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Is it time to start worrying about the 'bird flu?'

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by N8 v2.0, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. N8 v2.0

    N8 v2.0 Not the sharpest tool in the shed

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    Bush Outlines $7.1B Flu-Fighting Strategy
    Nov 01 11:23 AM US/Eastern
    LAURAN NEERGAARD
    AP Medical Writer



    WASHINGTON

    President Bush outlined a $7.1 billion strategy Tuesday to prepare for the danger of a pandemic influenza outbreak, saying he wanted to stockpile enough vaccine to protect 20 million Americans against the current strain of bird flu.

    The president also said the United States must approve liability protection for the makers of lifesaving vaccines. He said the number of American vaccine manufacturers has plummeted because the industry has been hit with a flood of lawsuits.

    Bush said no one knows when or where a deadly strain of flu will strike but "at some point we are likely to face another pandemic."

    The president, in a speech at the National Institutes of Health, said the United States must be prepared to detect outbreaks anywhere in the world, stockpile vaccines and anti-viral drugs and be ready to respond at the federal, state and local levels in the event a pandemic reaches the United States.

    Bush outlined a strategy that would cost $7.1 billion including:

    _$1.2 billion for the government to buy enough doses of the vaccine against the current strain of bird flu to protect 20 million Americans; the administration wants to have sufficient vaccine for front-line emergency personnel and at-risk populations, including military personnel;

    _$1 billion to stockpile more anti-viral drugs that lessen the severity of the flu symptoms;

    _$2.8 billion to speed the development of vaccines as new strains emerge, a process that now takes months;

    _$583 million for states and local governments to prepare emergency plans to respond to an outbreak. ​

    Bush said a pandemic flu would be far more serious than the seasonal flu that makes hundreds of thousands of people sick ever year and sends people to their doctors for a flu shot. "I had mine," Bush said. Unlike seasonal flu, pandemic flu can kill people who are young and healthy as well as those who are frail and sick, he said.

    In asking Congress for money to buy vaccine, Bush said the vaccine "would not be a perfect match to the pandemic flu because the pandemic strain would probably differ somewhat from the avian flu virus it grew from. But a vaccine against the current avian flu virus would likely offer some protection against a pandemic strain and possibly save many lives in the first critical months of an outbreak."

    He also said the United States was increasing stockpiles of antiviral drugs, such as Tamiflu and Relenza. Such drugs cannot prevent people from catching the flu, but they can reduce the severity of the illness when taken within 48 hours of getting sick, he said.

    "At this moment there is no pandemic influenza in the United States or the world, but if history is our guide there's reason to be concerned," Bush said. "In the last century, our country and the world have been hit by three influenza pandemics, and viruses from birds contributed to all of them."

    He pointed out that the 1918 pandemic killed over a half million Americans and more than 20 million people across the globe. "One-third of the U.S. population was infected, and life expectancy in our country was reduced by 13 years.

    "The 1918 pandemic was followed by pandemics in 1957 and 1968, which killed tens of thousands of Americans and millions across the world," Bush said.

    Bird flu has been documented in Asia and has spread to Europe but has not reached the United States, the president said. "Our country has been given fair warning of this danger to our homeland and time to prepare," he said.

    Bush said the cornerstone of his strategy was to develop new technologies to produce new vaccines quickly. "If a pandemic strikes, our country must have a surge capacity in place that will allow us to bring a new vaccine online quickly and manufacture enough to immunize every American against the pandemic strain," Bush said.

    The principal goal of Bush's plan, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt said, "is the capacity for every American to have a vaccine in the case of a pandemic, no matter what the virus is." "There is no reason to believe that in the next day or two or week or month that that's going to occur," Leavitt said on CBS's "The Early Show." But he added that "we do need to be ready in case it begins to mutate into a human transmissable disease."

    Pandemics strike when the easy-to-mutate influenza virus shifts to a strain that people have never experienced before, something that has happened three times in the last century. While it is impossible to say when the next super-flu will strike, concern is growing that the bird flu strain known as H5N1 could trigger one if it mutates to start spreading easily among people. Since 2003, at least 62 people in Southeast Asia have died from H5N1; most regularly handled poultry.

    The nation's strategy starts with attempting to spot an outbreak abroad early and working to contain it before it reaches the United States.

