Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Human flu pandemic 'inevitable' in Britain
AFP via Yahoo ^ | Sunday October 16, 2005

Posted on 10/16/2005 6:44:31 AM PDT by cloud8

The deadly avian influenza virus found in Turkey and Romania is bound to combine with a human variety at some point and cause a pandemic that would kill around 50,000 people in Britain, the country's chief medical officer has warned.

"The significance of it isn't that there will be a pandemic of bird flu itself, the significance of it is that at some point, and we go by the lessons of history, the bird flu virus will combine with a human flu virus and then it will become easily transmissible," Liam Donaldson told BBC television on Sunday as the government prepared to outline a contingency plan on Thursday.

"Why is that inevitable? Well, because it has happened before."

In the 20th century, there have been three flu pandemics, in 1918-19, when as many as 50 million people died world wide, 1957-58 and 1968-69.

On Saturday the presence of the deadly H5N1 virus bird flu was confirmed in Romania, two days after it was found in Turkey.

Donaldson said that a normal winter flu killed more than 12,000 people in Britain every year.

"But if we had a pandemic, the problem would be that our existing vaccines don't work against it, we would have to develop a new vaccine, and people don't have natural immunity because it hasn't be around before.

"So the estimate we are working to in the number of deaths is around 50,000 excess deaths from flu. But it could be a lot higher than that, it very much depends whether this mutated strain is a mild one or a more serious one."

Donaldson however stressed that the pandemic was "less likely" to occur in Europe this winter.

"The attention is focused in Europe because of these outbreaks. That doesn't mean that the pandemic flu is creeping closer to the UK, it simply means that bird flu is occurring in other parts of the world, as it has over the last five to six years.

"I think the likelihood is still that we will see the epicentre of this pandemic of flu, this mutation, in the Far East," he said.

Although there was no way of preventing an eventual pandemic, the government could "limit its impact" in Britain.

Donaldson added: "That is the whole basis of the contingency plan that we will be releasing on Thursday."

The contingency had begun already with the stockpiling of vaccines, the chief medical officer stressed.

"We are one of the few countries to have embarked on this stockpiling at a very early stage... until now, we have been one of the countries which has been in the lead on this, and it is part of a comprehensive plan," Donaldson said.

The government is attempting to amass 14 million doses of the Tamiflu drug, he noted.

"We have got 2.5 million so far and they are coming in at the rate of about 800,000 a month."

The anti-virals would not cure the flu but would reduce the severity of the attack in the first 24 to 48 hours and would stop some people from dying, Donaldson added.

"I think measures such as controlling movement of populations are not as important, because flu transmits extremely quickly... It might be necessary if we were at the absolute peak of an epidemic in this country, but it is not the prime intervention that we need to use."

However, the government could decide to close schools and other public buildings.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: avian; birdflu; doomed; flu; pandemic; uk
Take your vitamin C, and button up your overcoat. AND DON'T PANIC!!!
1 posted on 10/16/2005 6:44:32 AM PDT by cloud8
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: cloud8

This is really getting tiresome. The boy who cried wolf will one day be eaten.


2 posted on 10/16/2005 6:50:59 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cloud8

Inevitable. What unadulterated baloney.

Just like the MSM reported there were 10,000 dead in New Orleans, this is being over hyped too.


3 posted on 10/16/2005 6:54:40 AM PDT by Peach (The Clintons pardoned more terrorists than they captured or killed.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cloud8; Conspiracy Guy

ONZ, WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!

(Oh, only the British. Never mind :-).


4 posted on 10/16/2005 6:56:00 AM PDT by Tax-chick (When bad things happen, conservatives get over it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cloud8

I am sure that somehow, Bush's Global Warming that HE ALONE caused is the culprit behind all this


5 posted on 10/16/2005 6:57:25 AM PDT by sure_fine (*not one to over kill the thought process*)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek

> The boy who cried wolf will one day be eaten.

More like Chicken Little. The sky is falling!


6 posted on 10/16/2005 6:57:30 AM PDT by cloud8
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: cloud8

Take your vitamin C, and button up your overcoat. AND DON'T PANIC!!!

And don't visit chicken farms.


7 posted on 10/16/2005 6:58:35 AM PDT by i_dont_chat (Houston, TX)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Peach

Sadly Ive seen FReepers say the the "human strain" of the virus is emerging in Europe. The problem I have with that is the fact that there is no "human strain".


8 posted on 10/16/2005 6:58:48 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: bitt

fyi


9 posted on 10/16/2005 7:00:28 AM PDT by Iowa Granny (I am not the sharpest pin in the cushion but I can draw blood.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek
This is really getting tiresome. The boy who cried wolf will one day be eaten.

A pandemic is inevitable one day. If not this one, another one. Same with an asteroid strike. They happen.

But I agree with you regarding the "cry wolf." TOugh issue for the public.

