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Bird Flu May Over-Stimulate Immune System
Science Daily ^ | 11-11-2005

Posted on 11/11/2005 4:29:40 PM PST by blam

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To: ThePythonicCow
Viruses that kill 50% to 80% (as H5N1 is doing, in its isolated cases so far) are less dangerous to humankind, because they kill too many, limiting its spread.

The quick kill, limited spread mechanism is common in Ebola outbreaks, but those populations are already living in sparsely populated jungles. The density of modern cities and mobility of populations between them will put a whole new dynamic into the next pandemic.

51 posted on 11/12/2005 7:36:50 AM PST by Myrddin
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To: Boundless
I doubt it. Someone infected (perhaps not knowing it yet) with a virus is like a walking cloud of virii. If you get within 3 feet of them or their wake, you need a filter that will stop almost all particles down to .3 micron or some such. Are the industrial respirators you mention able to do this? If not, they're useless.
52 posted on 11/12/2005 9:31:18 AM PST by ThePythonicCow (To err is human; to moo is bovine.)
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To: ThePythonicCow

Yes, the N95 class of mask/respirator is considered adequate vis-a-vis particle size. The 95 refers to 95% stoppage at a target size. It all comes down to mask fit and handling. The metal strip at the top of most masks has to be formed properly to fit the nasal bridge of an individual. Beards can't be present (not a problem for 50% here). Removing and disposal of the mask has to be done extremely carefully. One of the most important benefits of a mask is it stops you from touching your face.


53 posted on 11/12/2005 9:47:02 AM PST by steve86 (@)
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To: ThePythonicCow
I was suprised to read about that, as it was touted as being a good preventative prophalaxis one of the avian flu thread's. I was pleased to read that Vit C was recommended though. I'm a very strong advocate of Vit C, and take megadoses of it upon first signs of illness.

However, there's no mention whatsoever about N-Acetyl Cysteine

You can read more about glycosacharides such as that at this site (automatic PDF download)

A good thing that I read was they were touting cat's claw. I have a cat and she has all her claws, so I should be good to go in that regard. And she knows that she gets clipped every once in a while. I'm not clear what you're supposed to do with 'em though. Do you smoke 'em or something?

54 posted on 11/12/2005 12:36:29 PM PST by raygun
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To: blam

Yup, if no one answered yet. Just jumping in here, so I don't know what was said up the thread. Turmeric, golden seal, and ginger are all in the same family, and have some similar properties. Turmeric is amazing stuff. Good to put on cuts, wounds, infections, pimpls, boils, and to take internally for all manner of illnesses. It's good to eat every day in food.


55 posted on 11/12/2005 12:40:24 PM PST by little jeremiah
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To: ThePythonicCow
The http://bird-flu-influenza.com site I just linked above recommends against using Elder berries, saying they increase, not decrease cytokines, as do many of the anti-viral herbs usually recommended for the flu.

I've read multiple discussions on this, pro and con. On the con side, yes, they do stimulate the immune system and may increase the ability to produce cytokines as well. On the other hand, elderberries can decrease the total viral load that gets into the system, and can prevent replication of the virus in a host cell, thus keeping immune reaction lower than without elderberries.

So this is a judgement call that everyone has to make for themselves about any natural antiviral, including even garlic.

Personally, I take elderberry tonic, that I have made myself, a tablespoon in the morning and one at night. I have opted FOR the elderberries, since they reduce total viral load in Israeli research, and prevent or reduce viral replication once in the body. It's my thinking that will reduce the body's immune response.

Truthfully, at this point we don't know.

56 posted on 11/12/2005 12:55:51 PM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: blam
Is tumeric and turmeric the same thing?

As far as I know, just two different spellings of the same thing. Curcumin is the active ingredient, iirc.

57 posted on 11/12/2005 12:57:35 PM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: ThePythonicCow
Normal influenza rates are approx 4.8%. Those in close contact with those index cases have approx 12% risk associated of becoming infected. Supposing that the avian flu becomes as easily transmitable as your normal garden variety of influenza:

4.8% of 296 million people, plus 12% of (2.5 x 4.8% of 296 million), of which sum total 1/2 could plausibly die. According to my calculations this works out to 9.2352

In the 1918 flu pandemic, the majority of deaths was in the 13 to 40 age group. Of the avian flu the overwhelming majority of deaths has been in the <35 age group.

Kind of brings a different perspective on the age old mantra of:

Ring around the posey, pocket full of rosie, ashes, ashes, we all fall down!

