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Don't ignore Swine Flu risks
Some of you were blowing off the swine flu threat in another thread so I thought I'd point out a few things you may not know. This illness is not one to blow off as media hysteria and hype. You need to do more research. I learned the following from an expert in bioterrorism. I am taking the swine flu threat seriously and I hope you will too. This virus may resurface next year as a deadly pandemic. At the moment I am not wearing face masks or being overly paranoid, but I've told the husband to disinfect his hands before entering the house since he regularly goes to high schools during his recruiting work. A few extra precautions is probably good enough for now but if the virus jumps to birds or other migratory animals we may be in for a bad outbreak. I think we'll dodge the bullet this time but I know there's a risk the virus will resurface. If it does, we need to take it more seriously.


1. The often quoted number of 36,000 flu deaths per year is most likely over stated since the source study (which I am sure you read) includes pneumonia and a few other illnesses. The actual number of flu deaths may is probably closer to 10-25% of this value.

2. Assuming even the ceiling of 36,000 is true, the death to infection rate is about 0.07%, which is significant considering how many people get infected, but small rate.

3. With the current swine flue, the death/ratio is 22/568 or about 3%, which is about 50 times higher. At this rate, you would expect about 2 million deaths, or one out of every 200 man, woman, or child would perish.

Granted, the exact kill ratio is not well known, since the statistics are not large enough to ensure accuracy. However, this number is consistent with previous swine flues.

4. We are also past the normal flu season. Weather makes people more susceptible. This is a fortunate break since it mitigates the damage. If this virus goes dormant and resurfaces next year in the proper time, the results could easily become disastrous.

5. This flu seems to have the ability to jump from swine to humans to back to swine again. This feature is unusual. If it maintains this ability with its avian component, it has the potential to spread at an alarming rate.

So, just for thought, this flu is not really a laughing matter. It is in the early stages and will most likely grow worse as it spreads--- especially in the face of remarkably bad policy of no serious containment practice in the United States. Even if the bullet is dodged this year, in 2010 has the chance to be unbelievably deadly.

For added thought, the assumed poor conditions of Mexican hospitals is often sited as the reason for their higher mortality rate compared to the United States. Whether true or not, clinically speaking, there is often not a great deal that can be done to treat a virus. This is not a bacteria, so antibiotics do not work. Some treatments can reduce the time of the flu, and perhaps limit its damage. That said, it is not even clear if the US patients have received any of these drugs.
Edited by RayvenAlandria on 05/04/2009 05:48
I agree that flu isn't funny...but the idiots in the media and elsewhere that are hyping this as the next "Black Death!!!!" can only be laughed at.

And for balance, here is some more info on this flu:


First, here's my scientist's take on it: Influenza is part of the human condition. Hundreds of thousands of Americans get the flu every year, and we've just about all had it more than once. It's a drag, but it's no big deal. You stay home for a few days then you're over it.

Now, the CDC reports variously that something on the order of 40,000 deaths in the U.S. are caused by influenza every year. That's actually debatable, on a couple of grounds. There's hardly ever any confirmation that people actually had influenza: they might have had some other viral illness.

Death statistics actually say "influenza or pneumonia," and there are more than 60,000 deaths listed in that category, and they more or less guesstimate how many were really influenza. But most of those people were old and debilitated, or their immune systems were compromised, so the cause of death listed on the death certificate is misleading.

Tragically, however, around 150 children in the U.S. die each year from complications of influenza. As with the shark attacks, occasionally the media notices one of these deaths, and there's a big freak-out for no good reason. It happens, that's all.

Once we get past perinatal deaths and deaths from congenital conditions, the leading cause of death for children in the U.S. is motor vehicle crashes (7,677 in 2003). The second leading cause? Murder (3,001). So influenza isn't exactly a major scourge of children.

As of now, there is no evidence that this new strain of H1N1 flu is any more dangerous than ordinary flu. Evidently the Mexican authorities thought it might be, but it is not clear why. It has not been reported that there was an unusual number of people showing up in Mexican hospitals with flu until after the government whipped up major publicity about the outbreak, nor is there any evidence as yet that the fatality rate from this strain was unusually high in Mexico. It definitely is not anywhere else.

