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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

Avian Flu Alarm Increases.

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John L. View Drop Down
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    Posted: November 18 2017 at 2:49am
Very bad news.  H7N9 is quickly adapting, to stalk all of US.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/17/health/bird-flu-asia.html

Bird Flu Is Spreading in Asia, Experts (Quietly) Warn

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Doctors attended to a H7N9 bird flu patient in Wuhan, China, in February. The country has been experiencing a “fifth wave” of flu since October 2016. Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

While trying to avoid alarmism, global health agencies are steadily ratcheting up concern about bird flu in Asia. Bird viruses that can infect humans — particularly those of the H7N9 strain — continue to spread to new cities there.

Since October 2016, China has seen a “fifth wave” of H7N9 infections. Nearly 1,600 people have tested positive, almost 40 percent of whom have died.

Most had been exposed to live poultry, but a small number of clusters suggest that the virus could be passing from person to person.

In September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention summarized some disturbing developments. The H7N9 virus had become lethal to birds, which made it potentially more dangerous to people but also easier to spot.

And the virus had split into two lineages — called Yangtze and Pearl, after the river deltas in which each was spreading — complicating efforts to make vaccines.

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In October, the World Health Organization put out an update citing new cases of H7N9 infection as cold weather set in and noting that poultry farmers were vaccinating flocks against both this virus and other strains.

At about the same time, a well-known virologist at the University of Wisconsin — Madison showed that a Chinese H7N9 strain could both kill ferrets and be transmitted between them.

Because ferrets suffer roughly the same effects from flu that humans do, the development was “not good for public health,” said the virologist, Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka.

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Many microbiologists consider influenza to be the virus most likely to start a pandemic that kills millions, as the 1918 Spanish flu did. But the flu is notoriously unpredictable. Public health experts have become wary about raising alarms over new strains because the grave predictions made in 2005 and 2009 turned out to be overblown.

In 2005, it was feared that the H5N1 avian flu, which killed or forced the culling of millions of chickens and ducks, would mutate and spread widely among humans.

It still circulates, primarily in Egypt and Indonesia, but so far has not become a human epidemic. As of last month, only 860 people in 16 countries had tested positive for the infection. Still, more than half of them died.

And in 2009, a new H1N1 flu virus containing genes from both American and Eurasian pigs emerged in Mexico, prompting scary “swine flu” headlines and the declaration of a health emergency.

That virus has now become one of the seasonal flu strains circling the world. It has infected millions but has killed relatively few people.

The 2017-2018 flu season in the United States does not yet seem unusually threatening. But Australia, where winter recently ended, just suffered one of its deadliest outbreaks in a decade, and the H3N2 and B Yamagata strains that dominated there are now the most common ones in the United States.

Flu hospitalizations in this country rarely shoot up before mid-December, and Americans are far more likely than Australians to get flu shots.

John L.
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CRS, DrPH View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2017 at 8:15am
Thanks for sharing!  

The US is woefully unprepared for an emerging avian influenza....when H5N1 didn't emerge, public health lost interest. 

Training has lapsed, equipment (respirators in hospitals etc.) has become outdated, and influenza is not on the radar screens of most. 

Interesting that Kawaoka is playing around with H7N9, if he amplifies the genetics in his lab (which has been reported) and it breaks out, this could be a serious consequence to his academic meddling. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2017 at 9:20am
Originally posted by CRS, DrPH CRS, DrPH wrote:

The US is woefully unprepared for an emerging avian influenza....when H5N1 didn't emerge, public health lost interest.


Exactly right, Chuck. Our biggest downfall will be public apathy, and a misplaced trust in authority to save us. We have such an incredibly short attention span - a three year old could put society at large to shame when it comes to important issues - and for that, the media should take some of the blame. We live our lives blinkered and focusing on soundbites that last a few days or weeks at most, before we move on to the next big thing. Pandemic flu came and went in 2009. Why worry about it all over again when we have TMZ to keep us up to date on the important stuff?

Selling advertising space depends on keeping the public's interest, so the media keep it fresh and rarely revisit without good reason. And we have our collective heads so far up our butts that global societal collapse due to a novel virus is no longer enough reason because, hey - someone will save us like always. FEMA will provide food, scientists will develop vaccines in sufficient quantities, and hospitals will treat the sick without skipping a beat. Why concern ourselves with something that will never happen like Y2K, 2009 H1N1, Ebola?

We'll walk off that cliff and still be waiting for the safety net when we hit bottom. And that first step is going to be a doozy.








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"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2017 at 9:24am
I've seen that picture before, John. It really shows the disconnect between the public's image of the flu - cough, sniffles, a few days off work - and the horror of a pandemic strain that liquefies a victim's lungs and internal organs. Truly fearsome virus.




"Buy it cheap. Stack it deep"
"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2017 at 10:40am
Seems that we could seem some global spread this winter, similar to the rate of SARS.

I agree with Chuck with regard to the U.S. letting its guard down after H5N1 never happened, and then we had swine flu that did the same thing with being mild.  Followed later by the Ebola scare. No matter what happens t this point, pretty sure nobody will take a pandemic threat seriously, and countries will fail to prepare.  The stage is almost set for h7n9 to ravage the world.  

I feel a little responsible at times.  We put the term "pandemic" on the map back in 2005, and we have hyped the pandemic threat a couple times over the last 12 years, and now people are over it, so to speak.  
https://www.facebook.com/Avianflutalk
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2017 at 1:24pm
We're always going to be a fringe minority, A. We can only clue a certain number of people into the enormity of a major pandemic. At least you had the foresight to create this little corner of the internet, and for that I'm grateful


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"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2017 at 2:27pm
Ditto!

Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2017 at 5:22am
Thank you too!  :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jjjjjjjjjjjj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2017 at 10:22am
Your journal continues to lie. You said that delete only duplicate messages
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jjjjjjjjjjjj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2017 at 10:29am
I have suspended cooperation with you until you ask for an apology
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2017 at 2:28pm
Originally posted by Jjjjjjjjjjjj Jjjjjjjjjjjj wrote:

I have suspended cooperation with you until you ask for an apology


Odd request, but okay - I'd like an apology.

All of your new posts get deleted whenever we suspend you. We do that because you set up multiple accounts a day and post the same super immunity nonsense over and over and over. Stop making work for the moderators. Nobody is listening, Rishat.



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"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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