    Today, most of the world's vaccine against regular winter flu, including much of that used by Americans each flu season, is manufactured in factories in Britain and Europe.

    The government already has ordered $162.5 million worth of vaccine to be made and stockpiled against the Asian bird flu, more than half to be made in a U.S. factory.

    But the administration plan, to be released in more detail on Wednesday, calls for more than stockpiling shots. It will stress a new method of manufacturing flu vaccines _ growing the virus to make them in easy-to-handle cell cultures instead of today's cumbersome process that uses millions of chicken eggs _ as well as incentives for new U.S.-based vaccine factories to open.

    Such steps will take several years to implement, but the hope is that eventually they could allow production of enough vaccine to go around within six months of a pandemic's start.
     
    #1 -   Nov 1, 2005

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  2. Tenchiro

    Tenchiro Attention K Mart Shoppers

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    Heh, for a disease that has killed less than 100 (mostly elderlyand very young) people in the last two years, they sure are going nuts...

    :rolleyes:
     
    #2 -   Nov 1, 2005
  3. chicodude

    chicodude The Spooninator

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    You gotta keep the people scared.


    Scared people don't question stuff.
     
    #3 -   Nov 1, 2005
  4. PsychO!1

    PsychO!1 Monkey

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    by the time it spreads and kills a thousand it will be too late to keep it from killing hundreds of thousands unless we plan for it.
     
    #4 -   Nov 1, 2005
  5. Tenchiro

    Tenchiro Attention K Mart Shoppers

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    The only people it will kill are the very old, very young and otherwise infirmed, just like every other normal flu.

    Remember SARS?
     
    #5 -   Nov 1, 2005
  6. douglas

    douglas Chocolate Milk Doug

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    wasnt that suppose to kill me 2 or 3 years ago?
     
    #6 -   Nov 1, 2005
  7. robdamanii

    robdamanii OMG! <3 Tom Brady!

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    Out of my mind, back in a moment.
    It's just like the shark scares every summer. The news grabs ahold of it and tries to scare the hell out of the general public to get ratings.

    I hate the mainstream news channels. They are all nothing but a bunch of frauds and fearmongers.
     
    #7 -   Nov 1, 2005
  8. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    While I agree that this is probably blown out of proportion, it is better that something is being done... or should the elderly, young, and otherwise infirmed simply be considered expendable?
     
    #8 -   Nov 1, 2005
  9. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    At least the elderly. The should run PSAs during Matlock telling people that driving slow in the left lane will give you the bird flu.
     
    #9 -   Nov 1, 2005
  10. Tenchiro

    Tenchiro Attention K Mart Shoppers

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    You mean besides taking the standard precautions that will prevent most sicknesses, if you are in a risk group?
     
  11. Tenchiro

    Tenchiro Attention K Mart Shoppers

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    :thumb:Half the population of Seattle would be dead, if that were the case.
     
  12. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    So you're suggesting that some precautions are sufficient replacement for the development and stockpiling of a vaccine?

    :rolleyes: I know I'm not supposed to go stomping around in piles of dirty metal, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't get a tetanus (sp?) vaccine. Avoiding major risk sources isn't exactly a guaranteed way to avoid the problem.

    Especially considering this country's cavalier attitude towards sickness - nobody thinks about infecting other people, they just go about their daily business.
     
  13. H8R

    H8R Cranky Pants

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    Wait, what if the terrorists related to 9/11 in Iraq get a hold of the bird flu and use it against us?

    :eek:
     
  14. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    All I see are old people. Seriously every where I go there are throngs of wrinkled old confused people milling around with seemingly no direction. There really can't be that many old people, I think the undead have started to rise.
     
  15. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    I can see it now. Terrorists crash a 747 full of chickens into Washington DC.
     
  16. Tenchiro

    Tenchiro Attention K Mart Shoppers

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    Why stockpile a vaccine that wouldn't match the virus?