58 posted on 11/12/2005 1:09:01 PM PST by raygun
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To: little jeremiah; Judith Anne
"Yup, if no one answered yet. Just jumping in here, so I don't know what was said up the thread. Turmeric, golden seal, and ginger are all in the same family, and have some similar properties. Turmeric is amazing stuff. Good to put on cuts, wounds, infections, pimpls, boils, and to take internally for all manner of illnesses. It's good to eat every day in food."

Well, I have some because I deliberately went looking some time back. I read an article that stated there was pretty good evidence that it will prevent Alzheimers Disease. Now, if I could just remember where I put it. (just kiddin')

59 posted on 11/12/2005 2:14:44 PM PST by blam
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To: ThePythonicCow; blam; little jeremiah; Judith Anne
Excellent, excellent article.

It made real sense. I liked in particular the ProMed references, although I was not able to locate the specific citations by number.

The most important point was that the operational mode of the H5N1 is different from other flu viruses. As a direct consequence, treatments for some types of flu actually make Avian worse

Specifically, elderberry or Sambucol makes it worse, because it strengthens the "cytokine storm" immune response, which is the very mechanism for Avian pathology. Therefore, we might want to modify blam's list:

Star Anise......... perhaps, but may require procesing
Ginseng............ OK
Sauerkraut/kinchi.. actually makes it worse!!!
Licorice........... OK
Grape juice........ use Resveratrol instead
Cinnamon........... OK
Elder berries......(Sambucol) actually makes it worse

Now we need to add:
Vitamin C
Garlic
Green Tea, probably need the extract
St. Johns Wort
Cat's Claw, as a last resort
Curcumin / Turmeric
Scutellaria

60 posted on 11/12/2005 2:16:53 PM PST by 2ndreconmarine
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To: ThePythonicCow; BearWash

The N95 masks are rated to stop 95% of the particles .3 microns or larger. Most virus is .15 micron or smaller.


61 posted on 11/12/2005 2:17:25 PM PST by blam
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To: 2ndreconmarine
"Sauerkraut/kinchi.. actually makes it worse!!!"

Dang it! Now, what am I gonna do with all the sauerkraut? Wouldn't it still help to keep me from getting the flu?

62 posted on 11/12/2005 2:21:36 PM PST by blam
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To: blam; Judith Anne
Wouldn't it still help to keep me from getting the flu?

Actually, that is a really good question. I have the same question about Elderberry / Sambucol, especially since I bought a lot of it recently.

Would the proper approach be to use Sauerkraut or Sambucol as a prophylactice, while you are still healthy, then immediately stop if Avian symptoms appeared?? Or, it that a bit too risky???

63 posted on 11/12/2005 2:27:07 PM PST by 2ndreconmarine
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To: 2ndreconmarine
"Would the proper approach be to use Sauerkraut or Sambucol as a prophylactice, while you are still healthy, then immediately stop if Avian symptoms appeared?? Or, it that a bit too risky???"

I think I'll use mine up until I hear about the first case of human - human transmission of H5N1...then quit using it. I expect it's still good against the 'standard' A-type flu?

64 posted on 11/12/2005 3:16:10 PM PST by blam
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To: MamaLucci
Seems like many of today's chronic illnesses have a similar mechanism.........autoimmune disorders like MS, lupus, crone's, rhuematoid arthritis, etc.

They are having good results with Remicade with these disorders. I wonder if they could try that? I think the drug completley wipes out T cells if I remember rightly. Very expensive at present.

A_R

65 posted on 11/12/2005 3:22:03 PM PST by arkady_renko
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To: ThePythonicCow
I forget where I saw it now, but a couple of days ago, I read that we have one thing in our favor so far on this thread. The worst pandemics, in terms of total number of humans killed, kill only perhaps 20% of its victims. Viruses that kill 50% to 80% (as H5N1 is doing, in its isolated cases so far) are less dangerous to humankind, because they kill too many, limiting its spread.

I read somewhere that H5N1 has killed 50% (approx) of those who had to be hospitalized. Does anyone know if they've gotten a better handle on the death rates for everyone who contracts H5N1? (IOW, how many people have contracted H5N1 without having bad enough symptoms to send them to the hospital?)

Every mild case that doesn't make it into the statistics lowers the mortality rate from the 50% figure, but how many such cases are there?

