Skip to comments.Bird Flu: "This thing Just Continues to March" (Interview w/Dr Michael Osterholm)
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.
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 spreadit's not really in their own evolutionary interest to kill the majority of their hostshe 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."
(Excerpt) Read more at citypages.com ...
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!
I got plastic and duct tape
I see that the financial shows have gotten in on the act as well in predicting mass panic and a market crash.
You'll be fine.
Duct tape won't work, ya gotta get duck tape.
Someone needs to write a book.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, West Nile virus is almost in season, killed a lot more than 100...
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.
What a foul story indeed Batman!
If someone can post this as a link I will be grateful.
This is a long article. I suspect more rational discussion will come at a later time.
In the meantime, enjoy the mockery!
I used up all my Y2k creamed corn and sausages, so I'm getting ready for another load. TP; lotsa TP this time...
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.
In the event that we have no water, I think we should all look into THIS product.
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.
Me neither. But I held my breath as long as I could...
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.
"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.
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.'
Wake me up when the millionth person has died from this.
"vast supplies "
Beer and pretzels.
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm, two of my favorite food groups, d.
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?
6.8 billion people in the world, and I'm going to be panicking because a million of them got some flu?
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 :->
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!
It's terrible that all these birds are getting sick like this.
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.
Don't get too optimistic. All it takes is mutation to allow that to happen, and then there will be "real problems".
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.
I confess, I didn't read the article. As I said, wake me up when people are really dying.
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.
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.
Ever read Compromised?
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?
Okay have you read the article either? It makes the same point. And then answers it.