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Swine Fever


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Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Obviously Swine Flu is a major story worldwide as it is plugged as a potential pandemic.  Has anyone any thoughts on this?

Neil Boothman's picture
Neil Boothman
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One thing that bothers me is
One thing that bothers me is that the media have done nothing but carry scare stories, complete with repetitive images of people on buses wearing face-masks, etc. But, information and advice on what steps you can take to reduce the risks and what you should do if you suspect you have contracted the disease in question is very thin on the ground. From what I can remember of the 'Bird Flu' scare, that type of information came out very, very late.
Mauro
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Neil is right in pointing

Neil is right in pointing out that all the news outlet seem concerned with spreading fear and sound advice is in very short supply. The WHO seems also bent spreading terror: they haven't given governments a tiny bit of advice on how to act.
Sadly conspiracy websites were for once the ones giving the soundest advice: avoid crowded areas, avoid travelling on airplanes, trains etc, wash yourself much more frequently, keep your immunitary system in shape with good nutrition, go see a doctor immediately if you have a fever etc.
Yesterday evening the news said the present death count is nine persons, eight in Mexico and one in the United States: all the others haven't been substantiated and could be from other causes. This morning the number has been cut down to eight again and the Mexican authorities reported that over 90% of the persons admitted with suspected symptoms have already improved following normal antiviral therapies. Panic and sensation seeking are literally wreaking havoc on the medias. Yes there's a new flu strain abroad, yes it's bad but it doesn't appear to be so virulent and aggressive as originally thought.
Me for myself I reserve judgment until more information is available and more studies are carried out by specialists. I just hope it won't turn into a circus as the aviary and SARS crisises.

In Distortion We Trust

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"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


Red Don's picture
Red Don
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You have to remember that

You have to remember that stories such as these that could feed panic will sell newspapers, so they will milk it for everything they can.

Mauro
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Joined: 15 Oct 2008
There may be more to it...

... than we thought. According to news the original outbreak has been traced to a small town in the Mexican state of Vera Cruz called La Gloria. La Gloria is home to a gigantic, industrial scale hog farm. To give the scale of their operations 2300 pigs are slaughtered there daily. The town has a population of about 3000.
La Gloria residents have been complaining since March about an increase in respiratory diseases and put them down (comprehensively) to their large neighbour.
And here is where the story gets curious. The "alpha case", the first boy to show the symptoms (more on that later), has been reached by reporters and said he's fine now but spent a few days in bed with a flu. His parents put his illness down to runoffs from the nearby pig operation, contaminating the area where the town boys usually play.
According to town doctors the only unusual fatalities were two infants: diagnosis was acute pneumonia but La Gloria citizens are clamoring to have their bodies exhumed and analyzed. All the other persons who came down with flu healed following normal procedures.
One of the main problem is this: this H1N1 has no clear giveaway signs. Symptoms are the same as in a "normal" flu and patients following standard flu therapies respond very quickly in the great majority of cases. So is this flu strain more dangerous than the ones we saw before? Are there reasons to be alarmed? We still don't know, thanks in large part to the scaremongering operations run by the world media outlets and the WHO suspicious response.
The only winners are pharmaceutical giants Gilead and Roche, inventors and sellers of the famous Tamiflu drug. Governments and individuals are stocking up on this highly controversial drug which may work well but has very serious side effects and should only be used under strict and constant medical supervision.

In Distortion We Trust

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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I'm a Registrar by trade and

I'm a Registrar by trade and eventhough the majority of my work is weddings (in a very popular Scottish border town), I do of course have to register births and deaths.  This sort of puts me on the front line when it comes to things like pandemics.  I'll know it's time to worry if they demand I get vaccinated :)

Daniel Parkinson's picture
Daniel Parkinson
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Some of the hype resembles a

Some of the hype resembles a Robin Cook novel, but it has reached far and wide in medical establishments in Britain as a precautionary measure - but then these scares are a no win situation for governments. Especially when it has now shown cross human contraction. I think a lot of scare mongering is involved but:

If too little is done and there is a pandemic then there will be an enquiry as to why nothing was done, and if there is mass panic and it turns out to be a storm in a teacup about a mild strain that has no real impact compared with the usual strains, then there will be critisism about over-reaction. I think the worry is that it could mutate and be a similar nightmare as the Spanish flu in 1918, which killed more than twice the number of people who died in the carnage of WWI.

On a lighter note the jokes are already doing the rounds: a hotline has been set up for anyone with symptoms of swine flu, unfortunately there is a fault on the line due to crackling................

Simon Topham's picture
Simon Topham
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I'm a vaccine scientist and

I've worked on the Influenza vaccine for the last ten years, and I've even worked on a DNA avian influenza vaccine that worked, it's been published in Vaccine. We also made all the small pox vaccine that the government ordered  and stockpiled when the second Gulf war started, due to the unrealised fear of weapons of mass destruction.

The facts:-

Hardly anybody will die in a modern day Influenza pandemic in the Western World, it was predicted that a maximum of 50,000 would die in an Avian Influnza pandemic. That's one patient for each doctor in the UK.

It's the old and young that are the most risk, it's rare that a healthy adult would die of Influenza, without having some other medical complication at the same time.

They can't make the vaccine in time, it'll all be over before it's even off the ground.

Logistically, it would be impossible to vaccinate everybody. The government know this, and there wouldn't be enough vaccine for everybody anyway. For the Small pox vaccine they bought 16 million doses, this was to used for key workers such as the military, police , doctors, nurses, politicians and their families etc.

Don't worry about it, it's all scare mongering, but it takes the flak away from the government with regards to the financial crisis we are all in, they hope people will forget about it and worry about their health instead. It's amazing how we let the media scare us, it's a government tool to keep us all under control. It works in the USA everyday, they are always on an amber or red warning for a terrorist attack, it#s broadcast on the news every few hours.

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Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Hi Simon :)  What ever

Hi Simon :)  What ever happened to Bird Flu anyway?  Has it just vanished?

Simon Topham's picture
Simon Topham
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Hey Ian, Bird Flu is still

Hey Ian,

Bird Flu is still about, but it infects birds. The problem occurs when man lives in close proximity with the birds, and if the virus mutates, becomes virulent in man. This tends to happen in SE Asia where families have poultry running about the house, so we've had starains of H5 N1 from Vietnam and Indonesia etc. It's when the birds start migrating that the flu can get out of Asia quickly. It'll come back, just watch the news.

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Daniel Parkinson's picture
Daniel Parkinson
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Simon Topham wrote:Don't
Simon Topham wrote:

Don't worry about it, it's all scare mongering, but it takes the flak away from the government with regards to the financial crisis we are all in, they hope people will forget about it and worry about their health instead. It's amazing how we let the media scare us, it's a government tool to keep us all under control. It works in the USA everyday, they are always on an amber or red warning for a terrorist attack, it#s broadcast on the news every few hours.

Are you suggesting they have made a pigs ear of the crisis, the swines! Or are they just telling Porkies?



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