In Mexico, and all over the world, the amount and nature of flu activity at this moment is completely normal. The number of cases is not unusual, and the number of severe cases or fatalities is not unusual. The only thing that's unusual is that laboratory analysis identifies the strain of flu that some people have as a novel one. That's all.

It really is hard to know what is really going on most of the time when you have news organizations you can't trust. Everybody jumps on the bandwagon with minimal information and they hype the shit out of it for no reason other than viewership.

I surfed past one local Boston station last night that was doing a roundup of infections in New England: "Three infections have been confirmed in Maine, two in Kennebunk and one in Lewiston. All the victims are recovering." Three people in Maine had the flu and they're all getting better now? This is news? How about "J.B. McPheeters, of Bar Harbor, recently purchased three pairs of underwear?" That would seem to be of approximately equal general interest.

Read the whole article. Flu can be very serious to the young and elderly, but good hygiene is the best defense we have. Just don't lose any sleep over it.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
This type of flu is deadly to everyone, even the young and healthy. Our immune system over reacts to it because it's new to us and we burn out our organs trying to fight it. People tend to think the flu is no big deal and forget that the spanish flu killed millions of people during that outbreak.

If the outbreak is contained this will fade away. If it is not taken seriously and contained it will be catastrophic. If it resurfaces during next year's flu season or takes hold in a region that is in flu season at the moment, we're in for a mess and there will be massive death rates. There will then be complications due to the high death rate. (Where do you put a million dead bodies?) Secondary diseases will spread due to unsanitary conditions.

I do agree the media will hype stuff up for ratings but this flu and the bird flu will be deadly pandemics which will change our lives if they ever take a firm hold in a large population. They should not be blown off.

Like I said, it's not yet time for us to start wearing face masks but we need to take a few precautions like getting in the habit of disinfecting our hands. We're over crowded and germs spread too easily in our society, it's a good habit to get into anyway. Do small things like use sanitizer on the shopping cart handle when you go grocery shopping, stuff like that. People in this country think nothing of going out in public when they are sick, it's irresponsible and stupid. Our *normal* habits need to change.

BTW, alternet is not a source to put much stock in. They are a liberal activist site, they are not an unbiased news source. They have more propaganda and hype than Fox news, it's just of the other extreme. (Well, maybe not as biased as Fox news, but they are not far from it).
Edited by RayvenAlandria on 05/04/2009 13:26
RayvenAlandria wrote:
This type of flu is deadly to everyone, even the young and healthy.

From the CDC website

How severe is illness associated with this new H1N1 virus?
Itís not known at this time how severe this virus will be in the general population. CDC is studying the medical histories of people who have been infected with this virus to determine whether some people may be at greater risk from infection, serious illness or hospitalization from the virus. In seasonal flu, there are certain people that are at higher risk of serious flu-related complications. This includes young children, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions and people 65 and older. Itís unknown at this time whether certain groups of people are at greater risk of serious flu-related complications from infection with this new virus. CDC also is conducting laboratory studies to see if certain people might have natural immunity to this virus, depending on their age.

I should just leave this alone, but for some reason the over-the-top fearmongering I've heard this week has really gotten to me.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
Do more research.

Here, I'll help you get started.
I've been asked to edit the above URL to point to http://www.medcko...
Edited by Skeeve on 10/02/2013 21:18
Some 40+ years ago I walked past what had been an EBMUD (East Bay Municipal Utilities District) office at Shattuck and University in Berkeley. There was in the window a picture of the office circa 1919 with all the counter personal wearing masks. That pandemic killed more people than world war 1. I have no clue as to whether or not this flu will be as bad, neither right now does anyone else. Caution is appropriate for the time being.
Edited by JohnH on 05/04/2009 22:37
RayvenAlandria wrote:
Do more research.

Here, I'll help you get started.


I use CDC and you direct me to a wiki site? Is the CDC a biased source?

The link btw really doesn't reference H1N1 but previous strains of avian/swine flu's.

