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#179094 - 08/12/09 03:24 AM Swine Flu prediction.
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
I'm not seeing a lot of press on the swine flu and most of what I see is useless fear mongering.

Yes, the swine flu is still out there and moderately active in the southern hemisphere. The question is not if it will come back but when and how bad will it get.

Read: http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2009/08/swine_flu_this_fall_turbulence.php

Summary is, in rough terms, that if a flu outbreak starts late in the season the first year there is a good chance it comes back earlier and stronger the second. No guarantee but it seems like a reasonable assumption and one backed by real science.

It might be a good idea to start preparing now. The normal flu season is coming up fast and if this report is right the normal flu mix may show up with swine flu at the roughly same time with the swine flu taking off in a much more dramatic fashion than we saw last time.

It has to be pointed out that the numbers who die are likely to be relatively small. The 1918 flu only killed 2 or 3% in a day when oxygen was rarely used and respirators were even rarer. Medical science has advanced a bit since those days and survival is expected to be better.

Most major services, food delivery, garbage collection and power still worked and fuel got delivered. There was disruption and people died but society didn't fall apart. It frayed at the edges, and as usual the poor got the worse of it, but it limped along and didn't fall apart. While medical science has gotten better our supply system may have gotten more fragile with on-hand supplies smaller and run closer to the edge by using JIT, Just In Time, supply schedules.

The basics, food staples, soap, water and fuel are unlikely to run out for more than a day or two. A three day to one week supply is likely to serve you well. The odds of anyone starving, unless they have very special food requirements, are slim. Oatmeal, black beans, rice canned soups and canned meats are cheap, store well without special handling, and are cheap.

Some items, masks, gloves, hand sanitized will see a rush and short term shortages. Batteries, particularly the unusual ones like those that run some insulin pumps, may come up short and be only available in spurts. So stock up. Likewise if your dependent on certain drugs make sure you have a ample supply on hand. Thirty days supply on hand at a minimum is not, IMHO, excessive.


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#179099 - 08/12/09 05:50 AM Re: Swine Flu prediction. [Re: Art_in_FL]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
Art - Good idea on the items to stock up on smile

I snagged a bunch of masks from amazon before they jacked up the price! I not only am holding them for this winter potentially for the wife who works with different people daily but also to work with drywall and my house remodel! I would hate to slow down a project or get an infection from black mold because I couldn't get my mask frown

We also got a few large bottles of hand sanitizer from wal-mart while they had some still.... these items will be priceless come winter or a shortage at any time and cost PENNIES to stock up compared to stocking up on bulk food.
_________________________
Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

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#179102 - 08/12/09 08:22 AM Re: Swine Flu prediction. [Re: Todd W]
Tom_L Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
Quote:
It has to be pointed out that the numbers who die are likely to be relatively small. The 1918 flu only killed 2 or 3% in a day when oxygen was rarely used and respirators were even rarer. Medical science has advanced a bit since those days and survival is expected to be better.


2-3% mortality may not seem like much... That is, until you or one of your beloved ones happen to be among those 2-3%.

Lately I've heard a lot of people talking about the swine flu as something harmless blown out of proportion. The mortality may be low right now but there's no guarantee it won't increase. Also, it is apparently very contagious and could affect a large part of the population. Who knows, maybe as much as 30%. At any rate, it could realistically mean a million (or millions) infected over a few months by a very conservative estimate. Even with just 0.1% mortality, that means a death toll in the thousands, with 1% death rate in the ten thousands. Those are serious figures.

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#179107 - 08/12/09 11:07 AM Re: Swine Flu prediction. [Re: Tom_L]
bojr Offline
BillyO
Stranger

Registered: 08/10/08
Posts: 8
Loc: Daytona Beach, Florida
Question: does one get (and trust) the vaccination or wait and see if you get infected since the “cure” seems to be effective?

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#179169 - 08/13/09 02:41 AM Re: Swine Flu prediction. [Re: bojr]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Originally Posted By: bojr
Question: does one get (and trust) the vaccination or wait and see if you get infected since the “cure” seems to be effective?


The subject of vaccines can be polarizing. I'm not an MD but making an honest attempt to find the facts, sticking to the scientific literature and avoiding the pseudoscience and speculation, I have to conclude that your almost always better off getting, and getting your family, vaccinated. I don't for a second buy into the idea that vaccines are part of some conspiracy or plot.

It your not in the hardest hit demographic, young, old, fat, sick; you may feel like you can slide by. Good luck.

I will be getting vaccinated as soon as a vaccine is available. While your at it you may be able to get vaccinated in a way that might save you from the swine flu before a swine flu vaccine becomes available.

Read: http://scienceblogs.com/mikethemadbiologist/2008/08/bacterial_and_influenza_the_st.php

Seems a major proportion of those who died in the 1918 flu died from bacterial infections which caused pneumonia. The flu knocked out their immune defense system and the bacteria closed in for the kill. Most pneumonias come from "Streptococcus pneumoniae for which there is a highly effective vaccine". This is something you could do now.