10 posted on 10/16/2005 7:02:03 AM PDT by Cboldt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: cloud8
Does anyone know what the point is stockpiling existing vaccines if they do not address the as yet nonexistent pandemic flu strain? Do these things reduce the effects of all flu's or is this just more government doublespeak.
11 posted on 10/16/2005 7:03:38 AM PDT by cdrw (Freedom and responsibility are inseparable)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Peach
> ...this is being over hyped too.

NPR, November 2004...

America Grapples with Flu Vaccine Shortage

A shortage of flu shots means tens of millions of Americans -- even those considered high-risk patients -- will go unvaccinated this year. How are public health officials handling the shortage? Is America facing a possible flu health crisis? Follow NPR coverage.

...we're all going to die!

12 posted on 10/16/2005 7:06:57 AM PDT by cloud8
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: cdrw

The article mentions vaccine but Tamiflu is not a vaccine. It's an anti-viral drug that doesn't even work well against the H5N1 virus since the virus has built up a resistance to it.


13 posted on 10/16/2005 7:09:53 AM PDT by dc-zoo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek

Personally, I'm looking forward to having an excuse to claim that "bird flu" caused me to poop on peoples' windshields, especially the Volvos with the lefty bumperstickers!


14 posted on 10/16/2005 7:16:04 AM PDT by Emmett McCarthy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: i_dont_chat

***And don't visit chicken farms.***

What! NO chicken soup?

And I live in Chicken country!


15 posted on 10/16/2005 7:29:10 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (When someone burns a cross on your lawn, the best firehose is an AK-47.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: cloud8
"Take your vitamin C"

My brother, a doctor, is taking cinnamon.
He cites information from the big flue epidemic of
1918 that showed that in a large Cinnamon
processing plant, not one person came down with the flu.

I did a search and there is considerable information on
cinnamon as a flu drug.
16 posted on 10/16/2005 7:29:28 AM PDT by AlexW (Reporting from Bratislava)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cloud8

17 posted on 10/16/2005 7:31:30 AM PDT by Panic in the Streets ("Mayor, I've confirmed the data, the hippies ARE planning a massive jam band concert!"- Eric Cartman)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cloud8

A pandemic is a global epidemic. The article uses the term as if described the diseases virulence instead. Britain cannot on its own have a "pandemic".


18 posted on 10/16/2005 7:37:15 AM PDT by Plutarch
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AlexW

> I did a search and there is considerable information on
cinnamon as a flu drug.

Wow, that's really interesting. Good thing it didn't turn out to be something like brocolli :-)


19 posted on 10/16/2005 7:39:14 AM PDT by cloud8
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Iowa Granny

:)


20 posted on 10/16/2005 7:49:23 AM PDT by bitt (THE PRESIDENT: "Ask the pollsters. My job is to lead and to solve problems. ")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: cdrw

I think there is a good chance of some crossover immunity, if for instance we used the 1918 flu virus which has just been brought to life again.


21 posted on 10/16/2005 7:54:05 AM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: AlexW

Thank you for your post.


22 posted on 10/16/2005 7:54:55 AM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: cloud8

Didn't they last report that only 62 people have died from it? 62 compared to 12,000 who died from normal flu isn't something I'm going to get my feathers ruffled about.


23 posted on 10/16/2005 8:03:42 AM PDT by mtbopfuyn (Legality does not dictate morality... Lavin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mtbopfuyn
It has a 50% mortality so far. It has not yet mutated into a virus that can spread easily from one person to another but there is a chance that it may. If it does, it will bring that mortality rate with it.

It's not time to panic yet, but it is something to be concerned about - and much more so than the flu which kills thousands every season.

24 posted on 10/16/2005 8:07:26 AM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: cloud8
the problem would be that our existing vaccines don't work against it,

(snip)

"That is the whole basis of the contingency plan that we will be releasing on Thursday." The contingency had begun already with the stockpiling of vaccines, the chief medical officer stressed

But he said they don't work so why stockpile them ?

25 posted on 10/16/2005 8:08:01 AM PDT by 1066AD
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cloud8; AlexW
cinnamon as a flu drug

My wife puts a little cinnamon in the coffee grounds when she makes coffee. It adds a nice flavor

26 posted on 10/16/2005 8:09:55 AM PDT by SauronOfMordor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: cloud8; Domestic Church; Judith Anne
Chemical In Grapes Inhibit Flu Virus

"May 31, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Resveratrol, a chemical found in grapes and other fruits, inhibits the reproduction of influenza viruses in cell culture and mice, according to a recent report in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

27 posted on 10/16/2005 8:12:54 AM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MarMema

My father was born in 1918. My grandmother being pregnant at the time with him. The flu epidemic struck everywhere and the countryside is filled with tombstones dated 1918. My Grandmother moved all the children and farm workers who were extremely ill from this flu in to a large front room parlor and turned it in to a hospital ward. They even had a couple of neighbors who arrived needing care. Those who were well tended the sick. Everyone in their household managed to survive, but others in the community weren't as fortunate.
The same strain has now been identified.