I'll stick with the CDC as my source of up-to-date information about this strain of H1N1:



Transmission of swine-origin influenza A(H1N1) is being studied as part of the ongoing outbreak investigation, but limited data available indicate that this virus is transmitted in ways similar to other influenza viruses. Seasonal human influenza viruses are spread from person to person primarily through large-particle respiratory droplet transmission (e.g., when an infected person coughs or sneezes near a susceptible person). Transmission via large-particle droplets requires close contact between source and recipient persons, because droplets do not remain suspended in the air and generally travel only a short distance (<1 meter) through the air. Contact with respiratory-droplet contaminated surfaces is another possible source of transmission. Because data from swine-origin influenza viruses are limited, the potential for ocular, conjunctival, or gastrointestinal infection is unknown. Since this is a novel influenza A virus in humans, transmission from infected persons to close contacts might be common. All respiratory secretions and bodily fluids (diarrheal stool) of swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) cases should be considered potentially infectious.
Incubation period

The estimated incubation period is unknown and could range from 1-7 days, and more likely 1-4 days.
Persons with confirmed Swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus infection

A confirmed case of S-OIV infection is defined as a person with an acute febrile respiratory illness with laboratory confirmed S-OIV infection at CDC by one or more of the following tests:

1. real-time RT-PCR
2. viral culture

Case definitions for Probable and Suspected cases can be found at: http://www.cdc.go...ineflu.htm

Clinicians should suspect swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) in persons with an acute febrile respiratory illness who

* Have had close contact with a person who is a swine-origin influenza confirmed case or
* Traveled to a community in the United States or internationally where there are one or more confirmed swine-origin influenza cases (Updated information about areas with confirmed human cases of swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) can be found at http://www.cdc.go...tion.htm.) or
* Reside in a community where there are one or more confirmed swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) cases.

Clinical Findings

Patients with uncomplicated disease due to confirmed swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have experienced fever, headache, upper respiratory tract symptoms (cough, sore throat, rhinorrhea), myalgia, fatigue, vomiting, or diarrhea.

There is insufficient information to date about clinical complications of this variant of swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus infection. Among persons infected with previous variants of swine influenza virus, clinical syndromes have ranged from mild respiratory illness, to lower respiratory tract illness, dehydration, or pneumonia. Deaths caused by previous variants of swine influenza have occasionally occurred. Although data on the spectrum of illness is not yet available for this new variant of swine-origin influenza A(H1N1), clinicians should expect complications to be similar to seasonal influenza: exacerbation of underlying chronic medical conditions, upper respiratory tract disease (sinusitis, otitis media, croup) lower respiratory tract disease (pneumonia, bronchiolitis, status asthmaticus), cardiac (myocarditis, pericarditis), musculoskeletal (myositis, rhabdomyolysis), neurologic (acute and post-infectious encephalopathy, encephalitis, febrile seizures, status epilepticus), toxic shock syndrome, and secondary bacterial pneumonia with or without sepsis.
Groups at high risk for complications

There are insufficient data available at this point to determine who is at higher risk for complications of swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus infection. At this time, the same age and risk groups who are at higher risk for seasonal influenza complications should also beconsidered at higher risk for swine-origin influenza complications .

Groups at higher risk for seasonal influenza complications include:

* Children less than 5 years old;
* Persons aged 50 years or older;
* Children and adolescents (aged 6 monthsĖ18 years) who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy and who might be at risk for experiencing Reye syndrome after influenza virus infection;
* Pregnant women;

* Adults and children who have chronic pulmonary, cardiovascular, hepatic, hematological, neurologic, neuromuscular, or metabolic disorders;
* Adults and children who have immunosuppression (including immunosuppression caused by medications or by HIV);
* Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities.

As you can see, when I spoke about this flu, I wasn't just going "from the gut", I used one of the agencies at the forefront identifying and controlling this current version.

ETA: This can change as more data is gathered, but preliminary studies don't project it.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
I linked you to a site which had a definition of a cytokine storm. I've never used that site before, I just googled "cytokine Storm" because you don't seem to understand how and why healthy adults could be killed by flu viruses they have no immunity to.

If you don't like that site then google "cytokine storm" yourself. Like I said, do more research.

Whether this particular strain will turn out to be as bad of a killer as the pandemic of 1918, we don't know yet, I'm just trying to show you that the possibility exists and that maybe you should stop blowing it off. You're the owner of a website and people may read what you write and behave in irresponsible ways because you convinced them it's all hype.

Your prejudices against the media and authority figures may be clouding your judgment. Yeah, I hate the media too and I do agree they hype everything up for ratings, but in the case of swine and bird flu (and ebola, marsburg etc...) the risks are real.

