Posting in Science
Given that most of those who died in 1918 had bacterial infections which struck before we had antibiotics, and that standard vaccines were not in use then, could we be dealing withwhat ended World War I, only doing a better job of it?
Were this the 1918 influenza pandemic, given what we now know, what we can learn, and how quickly we communicate, I wonder how bad it would be?
Start with the bad news.
You may still be contagious from this flu 8-10 days after symptoms start, meaning after you've recovered you can still spread it. And vaccine maker Glaxo SmithKline is being coy about how much it is charging for the vaccine. Someone needs to break that embargo.
But there is good news.
Vaccine supplies are coming on stream quickly, and it may be possible that one shot will do it for you. It could take as much as 8-10 days (again) to get an immune response, but it's also possible that starting next year the standard flu shot will cover both the seasonal and the new strain.
This flu remains deadly serious in developing countries, and we don't yet have a clear idea of how quickly and effectively the virus mutates.
But given that most of those who died in 1918 had bacterial infections which struck before we had antibiotics, and that standard vaccines were not in use then, could we be dealing with what ended World War I, only doing a better job of it?
Sep 15, 2009
and you don't need flu shots. I take supplements and natural raw honey and other immune boosters and never get sick. I used to get sick at least 5 colds a year and maybe one flu per year, now nothing.
Mikey brings up a good and interesting point. How do you calibrate the hype of a threat? Authorities have gone back-and-forth with H1N1. There has been little consistency, because each study has seemed to indicate a different set of results. Thus the hype has been reactive, not proactive. How should you be proactive? The only way to do that is to establish a "story" early on and stick to it. China has been proactive. Hasn't helped, in part because we were so reactive.
Actually the death rate from H1N1 is higher than that of seasonal flu, and death comes to a different sub-set of people. Old folks like me have little to fear. Young people, especially school- age children, may have much to fear. In the 1918 case death rates were highest among the young-and- healthy than any other subgroup. This may have been partly due to bacterial infections that crept into compromised immune systems. You'll recall that many young-and-healthy were busy fighting WWI.
I agree with LarryPTL. Last year here in Florida the media were hyping up a hurricane that all the computer models and all the conditions indicated was not going to be a major hurricane. The media hyped it and there were runs on gas and food here a hundred miles away from landfall. I could tell looking at the conditions that it wasn't that big of a deal. It knocked out power for a few thousand people when it made landfall and that was all it did. (aside from giving us some much needed rain) I came to the conclusion that the news media isn't selling advertising, they are selling fear and anxiety. They've cried wolf one times for me. I don't trust them anymore.
Each year an estimated 36,000 people die in the states of standard influenza. So far nothing in the H1N1 seems to indicate it will be any more lethal. And the main victims are the young, the old, and those with compromised immune systems. My big concern is media hype. A generation ago (summer of 1980) it seemed every TV newscast throughout the nation carried stories of how many people died from the 'terrible heat wave' that had struck Dallas and the entire northern Texas area. People in other parts of the nation got tired of hearing how many more people died due to heat, but the media couldn't put the story down. Is the same thing happening here?
Those rumors are mostly junk. I have seen people trying to use the same "patent" to claim three different companies hold a Vaccine patent. They are blatent cut and past jobs when you see the company names are the only thing changed between the three. Looks like personnal grudges against these companies to me. There is also another "patent" going around that claims to be for creating the H1N1 virus. Again depending on the copy the company name is different. It looks like a copy of one of hundreds legitimate of patents held on techniques companies use to culture viruses for testing. No where does it mention swine flu or H1N1. A high school kid could have written it.
They dug up samples of the 1918 flu about 6-7 years ago. BTW I read somewhere that there is a patent on this H1N1 virus... ? If something like that were true, what could be the purpose of that? Anyone know if it is patented? (sounds nuts to me...)