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Old 20-02-2006, 23:13   #1
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Post Deadly viruses mutating to infect humans at rate never seen before

NEW DISEASES

AT least one new disease is jumping the species barrier from animals to human beings every year, exposing people to emerging germs at a rate that may be unprecedented.

The first work to catalogue the range of germs capable of infecting people has disclosed that 38 new human pathogens have emerged in the past 25 years. Three quarters of these, including Aids, avian flu, Sars and new variant CJD, originated as animal diseases.

The survey, led by Mark Woolhouse, of the University of Edinburgh, has identified more than 1,400 pathogens that can cause disease in human beings, at least 800 of which crossed the species barrier from animals.

While it is not known whether the rate at which diseases are jumping species is accelerating, Dr Woolhouse said it was impossible that human beings had been exposed to so many new pathogens so quickly through most of history.

Changes in human behaviour and the environment, such as bushmeat hunting, intensive agriculture, the ease of long-distance travel and global warming, were all likely to be helping animal germs to acquire the ability to infect people.

“The rate of accumulation we are seeing now is too fast to be supported over an evolutionary timescale,” he told the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in St Louis yesterday. “We would be overrun with pathogens.

“Either many of these pathogens will not persist in humans, or there is something very unusual about the present time. The most obvious explanation is the pace and scale of change in the ways humans interact with their environment, providing new opportunities for humans to be exposed to and to transmit novel pathogens.”

The deadliest example of a germ that has recently crossed from animals to human beings is HIV, which is thought to have started out as a monkey or ape virus in Africa. Other conditions with an animal origin include the Ebola and Marburg haemorrhagic fevers, the coronavirus that causes Sars, the West Nile virus that is now endemic in the United States and H5N1 avian flu.

The class of pathogen most responsible for new human infections is the RNA viruses, which include HIV and influenza. These seem particularly adept at jumping species because they have small genomes that mutate easily, allowing them to adapt to new hosts.

The animal reservoir of new diseases with the potential to infect human beings requires a new approach to medicine, in which its human and veterinary branches become more closely allied to detect and fight the pathogens that present a threat, Dr Woolhouse said.

“We have to recognise that there is really only one medicine,” he said. “Pathogens don’t distinguish between humans and animals, but we do with our distinction between medicine and veterinary medicine. We can’t afford to go on like that. Vets and medics need to work together.

“This has to start with students. Veterinary students need to learn about the public health implications of their field of study, and medics really need to get their act together.

“In the medical textbooks, the discussion of any disease always starts with the first human case. No it didn’t. It was probably in animals first. We need to exploit this knowledge in the veterinary field if we are to have the best chance of containing new pathogens.”

His call was supported by Nina Marano, of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta. “We have to bring public health and veterinary medicine closer,” she said. “Eleven of the 12 top-category bioterror agents are of zoonotic (animal) origin, and we are seeing the spread of highly pathogenic H5N1 flu.”
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Old 20-02-2006, 23:59   #2
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Am I in the minority by not freaking out about bird flu? I have read on other sites about people stocking up on fuel etc to escape the dreaded thing. In a tight community like here we practise very easy and basic hygene, as the impact of viruses (vira?) is devastating. Motion sensing, soap dispensing hand washers near the galley, no doors to touch between them and the food line, no dirty plates near the food line, sneeze guards over all food, coughing into your arm instead of your hand. It's all pretty much common sense stuff. The motion sensing handwashers can be replaced by simple liquid soap dispensers.
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Old 21-02-2006, 00:13   #3
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I'm not freaking out.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

There now. I feel much better!!!

Well let's face the facts, shall we?

One day. We human's will have to face this crappy virus one way or another.

And if our bodies don't get immune. We simply die off. Then, if we're lucky enough to leave now. By cutting the lines. And while the people you know back in "whatever town" are back there starving to death. If the virus haven't killed them yet!!

You have to look at the country as a whole phicture. Eventhough, if a country has contained a outbreak. It's only temperorary?

After the virus leaks through containment. It'll start more panic. Truckdrivers will not want to enter a city that is quarentined off. Supplies of food and medicine will crawl to the ones who really needs it.