We have overcrowded this planet and there will be pandemics. Not might be, WILL be. It's just a matter of time. Hopefully this strain will not become a deadly pandemic, but it could if we ignore it.
Oh BTW, the part you underlined in your post mentions toxic shock syndrome.

Guess what that is?


If you didn't know what a cytokine storm was then you do not know enough to form an educated opinion about the subject.
It should be noted that the 1918-1919 pandemic first was noted in spring of 1918 in the US. The possibilities of the current flu coming back in the fall in the northern hemisphere much more virulent should not be ignored.

I will agree with you Skeeve that the press may have overblown the threat. The right wing press has in fact used this flu for their own perverted reasons. I, however, will also agree with RA that conditions world wide for a potentially disastrous epidemic exist. I will personally be cautious about going out if ill or when in the presence of someone who is clearly ill.

As an aside the probable ground zero for this flu is near an industrial hog farm run by Smithfield. There are good reasons to be against industrial animal husbandry and this is another one of them.
RayvenAlandria wrote:
This type of flu is deadly to everyone, even the young and healthy.

Except its not.

As the CDC link shows.

As for the overactive immune system that forgets to turn itself off when confronted with a new strain...look up the statistics of its occurrence and get back to us. (Yes, I did look farther than your wiki link...guess where? The CDC!)

This is a really silly thread.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
I never said you needed to freak out and start wearing chemgear and facemasks, I said you should take a few precautions, like washing your hands. We have no idea at this point if this strain will develop into a deadly one, I said it has the potential and you should not blow things like this off and behave irresponsibly. People should educate themselves so they better understand viruses and get a clear idea of why certain strains, like avian and swine flu are such a threat.

I am hoping this particular strain is weak, this would be wonderful because some people will develop immunity and we can harvest that immunity and create vaccines for those of us who were not exposed. That is modern science in action and it's awesome.

When the avian or swine flu are detected in humans we don't need to totally freak out but we need to understand how serious these strains can be and take some logical precautions, like washing hands and staying away from work/school/the public if we're sick. If everyone behaves responsibly a full blown pandemic will not happen. It will be contained and squelched before the shit hits the fan. That's what is happening now, The CDC got on the ball, (for a change), and locked this sucker down while they studied the strain to see if it was a deadly variant or not. That was very responsible of them and I am glad they did so. If they keep handling outbreaks like that, they can prevent a global disaster if a deadly strain hits the general public.

That is why we should not blow off reports of avian or swine flu when they happen. Take them seriously, take logical precautions, and an outbreak will be contained.

Here are a few sites worth looking at. There are many more, but these can get a person started if they genuinely want to know more about the issue. Those who care enough to educate themselves might not consider this thread "silly" and will use these links to learn more about viruses, how they work, and how our immune system works. It's interesting stuff and worth learning.








It IS silly, you two are bitching about the same damn thing! You are a site owner and moderator. Get off your high horses already! We know this is a problem and we each have to take it in our own hands and deal with it our own way.

ME, I am purposely trying to get this virus. Simply to test out my immune system. I just don't have time or the money to hop a plane to Mexico and stay for a week. I have been slammed by H1N2 and H1N3 many a times, which is the normal OR seasonal flu. most people are sick for 3-5 days. My immune system knocks it off in less than 24hrs.
day 1: bones ache, yes BONES ache(not feeling sick)
day 2: feel like shit
day 3: feel like a million bucks
That's right, I said it...
CD, I hope you're joking. You have a family to think about.
RayvenAlandria wrote:
This type of flu is deadly to everyone, even the young and healthy.

RayvenAlandria wrote:
We have no idea at this point if this strain will develop into a deadly one, I said it has the potential

Which is it?

Do you see why I'm still posting ITT?
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
You are trying to twist my words to justify your attitude. You had your opinion long before I said anything, so stop pretending the only reason you're still posting about the issue is the way I worded one sentence.

This TYPE of flu is deadly to everyone. That is a fact. It can kill anyone, young, old, healthy, or weak. That doesn't mean every single person who contracts this type of flu is going to die, anyone with half a brain could tell that was not what I was trying to imply. It means that this type of flu can kill even healthy adults. That was my point. These strains can be deadly to any of us. That doesn't mean everyone exposed will die and that isn't what I said.