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#179176 - 08/13/09 03:41 AM Re: Swine Flu prediction. [Re: Art_in_FL]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
FWIW I think the 'trust' in vaccination goes to side effects not so much black helicopter plots - the last go around with swine flu a number of people contracted something called Guillain-Barre Syndrome. I think people who are trialing early versions of a vaccine have a legitimate dilemma when it comes to risking side effects.

I agree though, you're almost always better off getting everyone vaccinated.

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#179178 - 08/13/09 04:28 AM Re: Swine Flu prediction. [Re: Art_in_FL]
James_Van_Artsdalen Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 449
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Art_in_FL

It has to be pointed out that the numbers who die are likely to be relatively small. The 1918 flu only killed 2 or 3% in a day when oxygen was rarely used and respirators were even rarer. Medical science has advanced a bit since those days and survival is expected to be better.

2%-3% of the human population world-wide is not small number - medical resources are quickly overwhelmed. Modern survival rates for *a* patient in the US will be very good, but not necessarily for *10 million* patients.

Quote:

Most major services, food delivery, garbage collection and power still worked and fuel got delivered.

In 1918 even the US was primary rural. Most people got *none* of the above services even in normal times: "food delivery" was the chicken walking into the house and fuel was whatever the horse ate. grin

Quote:

our supply system may have gotten more fragile with on-hand supplies smaller and run closer to the edge by using JIT, Just In Time, supply schedules.

Again the difference is that we depend on a supply system at all. In 1918 most Americans didn't (for long periods; salt, sugar, etc, was traded when someone came through town) so the "system" had to cope with a much smaller number of people than it might seem.

Another difference will be the speed the disease spreads. In 1918 "Around The World In 80 Days" was not that far off the mark, but this time it's likely to take only a couple of weeks to do the same.

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#179183 - 08/13/09 11:43 AM Re: Swine Flu prediction. [Re: Art_in_FL]
bojr Offline
BillyO
Stranger

Registered: 08/10/08
Posts: 8
Loc: Daytona Beach, Florida
Thanks Art_in_Fl and James

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#179423 - 08/15/09 11:04 AM Re: Swine Flu prediction. [Re: Tom_L]
Brangdon Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1200
Loc: Nottingham, UK
Originally Posted By: Tom_L
Lately I've heard a lot of people talking about the swine flu as something harmless blown out of proportion.
I've always seen it as something currently harmless that the health authorities need to keep an eye on.

We have limited resources, so putting too much effort into swine flu distracts from normal flu, and could lead to more fatalities overall. In the UK we've already had cases diagnosed as swine flu when they were actually meningitis or kidney infection, with at least one fatality as a result. We shouldn't go over-board on this. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.

Quote:
The mortality may be low right now but there's no guarantee it won't increase.
Well, yes, but life isn't safe. I'm well aware that historically some of the most lethal pandemics were preceded by much less lethal precursors. What I'm not sure about is how often the less lethal forms turn into the more lethal forms. I suspect it's actually quite rare. All serial killers drank milk as a baby, but drinking milk as a baby doesn't make you into a serial killer. The current mild pandemic isn't necessarily a precursor to a more serious one.

Obviously health authorities would be remiss not to keep an eye on it, and make sure their emergency plans are up to date. They'd had a 6-month warning, a chance to get their act together. But it probably won't materialise and the rest of us ought to be equally worried about completely unforeseen threats.
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Quality is addictive.

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#179432 - 08/15/09 01:16 PM Re: Swine Flu prediction. [Re: Brangdon]
Tom_L Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
Well... Looking at the proliferation of zombie invasion and EMP threads I must be among the more conservative members here but I certainly don't take the swine flu pandemic lightly.

I'm no doctor but it doesn't seem to be "just" flu. Maybe the symptoms are mild right now and that is good, but we will see what happens during the winter. Where I live, the official standing right now is that a major outbreak is expected during the following months, with as much as 30% of the population infected. I'm not sure about everybody else but we have had flu epidemics before and they never affected that many people. Nor can I ever remember flu spreading that fast globally.

Also, I see a lot of people talking the talk but few have any direct experience with swine flu whatsoever. A colleague at work got infected last month abroad and after all she's gone through she says it's a lot worse than regular flu. Mind you, she is a young, healthy and reasonably fit individual aged 25. What are the odds of the general population though, the infirm, overweight, chronically ill? If anything, I'd suspect the health officials are trying to keep it down so as not to scare the public.

That doesn't mean I'm about to quit my job and retreat to a log cabin in the woods but I do perceive swine flu as a significant threat right now. Not so much to me personally but my two elderly grandmothers and my brother, who is disabled and suffers from immunodeficiency. In the event of a major flu outbreak their chances wouldn't be all that great. Especially if the health services become overburdened and one could no longer rely on prompt and proper medical assistance.

So it's really not just an academic issue to me. I very much hope the swine flu doesn't get any worse but I still see it as a substantial danger to some of the people I care about. Whether I can do anything about it is a different question. Maybe not as interesting as bracing myself for a zombie invasion but it strikes uncomfortably close to heart nonetheless.

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