     
  17. luken8r

    luken8r Monkey

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    its working
    i was at target last week getting some kleenex, vitimins, and various other stuff. at the checkout the cashier who was probably in her 50s, typical housewife working just to keep busy. was trying to make small talk. she says something inane like "oh, kleenex is so expensive" or something and i go "yeah, the stores need to stock up before teh bird flu hits"
    she turns ghost white, stops dead and with a petrified stare goes "oh my gosh, no one around here has it, do they?"
    i just kinda giggle and go, "thank you"; grab my stuff and leave :D
     
  18. robdamanii

    robdamanii OMG! <3 Tom Brady!

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    Crates of chickens sent to Tom Brokaw?
     
  19. firetoole

    firetoole duch bag

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    Wooo Tulips!!!!
    why don't we just kill all the birds??????



    doesn't matter to me I will be one of the first to get the vaccine..... suckers:eviltongu
     
  20. TN

    TN Hey baby, want a hot dog?

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    its in Canada now. i knew those canadians humped geese!
     
  21. firetoole

    firetoole duch bag

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    Wooo Tulips!!!!
    those C-nucks need to keep their legs closed and stop getting diseases
     
  22. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Monkey

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    When is the airborne ebola supposed to be coming around?
     
  23. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    If it's a particularly virulent strain, like the Spanish Flu, otherwise healthy adults will die. The estimate from that breakout in 1918 was 50 million. And they weren't all elderly or infants.

    It's still *very* dramatic, though - and that's why it's all the rage in the media outlets.

    If it makes the jump to easy human-human transition, we may be screwed in a big way. Just as likely is that it never makes the transition and it just fizzles out.

    Since there's nothing I can do about it, I'd just as soon not bother with thinking too much about it. Sort of like if a meteor was going to strike the earth. <shrug>
     
  24. firetoole

    firetoole duch bag

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    Wooo Tulips!!!!

    Run for your lives!!!!!
     
  25. oly

    oly skin cooker for the hive

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    Bait and switch. We gotta be worried about other things than terrists... Since uncle B isnt doing such a good job...
     
  26. BMXman

    BMXman I wish I was Canadian

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    there it is in a nutshell....D
     
  27. Changleen

    Changleen Paranoid Member

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    Pharmaceutical lobby had nothing to do with that, I'm positive...
     
  28. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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  29. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    A fine distractionary topic. Should we file this next to "going to mars".
     
  30. Cooter Brown

    Cooter Brown Turbo Monkey

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    I want to know why they are only planning for 20 million doses. Aren't there ~300 million 'muricans?
     
  31. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    Only the ones that need it will get it. 20 million is probably all that the money will buy. :p
     
  32. Cooter Brown

    Cooter Brown Turbo Monkey

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    yeah, and I just found out today that our "normal" flu shots have been delayed another 2 weeks here at work. Should get them the week of thanksgiving now
     
  33. berkshire_rider

    berkshire_rider Growler

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  34. Tenchiro

    Tenchiro Attention K Mart Shoppers

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    I need that job...
     
  35. SK6

    SK6 Turbo Monkey

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    Shut up and ride...

    :think: Makes you wonder what's REALLY going on...
     
  36. luken8r

    luken8r Monkey

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    my prediction is the media frenzy will kick into high gear around thanksgiving. picture the lead item in the 6:00 news:

    "Is YOUR Thanksgiving turkey safe"
    "Can your turkey KILL YOU? Stay tuned"
     
  37. Mackie

    Mackie Monkey

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    Well, all of you nay-sayers. it looks like bird flu has hit Europe, and it went right for a major US interest there. Where could it strike next......Sesame Street!?!?!
     

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  38. Tenchiro

    Tenchiro Attention K Mart Shoppers

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    I don't think there is any big conspiracy, it is just that "Pandemic" is a really cool buzzword for the media. Much like the SARS and Shark attack scares before it.

    At least SARS killed like eight hundred people before the media jumped all over it. H5N1 has only killed 62 people in the lst couple of years. At leas according to the WHO.

    Cumulative Number of Confirmed Human Cases of Avian Influenza A/(H5N1) Reported to WHO
     
  39. stevew

    stevew unique white person

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    Is there anyone on the other side of the aisle saying we do not need to do it?

    Or that we are not spending enough money?
     
  40. luken8r

    luken8r Monkey

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    haha 62 out of 122 confirmed dead in these backwater SE Asia countries where a doctor's office is just a figment from Charlie Round Eye.
    look, im shaking :dancing: