'Pale Rider'- will the Spanish Influenza resurface

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Riddickulouse, Jul 3, 2017.

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  1. It would explain both Mrs H_M 1st and I being absolutely wiped out for a week in 2009 too...

    Little Miss H_M wasn't at all affected.
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  2. Wordsmith

    Wordsmith LE Book Reviewer

    Over time, viruses tend to mutate towards being more benign. A virus that kills off its hosts too rapidly reduces its own ability to propagate. For example, syphilis is now less of a killer than it was four or five centuries ago.

    You can also factor in improvements in medical science - our ability to come up with vaccines on a short time scale is readily improving.

    Finally, the UK is an island. At absolute worst, we could quarantine ourselves off from the rest of the world, just allowing essential traffic in. (Oil tankers and the like).

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  3. Apart from the soddin' birds...who fly in every year then sneeze all over Bernard Matthews Turkey farms.
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  4. So any antipodeans arriving at Heathrow need boiling in oil

    I've watched that Australian border control documentary
    The only thing they want entering their country is doctors Chinese hairdressers and foreign currency

    Give em a taste of their own punishment
  5. More of a Captain Trips than a plague of Zombies.
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  6. Syphilis is caused by a bacterium not a virus so it can be cured with antibiotics.
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  7. Sheep dip would be quite sufficient. Just a requirement to swim underwater for a few metres while holding their breath.
  8. Herd Immunity it's why getting morons to immunise their kids is so important. Specially if their the kind or morons to listen to Jenny McCarthy and not the entire (non quack) medical world.
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  9. Except when it can't -
    Syphilis Has Returned with New Drug Resistance « Invisiverse

    This is also one of the features of an avian flu virus mutating when combined with streptococcal pneumonia, as occurred in the second wave of H1N1 in the autumn of 1918. Our modern day living has improved many of the environmental factors that enabled the Spanish Flu to ravage the world.
    It has also rendered many antibiotics used effectively in the past, that were not available to physicians in 1918 to fight the pandemic, to become less effective through misuse and overexposure. The problem now is of the combined effect of a viral infection complicated by a bacterial one (especially respiratory) such as HiV with infectious Tb.

    However, we now have significant problems with a range of hitherto 'eradicated' diseases like Tuberculosis that have resurfaced in urban areas of the UK due to mass migration from MENA, but the Tb is often the antibiotic resistant form. Extensively drug resistant TB ( X D R TB) is a rare type of MDR TB that is resistant to isoniazid and rifampin, plus any fluoroquinolone and at least one of three injectable second-line drugs i.e., amikacin, kanamycin, or capreomycin.
    CDC | TB | Fact Sheets | Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR TB)

    The 'killer factor' in the Spanish Flu appeared to be its virulence, which then allowed bacterial pneumonia to overcome the victim and killed with the 'W shaped' distribution i.e. It predominantly killed the 20-40 year olds rather than the young or old; that last part is still a little mystifying although various hypotheses have been made.

    As to the mysterious pathogens lurking beneath the melting permafrost in Russia, Canada and so on.
    There are diseases hidden in ice, and they are waking up
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  10. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    The one before Rainbow Six.
  11. Quite so. Many bacteria are developing resistance to antibiotics. A common one in healthcare is MRSA, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus.

    Interestingly viruses can also be our friends and can be used to attack bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

    Bacteriophage - Wikipedia

    Phage therapy may be the replacement for antibiotics in the future.
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  12. Fourteen years ago I worked at a desk opposite a Civil Servant who was contingency planning for Diplomatic Missions for a pandemic flu outbreak when it happens. We didn't have the most cheery conversations.

    There is a school of thought that 'Spanish' originated in East Asia - and back in the day, of course, global travel was both time bound and rare.

    Off the top my head (I'm not a Virologist by education, so don't rely on the figures), seasonal flu has around an 80% contagion rate, but a relatively small mortality rate of 20% - of which are elderly, or have a weakened immune system through a pre-existing condition.

    H5N1 has a mortality rate of 60%, but isn't very good a going cross species, you need to be in close proximity to birds. It has, however, gone human to human.

    When H5 mutates, and does become more effective at human to human contagion, coupled with our ability for, and ready access to, international travel, things will become 'interesting'.

    It was described to me, in the UK context, as 'walk down the street that you live, and every third house, say 'you're all dead'.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
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  13. Any bloke who has survived man flu will be safe, until the next man flu comes around.
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  14. A recent National Geographic article highlights the problem not just of the permafrost melt in the Arctic latitudes, but also the influence of warmer waters moving North and of insect disease vectors thriving in more Northerly environs. These are from both viral and bacteriological pathogens.
    Climate Change Pushing Tropical Diseases Toward Arctic
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