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#53371 - 11/07/05 09:28 PM Should be in LTS, But...
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
We don't have an LTS forum here (yet).

OK, first a little "outing" of myself. I may be the only person who's been looking at this bird flu stuff as kind of a background issue - I think it's because we have no practical means of watching broadcast television media in this house (as in No Cable, Sattelite or installed broadcast antenna) so I probobly have missed a long parade of hysterical news reporters on this subject.

That said, of course, I've seen the news reports online and heard on the radio about this...but since the 1918 and even the 1960s, we've seen a pretty darn vast improvement in medical technology. Is this a "pandemic" or will it be just a purge of the very poor?



http://www.cnn.com/2005/HEALTH/conditions/11/07/bird.flu.who.ap/index.html

GENEVA, Switzerland (AP) -- A deadly new global pandemic of human influenza is inevitable and suffering will be "incalculable" unless the world is ready, the chief of the U.N. health agency said Monday. The World Bank put the possible economic cost at a minimum of $800 billion.

"We have been experiencing a relentless spread of avian flu" among migratory birds and domestic poultry, Lee Jong-wook, director-general of the World Health Organization told a meeting of 600 health experts and planners, the first attempt to devise a global strategy in case the bird flu virus changes to transmit easily among humans.

Lee stressed that a human flu pandemic has yet to begin anywhere in the world.

"However, the signs are clear that is coming," he said, noting that a changed avian flu virus caused the deadly "Spanish" flu pandemic that killed tens of millions of people in 1918-1919.

Already the virulent H5N1 strain of avian flu, which appeared in Hong Kong in 1997, is killing birds in 15 countries of Europe and Asia, he said."

Whole article at CNN.

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#53372 - 11/08/05 03:52 AM Re: Should be in LTS, But...
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Like you, I don't have TV. I don't even take a newspaper. What little I've seen is on a quick break at work. And what the news media puts out is ... um... well, probably it could best be described as fear-mongering: lots of speculation, few facts.

From the report at the site that PaulK posted in the Survival Forum (http://www.bmonesbittburns.com/economics/reports/20051011/dont_fear_fear.pdf ), I don't think it's a "purge of the poor" as much as it is simple shortsightedness and lack of preparation. The U.S. doesn't have any place in this country that produces vaccines, it's all foreign-made. And the few places (6) that do make vaccines simply aren't capable of producing large amounts of vaccine in a short period of time.

That report says it takes approx. 6 months to produce a certain flu vaccine, and the producers aren't capable of grossly upsizing production for at least a year if they started today (which I'm sure they aren't). So, I can't see any way that the production capacity could keep up with the spread of the disease if a pandemic started tomorrow.

And the places that make the meds (Tamiflu & .. Relenza?) can't make enough fast enough, either. I'm not even sure that they know if it's effective enough, or would be administered quickly enough, to do what would be required on a worldwide basis. The disease is reported to hit fast and hard. Would it be diagnosed fast enough to make the medication effective?

And there is another problem that my cynical self foresees: If the disease mutates as they think it might, and obviously starts to spread, how are businesses going to react to it? Do you think they will insist that if any of their workers feel ill they must not come to work? Do most of the American wage-earners feel that they have enough of a financial cushion to stay home if they're not absolutely, positively certain that they have the disease? Will unecessary businesses voluntarily close down to prevent the spread of the disease?

My personal opinion would be No, No, and No. America's god is money. Greed runs the country. It doesn't matter if greed-induced decisions kill the workers, kill the company and cause a worldwide economic depression.

If you haven't read that report, you probably should. Even if not wholly accurate in its predictions, it's still an interesting read. And it starts at the beginning, and follows the problem quite logically, I thought.

Sue

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#53373 - 11/08/05 02:08 PM Re: Should be in LTS, But...
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm responsible for emergency planning for a organization that has 250+ employees and 12 remote sites plus a central admin office. We provide homes and services for developmentally challenged individuals. We are grappling right now with what to do if one site becomes infected. Many of our staff work multiple sites, and we are just now coming to terms with the idea of having to restrict staff that have worked at infected sites to work at only those sites. This is a pandora's box if ever there was one, but we must and will come to terms with it. Our goal is to create policies that ensure the mimimum number of people are exposed.

In our case, we cannot simply close up shop if a pandemic occurs. And, there are lots of other issues to consider as well. How do you move food and medications to these sites? What happens if the heating system at one of these sites breaks down, where do you find a technician willing to risk his life to enter such a site? The questions go on and on.

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#53374 - 11/08/05 03:35 PM Re: Should be in LTS, But...
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Well, I think service personell of all kinds should be looking into biohazard suits. You gotta keep the heat on, and there's not exactly a shortage of ways to "suit up" to go into a hazard zone and work.

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#53375 - 11/08/05 03:46 PM Re: Should be in LTS, But...
Anonymous
Unregistered


You're right Martin, but how many service personnel have even thought this out. I don't know a single service tech that is perpared to deal with biohazzard situations. It's an area that will require a lot more research. In the end, we may have to purchase our own biohazzard suits, but I doubt we'll find many tech willing to take the risk even with a suit. Seems there might be a market out there for preparedness training and supplies for service techs of all kinds.

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#53376 - 11/08/05 04:39 PM Re: Should be in LTS, But...
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Oh, then start buying 3M stock NOW...their 95N masks are a hot item and they make all sorts fo biohazard gear.

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#53377 - 11/08/05 06:52 PM Re: Should be in LTS, But...
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Speaking as an IT monkey who occasionally roams, I see a quarentine sign and I am gone.

_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#53378 - 11/09/05 03:06 AM Re: Should be in LTS, But...
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
"...but how many service personnel have even thought this out."

I don't know for certain that the company I work for is actually preparing for this particular scenario, but the timing is suspicious. They are hiring a lot of on-call people, and training existing employees for other jobs as well as their own.

And what kind of necessary service company is this, that would be serving the community in the teeth of an epidemic?

Ta Da!

A casino!

(Don't you just love it?!)

Sue

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#53379 - 11/09/05 05:11 AM Re: Should be in LTS, But...
Anonymous
Unregistered


Gotta keep the wheels of commerce and industry turning. Sounds like casino management is way ahead of the rest of the commercial world in preparedness. Makes you wonder doesn't it.

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#53380 - 11/10/05 02:48 AM Re: Should be in LTS, But...
brandtb Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/26/04
Posts: 268
Loc: S.E. Pennsylvania
I am of two minds on the avian flu. On the one hand, I see it as the most important threat we face today. On the other hand, I'm getting tired of the media "Crisis of the Day" mentality we see on CNN, Fox, CBS, etc.

From what I've been able to distill from news reports, there is little we can do, other than (1) prophylactic measures, such as hand-washing, masks, general health sleep/vitamin/exercise, or (2) bugging out for six months to our mountain hideaway.

All this being said, WHEN (not if) the avian flu hits, millions of people will die, and the economy will take a multi-billion dollar hit.

I first heard about this threat seven or eight years ago. Not in some esoteric scientific journal, but in the Reader's Digest. Both the Clinton and the Bush administrations have pi$$ed away whatever lead time we had to build up out ability to respond to the threat. We rely on an antiquated system to produce vaccines, and we have no capacity to deal with the respiratory complications this plague will inflict upon us.
_________________________
Brian Brandt

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