66 posted on 11/12/2005 3:22:54 PM PST by jennyp (WHAT I'M READING NOW: Art of Unix Programming by Raymond)
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To: arkady_renko

Thanks, I'd not heard of that.


67 posted on 11/12/2005 3:58:44 PM PST by MamaLucci (Mutually assured destruction STILL keeps the Clinton administration criminals out of jail.)
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To: JustDoItAlways

I wonder how an otherwise healthy senior with an over active immune system (allergies) would fare with this virus? I mentioned to an anaesthetist once as I was going into surgery that I had lots of allergies and he looked at my chart and said "you probably will never have cancer". Has anyone else ever heard this?


68 posted on 11/12/2005 4:19:12 PM PST by Ditter
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To: Ditter

I also have an overactive immune system, and just recently was diagnosed with RA. My doctor told me the same thing, so maybe it's a truism that allergies have a protective effect against some malignancies. It WOULD be nice to have some benefit from an otherwise miserable set of reactions.

I do think, since I carry an epipen in case of life-threatening reaction, that I will probably not survive, if I get Avian Flu. I take the elderberry tonic to lower the amount of viable virus. There is some research to indicate that lower virus exposure indicates how the person will fare--in other words, get a small dose of virus from passing a stranger in a crowd, get a milder case. Get a large dose say from a spouse or child, get a serious case.

This virus' action in humans may have been studied in the far east very thoroughly, but we here in the west have a lot of unanswered questions.

No one knows how many mild cases there have been, because there has been no screening research published, to my knowledge.

During the SARS epidemic, cytokine storm was one of the life-threatening complications. Prednisone was tried, but did not improve survival rates, if I recall correctly. Also, it has been tried with H5N1 in some fatal cases in the far east as well.


69 posted on 11/12/2005 4:45:50 PM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: 2ndreconmarine
Would the proper approach be to use Sauerkraut or Sambucol as a prophylactice, while you are still healthy, then immediately stop if Avian symptoms appeared?? Or, it that a bit too risky???

Again, we're all working in the dark because we haven't had access to much published information about H5N1 human cases. I HAVE read of others who came to the same conclusion you did, though.

My personal plan is to use elderberry tonic as a prophylactic, then double it if I get any symptoms, and add turmeric. Again, the thinking of some (including me) is that the elderberry reduces the replication of the virus in the body -- thus reducing the cytokine reaction. Some disagree, and as far as I know, there is no general concensus.

70 posted on 11/12/2005 4:51:05 PM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: arkady_renko

As far as I know, people have developed fatal cases of TB while taking Remicade. I don't plan to...rather stick with the devil (allergic and auto-immune problems) that I know...


71 posted on 11/12/2005 5:00:47 PM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: Judith Anne

Thank you for your reply. I felt sure that would be the answer to my Avian Flu question.

I don't know what RA is, could you enlighten me?


72 posted on 11/12/2005 5:22:23 PM PST by Ditter
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To: Ditter

Rheumatoid arthritis. I'm 57, was diagnosed last year.


73 posted on 11/12/2005 5:26:00 PM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: Judith Anne

I am 65 and other than gallbladder removal (non emergency) and carpal tunnel surgery, I have never had anything other than allergies. I feel blessed. I believe The Lord will take us when he is ready and not a moment before.


74 posted on 11/12/2005 5:34:12 PM PST by Ditter
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To: Ditter

Up until I got this RA, I've been remarkably healthy, don't normally get the flu, but Hub and I both did last year. I got well in just a few days, he got pneumonia.

He has a fair set of allergies, too, and only had surgery once, for an accidental injury to his shoulder. Last year's flu was the first time I recall him being sick.


75 posted on 11/12/2005 5:40:21 PM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: Judith Anne

We have not had the flu in years, not since we started getting the flu shots. Years ago, we caught it from our kids when they were in school, every year, sometimes more than once. Not fun.


76 posted on 11/12/2005 5:45:51 PM PST by Ditter
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To: Ditter

I don't get the shots, I'm allergic to egg-based vaccinations.

Hub got the shot, for the wrong flu. Doc thinks we had A-Fujiian, which if I remember right, wasn't in the shot.


77 posted on 11/12/2005 5:48:39 PM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: Judith Anne
Do you know anything about the pneumonia shot?
78 posted on 11/12/2005 5:51:25 PM PST by Ditter
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To: Ditter

Everything I have heard says it's a very good idea. Hub is getting it this year.


