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Bird Flu: "This thing Just Continues to March" (Interview w/Dr Michael Osterholm)
Minneapolis/St Paul City Pages ^ | March 22, 2006 | Steve Perry

Posted on 03/23/2006 8:10:18 AM PST by Gritty

The CP interview: Dr. Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy talks about the flu that could bring the world to its knees.

(snip)

Of the 100+ human cases of H5N1 flu recorded, the vast majority have involved bird-to-human transmission, mostly among open-air poultry handlers in Asia. In addition, there are confirmed clusters in which it has passed person to person, though none of those has yet resulted in a breakout of the virus. One thing is clear, however: In its present form, H5N1 has killed over half of the people it's infected. The great flu pandemic of 1918-19, by contrast, killed about 5 percent of its victims.

Will it cross over? If it does, can it possibly remain as deadly? Though Osterholm notes that viruses usually do lose strength as they spread—it's not really in their own evolutionary interest to kill the majority of their hosts—he believes the only responsible answer on both counts is we don't know. But it's not just the characteristics of the virus that worry him.

One of the things that sets the former Minnesota state epidemiologist apart from other public health officials is his attention to the fate of the medical and social infrastructure in any serious contagious outbreak. With respect to bird flu, his outlook recapitulates in many ways what he had to say in his 2001 book about bioterrorism preparedness, Living Terrors much of the human toll in death, hysteria, and anarchy would be exacted not by infection but by the wide-scale breakdown of global supply chains and just-in-time delivery systems for vital goods and services. "I think Secretary Leavitt has been brutally honest in telling American communities, you're going to be on your own," says Osterholm. "I think he's right."

(snip)

(Excerpt) Read more at citypages.com ...


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1 posted on 03/23/2006 8:10:21 AM PST by Gritty
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To: Gritty; sure_fine

Time to lay-in vast supplies of canned creamed corn, Vienna sausages, canned tuna fish, powdered milk, and hide it all under your bed! Panic!


2 posted on 03/23/2006 8:12:57 AM PST by butternut_squash_bisque (The recipe's at my FR HomePage)
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To: butternut_squash_bisque

I got plastic and duct tape


3 posted on 03/23/2006 8:14:42 AM PST by sure_fine (*not one to over kill the thought process*)
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To: butternut_squash_bisque

I see that the financial shows have gotten in on the act as well in predicting mass panic and a market crash.


4 posted on 03/23/2006 8:15:53 AM PST by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: sure_fine
I got plastic and duct tape

You'll be fine.

5 posted on 03/23/2006 8:16:02 AM PST by beaversmom
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To: sure_fine

Duct tape won't work, ya gotta get duck tape.


6 posted on 03/23/2006 8:16:30 AM PST by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: cripplecreek

Someone needs to write a book.


7 posted on 03/23/2006 8:16:32 AM PST by beaversmom
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To: Gritty

Meanwhile back at the ranch, West Nile virus is almost in season, killed a lot more than 100...


8 posted on 03/23/2006 8:17:34 AM PST by quantim (A gullible public is the best friend of a weak politician.)
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To: cripplecreek

LOL!


9 posted on 03/23/2006 8:17:47 AM PST by Howlin ("It doesn't have a policy. It doesn't need to have a policy. What's the point of a Democratic policy)
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To: cripplecreek

Y2K redux?


10 posted on 03/23/2006 8:18:50 AM PST by butternut_squash_bisque (The recipe's at my FR HomePage)
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To: Gritty

Time to cancel Hildabeast's "It's fer the chilluns" vaccination bill and revive a decent vaccination-making capacity in our country. We are NOT prepared for any kind of flue emergency because the vaccination companies have almost all been driven out of business by hillarycare.

Actually, it's probably too late, because it will take years to restore the capacity she succeeded in destroying. But at least we could try.

Bush's behavior has been extremely puzzling. We get these canned tunafish alerts, but he has done NOTHING to really prepare the country for an epidemic.

Does anyone think that if there is a worldwide emergency we will be able to buy all the vaccine we need from foreign suppliers, like the French? I think they will want anything they manage to produce for themselves.

You have to wonder what hillary has on President Bush in her FBI files.


11 posted on 03/23/2006 8:20:05 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Gritty

What a foul story indeed Batman!


