unashamedly refer you to Hans Rosling's Book "Factfulness" for the reasons behind my optimism, as well as the associated website at gapminder.org .
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Old 6th Sep 2018, 17:40
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Thumbs up To MSJH

I concur with your take and look forward to reading the book you suggested. I, too, am a perpetual optimist, though sometimes that attitude has exacted harsh punishment by reality. Your point about communication of communicable diseases is well-made and well-taken, but let us step back for a moment.

Re the A380 "flustravaganza", what if only one of ill passengers, or worse, one who had been infected but upon deboarding was asymptomatic, was missed by the CDC screening process. What if he/she was a health professional working in a hospital? What if the disease was not influenza, but instead an hemorrhagic dyscrazia? I am sure that you are familiar with iatrogenesis and nosocomial infection. Even now, as we are comparatively more healthy and availed of superb communications networks, a patient (in U.S. hospitals) has a 30% chance of contracting a localized infection, often the difficult-to-treat MRSA. My wife, who suffers from Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis, was admitted to a well-known facility here in Cincinnati in September of 2015. It turned out that her symptomatology was revelatory of an L4-L5 disc herniation; we were delighted! The bad news was the urinary tract infection contracted in the hospital took several weeks of high dose antibiotics to cure. 200 mbps internet speed did little to relieve her suffering...

As my wonderful Father used to say:"Life is very hard, but it's not so bad when one considers the alternatives!"

Now about that beer!

- Ed


EBOLA ZAIRE [discovered 1976 (The shepherd's crook from Hell)]
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Old 6th Sep 2018, 18:30
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Originally Posted by cavuman1
..., a patient (in U.S. hospitals) has a 30% chance of contracting a localized infection, often the difficult-to-treat MRSA. ...
I believe the correct figure for that is 5%. See, for example, here.
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Old 6th Sep 2018, 20:57
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The suggestion of something else foodborne or an allergen might be valid if all the ill pax were in economy. Some of the J and F CC occupy junpseats on main deck for takeoff and landing. So theoretically if pax were carrying some illness and were already sick before boarding, then shouldn't at least a portion of the upper deck crew and pax also become ill if it were contagious?

I also wonder about whether some of the pax were affected by the idea of illness onboard and had a reaction accordingly. I know from personal experience that pax on EK flights to the US, JFK in particular can be -ahem- "dramatic" sometimes...
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Old 6th Sep 2018, 22:16
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Originally Posted by msjh
  • We're healthier than we were in 1918. Yes, the news highlights the obese but most people today are immensely healthier than they were a hundred years ago.
Obesity doesn't necessarily compromise the immune system in the same way that poverty and food shortages do. It's a different category of unhealthy.

Anyone remember Terry Nation's Survivors from the 70s? Mystery epidemic wiping out most of the population. I think it was implied to be a 'flu virus.
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Old 7th Sep 2018, 01:07
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Two American flights into Philly today (from Paris and Munich) with reportedly 12 pax exhibiting flu-like symptoms. Later in the article, it says suffering from sore throat and cough - no fever.
https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/20...ional-flights/
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Old 9th Sep 2022, 13:28
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Came across this thread by accident. Very interesting posts, now post covid.

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Old 9th Sep 2022, 13:56
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Indeed. Quite prophetic in fact.
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Old 10th Sep 2022, 02:03
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Ill passengers from Dubai

"Stopped at Mecca",is that jeddah airport where the pilgrims terminal is?
I joined the Royal Air Force in 1958 and endured a series of injections alled(?) Schick tests?Followed by (after training)cholera,tetanus&typhoid and yellow fever as I recall.In the late 70s worked in Africa for two years with family and since then some thirty countries.Those basic vaccinations are not required anymore as far as I know except yellow fever which lasts ten years.Now I have had my two covid jabs and a booster(had covid!) and at 80 seem to be in good health (aches etc!).Just wondering if all my travels made me build some kind of immunity?
[url=https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:bzpIeEPhCEAJ:[ame]https://twitter.com/EricFPhillips/status/1037340969065177088+&cd=7&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=u s][/ame]https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:bzpIeEPhCEAJ:
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Old 10th Sep 2022, 02:15
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Originally Posted by oldpax
Those basic vaccinations are not required anymore as far as I know except yellow fever which lasts ten years.
One shot of Yellow fever vaccination is now considered good for life (Unless you had it when you were less than two years old and for women if pregnant at the time)
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Old 10th Sep 2022, 13:03
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Originally Posted by Frequent_Flyer
... would survive the 10+ hours of loosing liquids violently!

Perhaps, just for once this usage isn't a blunder but an intentional choice of wording...hideously graphic either way.
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Old 11th Sep 2022, 07:34
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MSJH last posted in June 2019. Wonder what happened to him?
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Old 11th Sep 2022, 08:21
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Originally Posted by Frequent_Flyer
10+ hours of loosing liquids violently!
I do like it when the typo is better than the original intent

Or of course, maybe it was the intent?
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