79 posted on 11/12/2005 5:53:17 PM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: Judith Anne

Thanks! ;9)


80 posted on 11/12/2005 5:57:15 PM PST by Ditter
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Comment #81 Removed by Moderator

To: jennyp
I had not noticed the those who had to be hospitalized qualifier before, and was of the impression that it was killing 50% to 80% of those afflicted.

I don't know what's correct here.

82 posted on 11/12/2005 6:28:03 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (To err is human; to moo is bovine.)
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To: blam; ThePythonicCow; Judith Anne; Oorang
The N95 masks are rated to stop 95% of the particles .3 microns or larger. Most virus is .15 micron or smaller.

I don't disagree about the size proper of the virus particle. However, in practice the virus particle is not isolated -- it is surrounded by fluid, etc., and the whole package is well within the range effectively filtered by N95. I think people are well served by purchasing N95 products. I myself own a couple of cartons of N95 as well as p100 respirator cartridges. Regarding masks, I think fit is a much greater issue than filtration level (I am talking about a potential 1/8" gap versus this micron stuff!).

It is mainly the nanomask people who have been spinning this in an attempt to sell their own filtration products. However, the worldwide medical community doesn't seem to be either impressed with the nanomask claims or dissuaded from the use of N95 against either SARS or influenza.

This is from Flu Wiki:

The N95 masks are rated to stop 95% of the particles .3 microns or larger. Most virus is .15 micron or smaller. The question has been raised at a number of forums as to whether N95 masks will reduce the risk of influenza infection during a pandemic. One issue that has been brought up is the size of viruses, which are often smaller than 0.3 microns, the size of particle N95 masks are rated to exclude. Both the SARS coronavirus and influenza viruses are considerably smaller than this. So why would an N95 mask work? The reason is that viruses may spread from person to person attached to droplets or other particles that are much larger then 0.3 microns. Empirical data supports this contention. During the SARS outbreak, N95 masks were shown to decrease the incidence of SARS infection among nurses in Singapore and Toronto with respect to nurses who did not wear such masks. Reference

Of course, an N95 mask is not a guarantee against infection. It is rated to protect against 95% of particles, which obviously means 5% can still get in. N99 and N100 masks offer a higher levels of protection.

http://www.fluwikie.com/index.php?n=Forum.MasksN95AndOthers

83 posted on 11/12/2005 7:29:54 PM PST by steve86 (@)
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To: raygun

Yes, NAC is in my kit, too.


84 posted on 11/12/2005 7:31:49 PM PST by steve86 (@)
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To: 2ndreconmarine
I would stick with my original contention to take Elderberry to avoid infection in the first place, then immediately discontinue if the system is overwhelmed and symptoms begin to emerge. In other words, take it prophylactically not as treatment. It is at that point I would switch to Tamiflu and amantadine.
85 posted on 11/12/2005 7:41:33 PM PST by steve86 (@)
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To: BearWash; Judith Anne; Ditter; ThePythonicCow
If you're not whatching The Killer Flu presently on the Discover Channel, you're missing an excellent program.

I recommend everyone watch it. I'm not as prepared as I thought.

I'm 62 years old, have no medical problems, retired, single and plan to deal with any pandemic by isolating.

86 posted on 11/12/2005 7:46:17 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

I just found out about that a minute ago on current events. Hope it's repeated.


87 posted on 11/12/2005 7:48:06 PM PST by steve86 (@)
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To: blam

Yes, the Black Flu of 1918 did exactly the same thing. Those that died in our family were in their early twenties, one a brand-new bride.


88 posted on 11/12/2005 7:49:12 PM PST by kittymyrib
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To: BearWash

Looks like it will be repeated in 4 hours.


89 posted on 11/12/2005 7:50:18 PM PST by steve86 (@)
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To: BearWash

Thanks for the info. I have N95 masks.


90 posted on 11/12/2005 7:51:52 PM PST by blam
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To: Boundless

"What sort of cartridges?"

I don't know but there was a lively discussion about .40 versus .45 here recently.

Just book marking :)


91 posted on 11/12/2005 7:55:16 PM PST by Cold Heart
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To: blam
plan to deal with any pandemic by isolating.

I work every day on my bug-out truck (plumbing, heating, cooling, cooking, medical supplies, etc.). However, with a family of four, and three pet birds, it will be a little cramped.

92 posted on 11/12/2005 7:55:53 PM PST by steve86 (@)
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To: Judith Anne

When we used to sell spice the packages (from India) didn't have the "r" in the first syllable. Oddly, there seem to be many more spellings as "turmeric" on the Internet.