If you want to get overly anal about my wording of one sentence and try to claim that my meaning was something other than what it obviously was you are being purposely obtuse. I'm sure that anyone reading what I wrote understood my meaning. Pulling a sentence out on context and trying to twist it's meaning is deceitful.
RayvenAlandria wrote:
This TYPE of flu is deadly to everyone. That is a fact. It can kill anyone, young, old, healthy, or weak.

First it is, then it isn't, now it is again. Please show me where I've contextually misrepresented what you've typed. You started this thread with the statement:

This type of flu is deadly to everyone, even the young and healthy.

Which is factually incorrect.

Then you switch it up and say:

We have no idea at this point if this strain will develop into a deadly one

I thought it was a deadly one?

And now we're back to deadly again:

This TYPE of flu is deadly to everyone. That is a fact. It can kill anyone, young, old, healthy, or weak.

Why bold/uppercase that word? We've been talking about the same thing this entire time. And it's not a fact.

The very next sentence you contradict the previous:

That doesn't mean every single person who contracts this type of flu is going to die

Then you shouldn't say, "Is deadly to everyone", if it's not.

This is the exact type of information mangling that I was complaining about and making fun of in the other thread.

It means that this type of flu can kill even healthy adults.

Under the right circumstances....almost all of which are the same circumstances that regular flu kills.

anyone with half a brain could tell that was not what I was trying to imply

Personal attack? shame, shame.

Pulling a sentence out on context and trying to twist it's meaning is deceitful.

I've kept everything I've quoted in context, and I haven't twisted any meaning. You typed what you typed. I can't help it if you contradict yourself every other sentence and make claim to "fact" with no citation.

This flu could be deadly to the right person, under the right circumstance. It hasn't shown anywhere that it is nothing more than another strain of normal influenza. All the hype is overblown and doesn't do anything but keep people in fear and force hardships on the population that are unnecessary. Prevention and care are the same as regular influenza. Those in high risks groups are the ones that need to take the most care, as they always should do anyway.

It is disappointing you couldn't keep the name calling out of your post. Sad
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
cheshiredragon wrote:

day 1: bones ache, yes BONES ache(not feeling sick)
day 2: feel like shit
day 3: feel like a million bucks

Ya lucky bastad :lol:

Me yeah I get ache bones then comes the vomioting and sometimes but most often diarrhea. I'm sick for a week at least. The last one I got had me sick as a dyeing dog for 2 freakin weeks. I took a chance on the shot after that and have been pretty well set after getting the flu shot every year. But I rarely do get maybe one really bad virus which now only lasts 24 hours not freaking 1 - 2 weeks of having feever, hot/cold chills, sweats in places I forget I can sweat until I get that. Ugh but now the vomiting if more than 2-3 times gets me in the hospital like it or not or I could go into shock.

I'm with Rayven CD I hope your joking not just because I'm jealous as hell of you right now [j/k] but because you have a family and you're takeing a hell of a risk with your health. Family or not it's no fun being sick and you loose time off work without haveing any fun.

Skeeve, I was not calling you names, I meant that anyone with half a brain could read what I wrote and get my meaning, which means I know you know good and well what my point was. My "half a brain" comment meant that I know you aren't stupid and that you know what I meant by what I said earlier.

The bottom line is, you got annoyed with me so you decided to twist my words and act as though I was saying something I wasn't. It's very clear what I was saying. I never said "Oh My Gawdfairy! yerrr all gonna diiiiiiieeee!

I said take rare strains seriously when they hit the general public and take a few extra precautions, like washing your hands more often.

geez, chill out and stop being so difficult. My telling people to research the flu virus more and take the threat seriously does not mean I am telling people to freak out barricade themselves in their houses. It means I'd like people to behave responsibly and put forth a little effort to stop the spread of illness.

Truthfully, people should get in the habit of washing and avoiding the spread of germs at all times, not just when swine or avian flu break loose. Some of you may not get very sick when you catch a virus, but others of us get seriously ill from things like the flu and colds. My immune system is hyper reactive, when I get a frikkin' cold I am knocked for a loop. I'll be in bed half dead, just from a dumb cold. If people would take a few extra precautions in public, people like me and Sinny would suffer less illness. It doesn't take much effort to care about your fellow humans and be courteous. If you shake hands with someone who's ill, go wash your hands so you don't spread the virus to a weakling like me. It's not asking too much and it's not some huge sacrifice for you to make.

Edited by Sinny on 07/20/2009 17:52
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