Doomsday flu

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Chris, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    WASHINGTON — Top US scientists defended their bid to stop details of a mutant bird flu virus from being published and called for global cooperation to ward off an uncontrollable pandemic.

    Meanwhile, scientists involved in the experiments said they are cooperating with government officials and the editors of the journals Science and Nature to pare down their research for publication in the coming weeks.

    The controversy arose when two separate research teams -- one in the Netherlands and the other in the United States -- separately found ways to alter the H5N1 avian influenza so it could pass easily between mammals.

    Until now, bird flu has been rare in humans, but particularly fatal in those who do get sick. H5N1 first infected humans in 1997 and has killed more than one in every two people that it infected, for a total of 350 deaths.

    The concern is the virus could mutate and mimic past pandemic flu outbreaks such as the "Spanish flu" of 1918-1919 which killed 50 million people, and outbreaks in 1957 and 1968 that killed three million.

    The recommendations from a non-governmental advisory panel that key details of the newly altered virus be withheld drew fire from some scientists who saw it as censorship of material that is essential for surveillance and the hunt for vaccines.

    Some experts have pointed out that the data does not show whether the engineered virus is actually transmissible between humans, and a major risk is that the virus would emerge on its own in nature.

    But the chair of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, Paul Keim, told AFP that even though the research has already been discussed by Dutch scientists at public forums, all 23 members voted unanimously to urge editors to withhold the data in case it fell into the wrong hands.

    "We were very worried about the perception -- that the world would view this as the US holding back information that is important for basic research and public health," Keim told AFP.

    "The US government is the one that paid for these experiments, so I think that it is the responsibility of the US government to step forward at this time. But it needs to be a global effort and we need a global consensus," he said.

    "This is such a dangerous biological weapon, it would not be controllable. Whoever used it would doubtlessly decimate their own people as well," added Keim.

    That scenario is not far-fetched, given the existence of radical elements throughout the world, from doomsday cults to suicide bombers, and even leading world governments, he said.

    AFP: Controversial 'bird flu' edits move ahead
     
  2. waltky
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    waltky Wise ol' monkey Supporting Member

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    Uncle Ferd says dem terrorists gonna try to kill us all...
    :eek:
    H5N1 Flu Virus Could be 'Engineered' to Put Hundreds of Millions at Risk, Scientist Tells Homeland Security Committee
    April 26, 2012 - If H5N1 bird flu, which has a 60-percent fatality rate, were engineered to spread like seasonal flu, hundreds of millions of lives would be at risk, a scientist told the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Thursday.
     
  3. Mr. H.
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    Mr. H. Diamond Member

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    My aunt died during the outbreak back in 19 of 18. She was six years old.
     
  4. Vidi
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    Vidi CDZ prohibited

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    Its estimated that the 1918 flu epidemic killed 3% of the worlds population. It could all happen again with a single mutated strain.
     
  5. waltky
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    waltky Wise ol' monkey Supporting Member

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    Canadian dies of bird flu...
    :eek:
    N America sees first H5N1 death
    Fri, Jan 10, 2014 - DON’T PANIC: Though the case in Canada was the first incidence of H5N1 avian flu contagion and death in the region, officials said the risk of transmission is minimal

     
  6. Mr. H.
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    Mr. H. Diamond Member

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    There have been quite a few flu deaths in the States this season.
     
  7. Delta4Embassy
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    Delta4Embassy Gold Member

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    Every upcoming flu season is depicted as the worst ever. But it's more about selling flu shots than anything else. A Spanish flu like outbreak is gonna wipe you out regardless so there isn't much point in worrying about it. :)
     
  8. whitehall
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    whitehall Gold Member

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    Be very very skeptical when the Country that used to be the greatest democracy on the globe suggests that Americans conform to "global restrictions" and give up still more basic freedoms "in order to ward off" some potential threat.
     
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  9. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    "Global injections"?

    We saw in 1918 what a worldwide pandemic can do. There is no reason another one could not happen today. What kind of freedom are you giving up if the government urges you to get a preventive shot against a potential pandemic? We created the CDC just for this very kind of threat. The fact that you consider this some kind of conspiracy simply shows how far from sanity you truly are.
     
  10. Mr. H.
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    Mr. H. Diamond Member

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    15 years ago, at the onset of winter, I thought to myself "hmmm I think I'll get a flu shot".
    Never mind that I hadn't had the flu in 10 years. Maybe it was the novelty of it. More likely because they were offering free shots.

    I got the flu.

    Not had a shot since, not caught the flu since. *knocks on wood* :D
     

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