12 posted on 03/23/2006 8:20:49 AM PST by CROSSHIGHWAYMAN (Toon Town, Iran...........where reality is the real fantasy.)
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To: butternut_squash_bisque
Y2K redux?

Something like that. Actually I have no problem with people being prepared for emergencies. The missing family found in the mountains yesterday were surviving on Y2K supply's and even said they could have held out for several more weeks.
13 posted on 03/23/2006 8:21:44 AM PST by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: cripplecreek
I have Duck Tape.
14 posted on 03/23/2006 8:21:56 AM PST by I'm ALL Right!
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To: Gritty
Here is a link to the antidote to this story. It looks like some scientists don't think there will be any pandemic.

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=410181

If someone can post this as a link I will be grateful.

15 posted on 03/23/2006 8:24:25 AM PST by Trust but Verify (( ))
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To: I'm ALL Right!
I find it amusing most people so far have chosen to deride an article which they could not read unless they are a speed reader.

This is a long article. I suspect more rational discussion will come at a later time.

In the meantime, enjoy the mockery!

16 posted on 03/23/2006 8:24:31 AM PST by Gritty (We are dealing with a highly lethal virus that no one has natural immunity to - Dr Gerberding,CDC)
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To: cripplecreek

I used up all my Y2k creamed corn and sausages, so I'm getting ready for another load. TP; lotsa TP this time...


17 posted on 03/23/2006 8:25:10 AM PST by butternut_squash_bisque (The recipe's at my FR HomePage)
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To: butternut_squash_bisque

I didn't buy into the Y2K hype......much. I did buy a generator but Y2K gave me a good excuse and I've used it dozens of times since.


18 posted on 03/23/2006 8:27:27 AM PST by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: Gritty
Just joking. I am not blowing off the bird flu thing. In fact, I think the Y2K business made problems for everyone, because of the "crying wolf" scenario. It's hard to take them seriously now.

In the event that we have no water, I think we should all look into THIS product.

19 posted on 03/23/2006 8:30:16 AM PST by I'm ALL Right!
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To: Gritty

Fox News was reporting this a.m.
that studies show the Bird Flu
virus is "unable to attach itself
onto cells in the nasal passages of
humans" (I paraphrase this part)
and DIRET CONTRACT with the dander
of an infected bird is necessary for
transmission of the disease. To date,
we have had NO cases of bird flu
in humans without that direct contact.

This was reported as GOOD NEWS this a.m.


20 posted on 03/23/2006 8:30:43 AM PST by Grendel9 (u ()
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To: I'm ALL Right!
Tailgating will never be the same after the bumper dumper.
21 posted on 03/23/2006 8:32:48 AM PST by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: cripplecreek

Me neither. But I held my breath as long as I could...


22 posted on 03/23/2006 8:45:45 AM PST by butternut_squash_bisque (The recipe's at my FR HomePage)
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To: Gritty

This article is concerning, especially the part about, of all the flu strains throughout history that have been genetically studied, H5N1 is most like the 1918 pandemic virus, but even more deadly.

That's not speculation- it's actual verified genetic structure. The 1918 virus mutated into human-to-human form and the fact that H5N1 is so similar is obviously not good news.


23 posted on 03/23/2006 8:46:46 AM PST by Altair333 (Please no more 'Bush's fault' posts- the joke is incredibly old)
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To: Gritty
For those who haven't taken the time to read the entire article...here's a snip that might grab someone's attention:

"It doesn't matter if we invent vaccines if we can't manufacture them. This is a point I've tried to make over and over again. We also are approaching this from a very American-centric point of view, which in the end will be the death of us.

What's going to happen is, even if we could produce vaccines for our country in a timely manner, this global just-in-time economy we live in today is going to see the rest of the world shut down. Eighty percent of all the drugs we use in this country;all the childhood vaccines, everything;come from offshore.

Your cardio drugs, your cancer drugs, your diabetes drugs, 80 percent of the raw ingredients come from offshore. I could go through a whole laundry list of other critical and essential products and services that come from offshore. If the rest of the world experiences a pandemic, we're still screwed. That's what people don't understand. Somehow they have this attitude that we can wall ourselves off in the Eighth District of Minneapolis and be okay.

The bottom line is, it will be years, even at the accelerated rate we're going now, before we even get the right candidate-vaccines."...snip.

sw

24 posted on 03/23/2006 8:50:11 AM PST by spectre (Spectre's wife)
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To: Cicero
Bush's behavior has been extremely puzzling. We get these canned tunafish alerts, but he has done NOTHING to really prepare the country for an epidemic.

He seems to be responding more in crisis mode. Only addressing issues with money when its already basically too late. Lip service until its a crisis. Conspicuously squandering money then in response to liberal hectoring. New York after 9-11. Indonesia etc. after the Tsunami. New Orleans after Katrina.

He does have some good people though. Example:

Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, has said that the current flu vaccine shortage, underscores the need for "a comprehensive national strategy" to build up America's domestic flu shot manufacturing capacity.

"Our entire vaccine production system is fragile in this country,'' she said

When you study what the President has actually said about building a domestic capacity for vaccine production, and then what he has actually budgeted for, you are left with the conundrum.

It tends to confirm Bruce Bartlett's contention that the "policy formulation apparatus" in this White House is broken.

My cynical supposition has to be that this WH OMB, manifesting a doctrinnaire preference for "free trade" is undermining the President's own identified admissions of national need for domestic capacity. For them, its an outright conflict, one that they can resolve by 'sitting on it.'

25 posted on 03/23/2006 8:51:30 AM PST by Paul Ross (Hitting bullets with bullets successfully for 35 years!)
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To: sneakers

bump


26 posted on 03/23/2006 8:54:16 AM PST by sneakers
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To: Trust but Verify
It looks like some scientists don't think there will be any pandemic:   LINK
27 posted on 03/23/2006 8:56:07 AM PST by jigsaw (God Bless Our Troops.)
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To: Gritty

Wake me up when the millionth person has died from this.


28 posted on 03/23/2006 8:56:25 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: butternut_squash_bisque

"vast supplies "

Beer and pretzels.


29 posted on 03/23/2006 8:57:19 AM PST by dynachrome ("Where am I? Where am I going? Why am I in a handbasket?")
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To: dynachrome

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm, two of my favorite food groups, d.


30 posted on 03/23/2006 9:02:42 AM PST by butternut_squash_bisque (The recipe's at my FR HomePage)
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To: Gritty
Bump! Thanks for posting this article. Osterholm is the "gold standard" in bio hazard planning:


31 posted on 03/23/2006 9:09:23 AM PST by Paul Ross (Hitting bullets with bullets successfully for 35 years!)
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To: CharlesWayneCT
Wake me up when the millionth person has died from this.

I don't think there will be need to wake you up. You'll be wide awake, and why do I get the feeling you will be in full panic mode?

32 posted on 03/23/2006 9:09:34 AM PST by Gritty (We are dealing with a highly lethal virus that no one has natural immunity to - Dr Gerberding,CDC)
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To: Gritty
I teach 7th grade health class. Since I am going over infectious diseases with them anyway. I am planning to spend a class period discussing it with them. I downloaded a Q&A from the CDC that should answer most of their questions for the moment.
33 posted on 03/23/2006 9:11:50 AM PST by mware (A teacher of geography.)
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To: Gritty

6.8 billion people in the world, and I'm going to be panicking because a million of them got some flu?

Hardly.

In 1918, when we had NONE of the technilogical capabilities of today, had NO ability to communicate, had no real ability to transport goods and services, we lost 40 million people in the world to a flu.

This flu could be "as bad as" that flu. But we are much more capable of isolating and combating things today.

Anyway, I'm too busy panicking over the evil termites from New Orleans being shipped around the country in mulch :->


34 posted on 03/23/2006 9:14:04 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: CharlesWayneCT
Wake me up when the millionth person has died from this.

So, at least you admit to being asleep at your terminal when you're posting here!

You must never have even read the article. I knew it!

35 posted on 03/23/2006 9:15:58 AM PST by Paul Ross (Hitting bullets with bullets successfully for 35 years!)
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To: Gritty

It's terrible that all these birds are getting sick like this.


36 posted on 03/23/2006 9:18:43 AM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: CharlesWayneCT
In 1918, when we had NONE of the technilogical capabilities of today, had NO ability to communicate, had no real ability to transport goods and services, we lost 40 million people in the world to a flu.

Further proof. Your own statement contradicts your own conclusion in this matter.

Today we have countless more high-speed vectors for communicating the disease than there were in 1918. Cars. Busses. And especially passenger jets. Jumboized. And globalism has a whole passel of them going to and from the infected countries....right into the heart of the West.

37 posted on 03/23/2006 9:20:52 AM PST by Paul Ross (Hitting bullets with bullets successfully for 35 years!)
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To: Grendel9
"Fox News was reporting this a.m. that studies show the Bird Flu virus is "unable to attach itself onto cells in the nasal passages of humans" (I paraphrase this part) and DIRET CONTRACT with the dander of an infected bird is necessary for transmission of the disease."

Don't get too optimistic. All it takes is mutation to allow that to happen, and then there will be "real problems".

38 posted on 03/23/2006 9:21:30 AM PST by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel)
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To: CharlesWayneCT
This flu could be "as bad as" that flu. But we are much more capable of isolating and combating things today

Just curious. Did you read the entire article? Osterholm addresses this. If so, what precisely do you disagree with?

BTW, I hadn't heard that about the NO termites, but I'm not surprised.

39 posted on 03/23/2006 9:24:27 AM PST by Gritty (Socialism undermines the character of a nation and makes people worse Dennis Prager)
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To: Paul Ross

I confess, I didn't read the article. As I said, wake me up when people are really dying.


40 posted on 03/23/2006 9:29:09 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Gritty

I'm of the opinion, at least at the present time, that most of this avian flu thing is hype, but there are points raised that shouldn't be laughed off ... virtually everything comes from somewhere else now, hundreds or even thousands of miles away. We're just one major natural disaster, disease outbreak, terrorist attack or major war away from potentially extreme scarcity of the most basic of things, including food and fuel. The one-two punch of Katrina and Rita demonstrated this to some degree. So, preparedness is something we all need to be not just thinking about, but actually acting upon.


41 posted on 03/23/2006 9:32:14 AM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Gritty

The New Orleans termites is a scare put out on the internet that is almost entirely fiction, as discussed by snopes. The idea that we would be clueless as to the possibility of termites being in mulch, and therefore would let them get shipped all over the country and sold in bags to people with great negative consequences, is silly.

Anyway, I'm just poking fun at people who panic over specific but unrealised threats, when there are so many real threats around which aren't sexy enough to get noticed.

I always joke that one day we will spend trillions of dollars, and drive all civilization back to the stone age, because of the then-certain threat of global warming. Our efforts will be successful. At the cost of living like those in the 17th century, we will have cleaned up all our pollution, warming will stop, and all will be right with the world.

And then we will get hit by an asteroid and be wiped off the face of the universe.

It goes back to that fitness guru who spent years telling us we have to stop having fun and instead work at keeping ourselves healthy -- and then he had a heart attack at I think ag 50 while exercising.


42 posted on 03/23/2006 9:34:13 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Cicero
You have to wonder what hillary has on President Bush in her FBI files.

Ever read Compromised?

43 posted on 03/23/2006 9:37:47 AM PST by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: CharlesWayneCT
The media would never overhype anything would they?

This has gotten substantial press for about what...6-8 months or so now? Over that time, only a total of 100+ infections in some of the most populated regions of the world? And only folks with amazingly consistent contact with Fowl?

What am I missing here?

44 posted on 03/23/2006 9:39:02 AM PST by Sam's Army (Another unsuccessful attempt to refrain from posting)
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To: Cicero
Or check here instead.
45 posted on 03/23/2006 9:39:55 AM PST by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: Cicero
You can actually buy a copy here.
46 posted on 03/23/2006 9:40:55 AM PST by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: jigsaw

Thanks, jigsaw!


47 posted on 03/23/2006 9:45:30 AM PST by Trust but Verify (( ))
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To: CharlesWayneCT
It goes back to that fitness guru who spent years telling us we have to stop having fun and instead work at keeping ourselves healthy -- and then he had a heart attack at I think ag 50 while exercising.

Jim Fixx!

48 posted on 03/23/2006 9:46:15 AM PST by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: RegulatorCountry
"I'm of the opinion, at least at the present time, that most of this avian flu thing is hype..."

Dr. Osterholm does not "hype"!
49 posted on 03/23/2006 9:49:52 AM PST by Prokopton
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To: Sam's Army
What am I missing here?

Okay have you read the article either? It makes the same point. And then answers it.

50 posted on 03/23/2006 9:50:49 AM PST by Paul Ross (Hitting bullets with bullets successfully for 35 years!)
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