93 posted on 11/12/2005 8:01:35 PM PST by steve86 (@)
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To: blam
Unless you are more prepared than most of us, isolating will get difficult if this pandemic goes in waves, lasting over a couple of years.

And many of the deaths will be from dehydration, not suffocation. If you get past the first couple days, as will most of us old farts without pre-existing serious conditions, then if you are too weak in body and will (this flu gets both, big time) then you will die for lack of water unless someone else is keeping you in fluids for a few days. The fever will evaporate water from your rapidly fading carcass faster than just about anything you've done since the vigorous athletics of your youth.

94 posted on 11/12/2005 8:07:18 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (To err is human; to moo is bovine.)
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To: BearWash
"Looks like it will be repeated in 4 hours."

Watch it. It is the most current program I've seen, they do a lot of 'What If's' and don't hold anything back, some potential bleak situations and possibilities are examined and discussed.

It's so current that they even talk about the $7.1 billion that Bush has committed to the effort. Michael Leavitt said that he thought everyone had been sufficently warned and should be prepared, I disagree with that.

Anyone have any advice on how to manage (medically) my four dogs during a pandemic?

95 posted on 11/12/2005 8:14:01 PM PST by blam
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To: BearWash; Judith Anne
I would stick with my original contention to take Elderberry to avoid infection in the first place, then immediately discontinue if the system is overwhelmed and symptoms begin to emerge. In other words, take it prophylactically not as treatment. It is at that point I would switch to Tamiflu and amantadine.

I agree. I think it is a bit dangerous to keep taking Elderberry if you get infected.

Judith Anne, at issue is whether the increase in cytokine production from Elderberry is greater or less than the reduction of the virus. My guess is that it would cause more net cytokine production (i.e. the derivative of cytokine production >> derivative of virus reduction). Moreover, since there are alternatives, it seems that to continue to take Elderberry would be quite dangerous.

My specific plans are to take Elderberry (Sambucol), Cinnamon (for blood sugar control anyway), and Resveratrol (it is a nice anti-oxidant) prior to infection as a prophylactic. Then, if I get infected, to DROP the Sambucol and add Garlic, Green Tea, and Turmeric. I would also add Tamiflu if I can get it.

Of course, the real problem will be to get my kids to go along with this. Alas.

96 posted on 11/12/2005 8:14:51 PM PST by 2ndreconmarine
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To: ThePythonicCow
And many of the deaths will be from dehydration, not suffocation.

Just today I was thinking about hanging a a water supply from the ceiling, with a flexible hose, to make it as easy to drink as possible. I know, I'm way out in left field.

97 posted on 11/12/2005 8:18:19 PM PST by steve86 (@)
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To: blam

"Ahem, grape juice works just as well, I've read."

Spoil Sport!


98 posted on 11/12/2005 8:18:45 PM PST by GGpaX4DumpedTea
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To: ThePythonicCow
"Unless you are more prepared than most of us, isolating will get difficult if this pandemic goes in waves, lasting over a couple of years."

I can do that.

I plan not to have a dehydration problem by not getting the virus. I have one son (Dr. blam, physics) who lives in L.A. and I can't get him interested in preparations. He'll probably come home when TSHTF.

99 posted on 11/12/2005 8:19:33 PM PST by blam
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To: BearWash
This flu can take you from feeling fine, to unable to turn over in bed, in six hours. I don't think you can turn your immune system on a dime like that. If your immune reaction is strong enough to kill you, you'll be dead before you can suppress it.

If this one lasts a couple winters, in month or two long waves, you won't have enough tamiflu, unless you are able to afford far more than most of us. There just isn't enough to go around. Best to learn about the Tamiflu/Relenza alternatives while they are in ready supply.

And that amantadine won't do you a damn bit of good. From www.washingtonpost.com:

Bird Flu Drug Rendered Useless

Chinese Chickens Given Medication Made for Humans

By Alan Sipress Washington Post Foreign Service Saturday, June 18, 2005; Page A01

HONG KONG -- Chinese farmers, acting with the approval and encouragement of government officials, have tried to suppress major bird flu outbreaks among chickens with an antiviral drug meant for humans, animal health experts said. International researchers now conclude that this is why the drug will no longer protect people in case of a worldwide bird flu epidemic.


100 posted on 11/12/2005 8:20:09 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (To err is human; to moo is bovine.)
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