Another point of view. Our countries ar not really prepare for this sort of thing. And they never will.
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Old 21-02-2006, 00:29   #4
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I think the media has a lot of responsibilty here and that they're letting themselves and everybody down. I have read very little on prevention techniques but a lot on mitigation. It's a very basic concept of risk management to protect rather then react but the media seems only to be highlighting the potential devastation rather then concentrating on educating people on how to avoid it.
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Old 21-02-2006, 09:22   #5
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Some folks just love to predict the future. Just like the world will end because of the computer problems at the beginning of 2000.
That did not happen so lets go find another something to worry about. All the animals and all the people are going to die. The only uncertainty is when that will happen, and who will decide when that will happen. I mention the last part because millions of animals have their life cycle controlled by farmers and pet owners. I decide how long the cows and sheep will live. I have a very good idea how long I will live. Our ability to handle infection has to do with our increased longivity. The average lifespan of a North America Indian was 45 about two hundred years ago. It was also about 45 in many European countries. Many of us are getting a free ride already.
What did happen at YTK is the Fed floated about 50 billion for the banks to have funds for the panic, the money had an inflationary effect, the rates went up in response and the market over corrected. A 25% drop was in line but the planes crashed and the markets have yet to recover in some areas. I am much better at predicting the past. Some have said the future is not what it used to be. Just how you look at it. I am not concerned.
I made it through the early 80s in the boat business, survived the great fire of 003, managed to stay in the financial business after the planes crashed, and got separated over the last 18 months. You want me to worry, not a chance. I am busy getting my boat ready for another year. Here is a prediction you can count on. I will be in the top three in my fleet overall for the year.
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Old 21-02-2006, 23:32   #6
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Now that's a prediction I can get behind.
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Old 23-02-2006, 15:58   #7
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I will be in the top three in my fleet overall for the year.
What racing regattas at your local yacht club, Micheal?
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Old 23-02-2006, 18:43   #8
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Regattas

We start two weekends from now and have a weekly race until November. I think it is best 16 out of 26 for the annual awards. There are other awards for the beginning ( tune up ) and end ( frost bite ) races, but it is the overall I am after. We also hold two regattas per year.
Our number one fleet has: Hobie 33, Olson 30, Kirby 25, C&C 29. Holland 7.6, Soling and others. The number two fleet has Catalina 27, Benaslow 33, CS 36, Tanzer 22, Crown 23 and others. There is also a Santana 525 fleet and a white sails fleet. I wanted to get a Holland 7.6 but they were too much money for a second boat, so I got a Tanzer 22.
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Old 23-02-2006, 19:02   #9
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So Micheal.

What do you think of the Catalina 27's?

Good boat. Bad boat?

Cause I got my eye on a Catalina 27 right now. Hull number #27. Built in 1973. In great shape!!
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Old 23-02-2006, 19:46   #10
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Catalina 27

I said a lot about them in another thread. They make okay lake boats, they sail okay, and that is about all the good things I have to say.
My T8.5 is bigger, handles rough weather better, is much easier to walk forward, just all round a more structuraly sound boat. But The Catalina 27 is faster in light air. So it is a matter in intended purpose.
I do not like the narrow deck, the large hatch, the slope of the hatch, the rudder, and I am not crazy about the way the hull can flex when on the hard. The rudder is a disaster. I have also heard there can be a lot of weight variance between boats, as in 5500 to 6500 pounds. Other than that lots of folks are happy sailing them. We have one the sails quite quickly in our fleet. It has a new rudder.
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Old 23-02-2006, 20:04   #11
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After a delightful talk at our Club last night by a Sea going lady I was chating with two Catalina owners. I told them how I spent $1500- at the boat show on miscelaneous pieces. I got zero sympathy as they had both just received bills for $3400- to fix their boat bottoms. One is a Catalina 25 and the other is a Catalina 270. The 25 owner said it was just a matter of time as all boats blister. That was her way of comming to grips with the bill. I told that my boat has never had a blister and never would. I did offer that my US made T22 does have a few minor blisters.
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