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Old 12-02-2006, 12:22   #1
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Post Spread of Bird Flu Boosts Pandemic Chances

The spread of bird flu from Asia to eastern Europe and now west Africa has increased the chance the virus will mutate and set off a pandemic, the U.N. bird flu chief said.

Dr. David Nabarro said there is no evidence yet of any change in the virus, which has killed at least 88 people since 2003.

Almost all the deaths have been linked to contact with infected poultry, but experts fear the virus could mutate into a form that spreads easily among humans, setting off a pandemic.

"Unfortunately, we cannot tell when the mutation might happen, or where it might happen, or how unpleasant the mutant virus will turn out to be," he said in an interview. "Nevertheless, we must remain on high alert for the possibility of sustained human-to-human virus transmission and of a pandemic starting at any time."

Nabarro said the arrival of bird flu in Nigeria should be "a strong wake-up call" to all countries to ensure that their veterinary services are on alert and report any instances of birds or poultry dying, and that health services quickly identify unexpected clusters of unexpected disease that could represent the start of a pandemic.

"We have got bird flu now in southeast Asia, central Asia, eastern Europe, and west Africa," he said. "Compared with eight months ago, this is a major extension of the avian influenza epidemic."

Nabarro said control measures put in place by countries have helped to contain the spread but bird flu is still expanding across the world "putting at risk the health of people who are living intimately with poultry and also adding to the overall load of the H5N1 virus."

He said it is the increase in the quantity of the virus in the world today that has boosted the overall chance of mutations, including a mutation that could cause a disease which could then spread through the human population.

"That's why we get so concerned about the spread of the virus, because we want to do everything we can to reduce the opportunity for mutation," Nabarro said.

He said one of the urgent needs is to establish how avian influenza reached west Africa.

"The likely means is by migrating wild birds traveling from north to south, and one of the main migratory routes passes from Siberia through the Black Sea area, including Crimea and on to west Africa," Nabarro said. "The alternative is that the virus arrived in birds that are being traded - and if that is the case they would have been smuggled as Nigeria had banned import of birds from avian influenza affected areas during the last two years."

U.N. experts have just received the genetic sequence of virus samples taken from the farm in Kaduna where the H5N1 strain of bird flu was discovered, he said.

Over the next few days, he said, the World Organization for Animal Health and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization will try to match that sequence with the genetic sequence of viruses from birds in other countries affected by bird flu, he said.

"If it turns out that H5N1 was carried to west Africa by migratory birds, we need to be prepared for the possibility that within the next six months it could be brought back to the northern hemisphere - but perhaps along a different flyway," Nabarro said.

"And that could mean that countries in Western Europe and North American should be bracing themselves for the possible introduction of H5N1 avian influenza," he said.

Nabarro said the challenge facing governments throughout Africa "will be to pick up instances early of suspected bird flu, quarantine the affected farms and communities so that the birds are not moved in or out, and then to stamp out the infection through selective culling."

The single most important thing governments can do, he said, is to put a total ban on bird movements in any area where bird flu is suspected.

With several outbreaks of bird flu now confirmed in Nigeria, Nabarro said, there is a need for special vigilance in other countries on the west African coast including Togo, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Nabarro said he was delighted that the Nigerian government will pay compensation for birds killed, "but unfortunately that never truly replaces the lost chicken."

"The sadness is that this will directly affect poor people for whom a chicken is a short-term savings account with an excellent rate of interest, and they depend on their birds for getting cash at times of need," he said.

Nabarro also praised the action being taken by Nigeria's Ministry of Agriculture, "which appears to be firm and rapid," but he expressed concern that the scale of the problem could overwhelm authorities.

"For that reason, rapid international assistance to Nigeria and support to neighboring countries is critical and the decision by WHO and FAO to provide urgent extensive support is the right one," Nabarro said.
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Old 12-02-2006, 12:54   #2
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Bird movements

They want to put a total ban on bird movements !!
Well my local Red tailed hawk just left his tree in search of some lunch. How are they going to stop him doing that ?
Do we have to round up all the Collared Doves and send them back ? Europe can definately have the English sparrows and Starlings back. We don't need them and they are a pest. Goddam sparrows kill the baby Bluebirds.
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Old 12-02-2006, 13:34   #3
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sparrows are getting close to endangered status in UK. In my youth they were the most common birds around, nowadays very rare to see them.
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Old 12-02-2006, 13:43   #4
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So Talbot.

What is your country doing, to prepare for a possible future outbreak there?

I just thought I'd bring that up. Since you are in Western Europe. And it hasn't hit there yet.

Also to Micheal.

What are you guys doing to prepare, up there in Canada?
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Old 12-02-2006, 14:48   #5
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Prepare

We have enough vaccine for the entire population. We have also recently discovered that a smaller dose of vaccine is okay. We are testing birds accross the land. That was already in grogress looking for the West Nile virus. We are staying calm as most educated folks realise that the risks are small for a healthy population. Most realise that the press is good at promoting " This time it is different " type of attitute. The elders remember that the flu killed about 25 million 75 years ago. A Yugoslavian doctor correctly discovered and told everyone that washing your hands often is good for preventing disease from spreading. Notice AIDs is not in the news very much, because that was yesterdays panic. AIDs is everywhere but educated people do not worry about it because they realise the chance of getting infected is about zip. The veternarians are reporting what types of virus the tested birds have. Flu is a common symptom for ducks but it is not the baddy strain. The biggest threat to our property in recent years was a fire.
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Old 12-02-2006, 15:07   #6
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Well Micheal.

That's good to hear.

As about here in the USA. I believe they are preparing.

I haven't yet looked into all the details, as of yet? But plan too, this week sometime. Want to know every detail. And know about innoculations. When necessary?

Yes. About washing the hands. That is a common-sense approach. And too bad everybody doesn't do that. I always wash my hands. Even during a regular cold or flu spell. Prevents form spreading even those germs!!
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Old 12-02-2006, 18:42   #7
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[QUOTE]CaptainK once whispered in the wind:

As about here in the USA. I believe they are preparing.

I haven't yet looked into all the details, as of yet?
[/QUOTE

I see another hurricane Katrina fiasco in the making. Our govt sucks at this kind of stuff. Best to take responsibility for yourself. Anchor out, wash foods, wear an AO Safety mask like the one you would use to do varnish when you go to the store, and stay away from crowds.

I said this before, but as sailors, we have one of the best lines of defense. Isolation.

It's office workers and schools who will bear the brunt.
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Old 12-02-2006, 21:37   #8
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Office workers. Banks. Schools. Hospitals. Government office buildings. Etc etc.

Sounds like you're right Sean.

We would have to isolate ourselves from the virus. And always keep washing our hands prior to eating. Or putting our hands to our faces!!
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Old 17-03-2013, 13:56   #9
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Re: Spread of Bird Flu Boosts Pandemic Chances

Interestingly the Black Plague also entered Europe through the Black Sea and Crimea. specifically the city of Feodosia. The Golden Horde of Mongolia came to sack the city. When their soldiers started dying of plague, they catapulted them over the city walls infecting the resident population of the city.
So you just never know about diseases. flying birds or flying corpses! Perhaps they needed and Iron Dome rocket defense system.
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Old 17-03-2013, 14:28   #10
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Re: Spread of Bird Flu Boosts Pandemic Chances

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimea Cruiser View Post
Interestingly the Black Plague also entered Europe through the Black Sea and Crimea. specifically the city of Feodosia. The Golden Horde of Mongolia came to sack the city. When their soldiers started dying of plague, they catapulted them over the city walls infecting the resident population of the city.
So you just never know about diseases. flying birds or flying corpses! Perhaps they needed and Iron Dome rocket defense system.
though this is an old thread i will bite

drug resistant malaria,dengue fever and anti-biotics losing their effectiveness are liable to be a far greater danger in our life times.

on the list next is clean water.
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Old 17-03-2013, 16:40   #11
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Re: Spread of Bird Flu Boosts Pandemic Chances

atoll... I agree! Malaria and dengue will never be controlled by humans. The parasites can mutate at 10,000 times the speed humans can develop effective antibiotics. Two sides of a river can have two different strains also. So unless you can eradicate all mosquitoes, then problem will always exist.

Waterbourne diseases are number one world wide risk. ( besides humans themselves )
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Old 17-03-2013, 17:00   #12
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Re: Spread of Bird Flu Boosts Pandemic Chances

I don't know about how old this thread is, But we had a outbreak of bird flu down here in Louisiana a couple of years back !! so ! Yea stuff can travel fast and a long ways in short order !! Just sayin eat healthy, and anchor away from other folks !!LOL
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Old 17-03-2013, 17:14   #13
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Re: Spread of Bird Flu Boosts Pandemic Chances

Interesting to see some of the sky is falling rhetoric here about what came to known as SARS in 2006. In reality it was handled pretty well considering the risks involved. Communicable diseases are obviously a big issue. I volunteered for a time in schools in Lesotho when their adult AIDS infection rate was 26%. There was a big push on in the schools then to educate about the disease and it is paying off slowly but surely. My biggest fear is that we have not invented a brand new category of antibiotic for a long time and the bugs are catching up. Hope something appears in the next ten years or so.

I saw on Noonsite that there has been a recent outbreak of dengue fever in Tahiti and Moorea. Nasty disease in a lot of ways.
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Old 17-03-2013, 17:33   #14
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Re: Spread of Bird Flu Boosts Pandemic Chances

Every year there's another soon-to-be pandemic. They haven't developed since, oh, let's see, WW1.
I'll spend tomorrow licking doorknobs, thank you.
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Old 17-03-2013, 18:17   #15
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Re: Spread of Bird Flu Boosts Pandemic Chances

OMG theres are parrot on my head!
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