H5N1 in Germany

#1
The virulent H5N1 strain of avian influenza is now as close as Germany and Austria:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4714574.stm

The government are now set to hasten legislation that prevents people from keeping poultry outdoors. It is belived the flu, also contracted by 146 humans and resulting in 76 human deaths worldwide, could spread to the UK via migratory waterfowl. People who work in close proximity to birds are at greatest risk.

A greater than 50% mortality rate - could this be the start of the end for the human population?
 
#7
3 million people die every year from Malaria and we are worried about a poxy flu that has killed a few people because they effectively lived with their chickens!
If and when it mutates it might become a less virulent strain coupled to the fact that its been kicking around in China for at least five years and hasn't mutated yet - I think I'll sleep soundly safe in the knowledge that this all hype.
 
#8
Latest figures:

http://www.dh.gov.uk/AboutUs/Minist...esArticle/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4102997&chk=OcYuEL

"As of 8 February 2006, 165 people have also caught the infection, as a result of close and direct contact with infected birds. Eighty-eight of these have subsequently died"

"H5N1 is able to infect people because it is able to cross the species-barrier, although it does not do this easily. In human populations, where domestic pigs and wild and domestic birds live in close proximity with people, the mingling and exchange of human and animal viruses can more easily occur."

"Experts fear that the H5N1 subtype of avian influenza A could trigger the next pandemic, for several reasons. Firstly, it has already demonstrated an ability to infect people and cause severe disease - one of the key characteristics of a pandemic strain. Secondly, the virus has the ability to mutate and acquire genes from viruses infecting other species.

Experts are concerned that the virus could either:

* adapt, giving it greater affinity for humans, or;
* exchange genes with a human flu virus, thereby producing a completely new virus strain capable of spreading easily between people, and causing a pandemic.

By necessity, if a pandemic strain were to occur then few people, if any, would have a natural immunity to it."

If it comes Gonzo, I hope you can still sleep soundly.
 
#9
What you mean like SARs, Ebola, Metrorites, Super Volcanos etc.. etc..

We're all being played - if it was going to mutate it would have done it by now!
 
#11
Country_Bumpkin said:
could this be the start of the end for the human population?
Have a word mate!!

As a for instance, in 2003 just over 1400 people died of MRSA - no ones siting that as cause for end of the human race. The human population has survived several billion years of evolution, ice ages, floods, pestulance, plagues and Les Dennis. I'm sure humanity will survive this latest hiccup.
 
#12
You take me too literally Boney M. I don't think for one minute it will be then end of the human race (hence that was question, not a statement). I do think it will cause widespread panic and death. If 50% of people who catch this thing die - and it will become even more virulent as it mutates - people will be too afraid to go to work, ride on the bus, go shopping or even leave their homes. Industry and the economy will grind to a halt, as will the transport infrastructure. Antiviral drugs, such as Oseltmavir (aka Tamiflu), have notoriously low efficacy and offer only a slim degree of protection - this is why we don't have a cure for the common cold or AIDS.
 
#14
If it were at all likely, the markets and economies of those countries affected would have tanked. Look at the impact SARS had on Asia-Pacific growth rates. So far this has not registered on the economic richter scale.

We could sit and what-if the scenario for a long time.
The likelihood is that more birds will die and so will some poor and unlucky farm workers.
 
#15
Unless caught out "Western Govs" normally tell the truth, in the Orient the truth comes after the tourist trade.
It's far worse then has been admitted in Public.
IF and it's not such a big IF, it crosses over then it's 1918 Flue again.
No joke and needs to be taken seriously.
john
 
#17
jonwilly said:
IF and it's not such a big IF, it crosses over then it's 1918 Flue again.
No joke and needs to be taken seriously.
john
Just to put this is into a context we can all understand; the 1918 'flu pandemic killed more people than WW1.

H5N1 will mutate, the question is when. The avian 'flu is spread by migrating birds but, if it mutates into a human-human transmissible form, it will be spread by people travelling between continents on aircraft. It will go global before you know it.

The big concern is that H5N1 has had a huge mortality rate amongst the few people it has infected. It may possibly be far worse than 1918 but we won't know until it rears it's ugly head.
 
#18
Where I live there have been three reported cases nationwide, of people catching and dieing. None had any involvement with Birds or the country side. They had all been in contact with people who had contracted the Flue. One time post in local press and no more.
A friend lives in the sticks way out and last year his flock started passing away. He informed local authorities and nothing happened. He mentioned getting Press in and the 'A' Team descended. Full Contam suits and head gear. All traces of his flock vanished and no mention of bill, it never happened.
john
IF it does mutate and experts say it's a matter of time, I do wonder who the membership of this board will be, Post Pandemic.
 

Latest Threads