28 posted on 10/16/2005 8:23:32 AM PDT by Sweetjustusnow (The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away. Ronald Reagan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Peach
Just like the MSM reported there were 10,000 dead in New Orleans, this is being over hyped too.

The MSM didn't report that there were 10,000 dead in NOLA. The MSM reported that Nagin, and Vittier, and the National Guard and the Coast Guard said there might be that many.

Same thing here. Reporters aren't sitting around making stuff up. The CDC, the WHO, the EU and the president of the United States are warning of a threat. Italy and other countries in southern Europe are closing their borders to poultry from Turkey and Romania. National governments are stockpiling vaccines. If you believe there's an overreaction, fair enough; but don't blame the messenger.

29 posted on 10/16/2005 8:24:26 AM PDT by ReignOfError
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Sweetjustusnow

What did your grandmother do that the rest of the country didn't?


30 posted on 10/16/2005 8:26:53 AM PDT by mtbopfuyn (Legality does not dictate morality... Lavin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: blam

Thanks. I love polyphenols.


31 posted on 10/16/2005 8:27:04 AM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Sweetjustusnow
"My father was born in 1918. My grandmother being pregnant at the time with him. The flu epidemic struck everywhere and the countryside is filled with tombstones dated 1918."

My mother was born in 1917 and my father in 1918. We have no input about whether they had the flu but both lived to an old age.

32 posted on 10/16/2005 8:35:19 AM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: AlexW; Judith Anne; little jeremiah
My brother, a doctor, is taking cinnamon. He cites information from the big flue epidemic of 1918 that showed that in a large Cinnamon processing plant, not one person came down with the flu.

I did a search and there is considerable information on cinnamon as a flu drug.

FYI Ping

33 posted on 10/16/2005 9:16:44 AM PDT by 2ndreconmarine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: cloud8; All
  Avian Flu Surveillance Project
 
 Avian Flu Preparedness Project
 
 Avian Flu Blog
 
 When disaster strikes, be ready
 
 What you need
 
 Strange new disease outbreaks

34 posted on 10/16/2005 10:11:07 AM PDT by backhoe
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ReignOfError

Fewer than 150 people have died of bird flu and we've been hearing about it for 1-2 years now. I think it's overhyped fear and I fully realize that the administration and CDC, etc., think it's a fully realized fear.

And, btw, in an interview a few weeks ago, Nagin told reporters that he got the 10,000 feared dead number from the press and he cited a few places he'd seen the number mentioned before he ever said a word.


35 posted on 10/16/2005 4:22:16 PM PDT by Peach (The Clintons pardoned more terrorists than they captured or killed.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: AlexW

How much cinnamon is he taking and how is he taking it?
See if he will give you a ballpark dosage by weight.

Cinnamon is also reportedly excellent for sugar metabolism and can keep type 2 diabetes at bay but you need a couple of teaspoons a day.


36 posted on 10/16/2005 4:44:51 PM PDT by Domestic Church (AMDG...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Domestic Church
"How much cinnamon is he taking and how is he taking it?
See if he will give you a ballpark dosage by weight."

I have not seen him online today, but I do not think there is a given dose. It just a matter of including some in your daily diet.
He reminded me of how when growing up in the 50s, cinnamon toast was almost daily each morning.
He now uses cinnamon in cooking, and he has a stick of cinnamon to stir his coffee every morning.
If I find out any other info, I will repost.
Also, some of the online articles that tout cinnamon, are also claiming that honey is anti viral.
Here is one site that I found:
http://www.advancedhealthplan.com/honeyandcinnamon.html
37 posted on 10/17/2005 8:22:37 AM PDT by AlexW (Reporting from Bratislava)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Peach
Fewer than 150 people have died of bird flu and we've been hearing about it for 1-2 years now.

Longer than that. There was an outbreak of this same strain of bird flu in Hong Kong in the winter of 1997-98 severe enough that it led to the killing and burning or burial of all domestic birds in the city.

The difference between that outbreak and this one is that the '97 cases were concentrated in HK -- this one has already popped up all over Asia, as well as in Romania, Turkey and, as of today, Greece.

I think it's overhyped fear and I fully realize that the administration and CDC, etc., think it's a fully realized fear.

It's a potential problem. Just potential at this stage. But public officials everywhere in the world have a long history of not addressing potential problems unless they are or are about to become crises.

And, btw, in an interview a few weeks ago, Nagin told reporters that he got the 10,000 feared dead number from the press and he cited a few places he'd seen the number mentioned before he ever said a word.

The first reference to the 10,000 figure I have been able to find in connection with Nagin was a reporter asking him about it, and him saying he wouldn't be surprised. He did cite it after that, however.

The first public official I could find using that figure in a declarative sentence was Vitter, though he was careful to label it as a "best guess" and preliminary.

38 posted on 10/17/2005 1:49:23 PM PDT by ReignOfError
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson