Sick Chicks  

rm_VoodooGuru1 49M
2116 posts
11/27/2005 6:02 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Sick Chicks

So I read that Vietnam is staging a bird flu drill. Does this mean they're going to get out, run a lap around the country and get back in?

Very few people with whom I've talked about the avian flu seem to be well-informed, even those who work in healthcare. Twice in the past week I've talked with people who didn't even understand why it was popping up everywhere so quickly... southeast Asia, eastern Europe, Middle East, northern Africa....

Now, I'm not an epidemiologist, I'm not even a clinician, but I have functioned as a bio-statistician at various points in my career. So, in the interest of public safety, I'd like to explain the phenomenon of such rapid spread of this dreaded disease. I think I can keep it in non-scientific terms simple enough that even the Saint will understand.

This particular virus is endemic to birds, that's why they call it the avian, or bird, flu.

With very few exceptions, birds fly.

caressmewell 53F

11/27/2005 7:26 am


rm_saintlianna 45F
15466 posts
11/27/2005 7:31 am

Hey! I read that! Well, duh I wouldn't expect a penguin to be a major reason bird flu is spreading, although they are adorable and I would love to have one, I would buy him little outfits and a back pack and we could go on walks.........oh sorry, off the subject huh?

MisterPriapus 56M
6980 posts
11/27/2005 7:44 am

Migratory season is Hell...

Maybe if the USDA, the USAF, the FAA, and the FCC & FEMA (for good measure) combined forces, I bet the situation could be made several orders of magnitude worse.

btw, thanx for the dumbed-down version, I was afraid I might have to exhume my biology and Audubon birding books...



Been a while since they last let me out into polite society. Resurfacing, catching a breath, & catching up.

And while I got my Broad-Brimmed Pimping Hat on, could I cajole all of y'all to Comment on, Alone In A Cloud? It's probably the best thing that I've written!



goddessofbitches 41M/33F

11/27/2005 1:16 pm

HAHA.....That's funny....


Always The Bitch

rm_VoodooGuru1 49M
2053 posts
11/29/2005 12:50 pm

caressmewell - you'd be surprised.

saintlianna - ya know, peng-oo-inss is practically chicken.

MisterPriapus - mark my words... the Right will be using this as a justification for Star Wars.

[goddessofbitches] - THAT'S HOT!

HHBBW - thank you!

MissAnnThrope 56F
11488 posts
12/2/2005 8:27 pm

You know, the World Health Organization has some interesting facts about the current bird flu, H5N1. Are you aware it's only been transmitted from poultry to human? There are still no documented cases of human to human infection. That is when it becomes dangerous. But here are some tidbits from their one page on it:

Do migratory birds spread highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses?

The role of migratory birds in the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza is not fully understood. Wild waterfowl are considered the natural reservoir of all influenza A viruses. They have probably carried influenza viruses, with no apparent harm, for centuries. They are known to carry viruses of the H5 and H7 subtypes, but usually in the low pathogenic form. Considerable circumstantial evidence suggests that migratory birds can introduce low pathogenic H5 and H7 viruses to poultry flocks, which then mutate to the highly pathogenic form.

In the past, highly pathogenic viruses have been isolated from migratory birds on very rare occasions involving a few birds, usually found dead within the flight range of a poultry outbreak. This finding long suggested that wild waterfowl are not agents for the onward transmission of these viruses.

Recent events make it likely that some migratory birds are now directly spreading the H5N1 virus in its highly pathogenic form. Further spread to new areas is expected.

How do people become infected?

Direct contact with infected poultry, or surfaces and objects contaminated by their faeces, is presently considered the main route of human infection. To date, most human cases have occurred in rural or periurban areas where many households keep small poultry flocks, which often roam freely, sometimes entering homes or sharing outdoor areas where children play. As infected birds shed large quantities of virus in their faeces, opportunities for exposure to infected droppings or to environments contaminated by the virus are abundant under such conditions. Moreover, because many households in Asia depend on poultry for income and food, many families sell or slaughter and consume birds when signs of illness appear in a flock, and this practice has proved difficult to change. Exposure is considered most likely during slaughter, defeathering, butchering, and preparation of poultry for cooking.

Does the virus spread easily from birds to humans?

No. Though more than 100 human cases have occurred in the current outbreak, this is a small number compared with the huge number of birds affected and the numerous associated opportunities for human exposure, especially in areas where backyard flocks are common. It is not presently understood why some people, and not others, become infected following similar exposures.

OK, so far there is no proof it can jump from human to human. That is when it becomes dangerous. Hey, remember SARS? How we were all going to die from that? It was a huge pandemic in Asia. Travelers were going to bring it here. There were a few cases in Canada, but that was it. Yet the media told us we were all going to die. It was the end of days. Yep. Right. Uh-huh.

Scaring people sells, where the news is concerned. Especially the latest death virus. When they have to cordon off Southeast Asia and not allow people to travel out of their countries, then there will be cause for alarm. But until then, it's just media hype.

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