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Thread: H7N9: Rise of New Pandemic?

  1. #1 H7N9: Rise of New Pandemic? 
    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    Pandemics have been (and still are) one of the greatest concerns of mankind. Human history is filled with records of pandemic diseases (e.g. influenza).
    The rise of the new H7N9 avian flu virus is troublesome due to its properties:
    "Avian influenza A viruses rarely infect humans; however, when human infection and subsequent human-to-human transmission occurs, worldwide outbreaks (pandemics) can result. The recent sporadic infections of humans in China with a previously unrecognized avian influenza A virus of the H7N9 subtype (A(H7N9)) have caused concern owing to the appreciable case fatality rate associated with these infections (more than 25%), potential instances of human-to-human transmission, and the lack of pre-existing immunity among humans to viruses of this subtype."


    A team of Japanese and American scientists have analysed two viral strains, isolated from human patients.
    The analyses suggest that the ability of the H7N9 virus to infect and replicate in human cells may be due to just a few changes in the genetic sequence of the virus.

    Furthermore, transmission studies with ferrets have shown that one isolated strain has a limited aerosol transmission (i.e. respiratory droplets).
    If a human is infected with the strain and you are at point blank and he/she coughs or sneezes, you have a great chance of becoming infected.

    The only positive note that I can mention in this thread, is that most of the strains were more or less sensitive to antiviral drugs (e.g. seasonal flu vaccine).

    Can we expect a scenario similar to the movie Contagion (2011) or do you think that we will be able to stop the H7N9 virus?


    Sources:
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12392.html
    Pandemic risk? Troubling traits of H7N9 avian flu virus


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    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    I was in the Far East when both SARS and the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemics occurred. In both cases the response in countries like Japan and Singapore appeared to be extremely good, with monitoring of people at all ports and airports, public buildings, etc.; availability and use of face masks and so on. It was bizarre to return to Europe and find they were (and still are) treated as a bit of a joke.

    So it is hard to know, really. Some of the places most at risk (because of things like high population density, a lot of travel) seem to respond well. Partly for cultural reasons (the Japanese are more likely to respond to official instructions than the Italians, for example) and also because they had seen, with SARS, how serious it can be. Other places may not be so prepared or so organised.

    I guess it is inevitable there will be another serious pandemic/plague type thing one day.


    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    On the plus side this will slow global warming.
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Depends when it happens. The pandemic may just wipe out the vestiges of the human race.

    Meanwhile, on a more cheerful note ...
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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  6. #5  
    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post

    I guess it is inevitable there will be another serious pandemic/plague type thing one day.

    I hope that you are wrong, but I expect that you are right.
    Yet, I can imagine that some people would not mind to witness the decimation of the human population.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    I am not a biologist, but here is my opinion;

    We need to do as much as possible to prevent and minimize pandemics, it represent a serious health threat, but we have to consider that humans have survived pandemics before, at times when people only knew there was a pandemic when it was hitting in full force.
    Now we are more equipped, better prepared and more informed, we are talking about strains that have yet-to-become pandemics.
    As I stated it it a serious health problem I dont want to minimize by comparing the number of world wide deaths by car accident in a year, oops I just did,
    car accidents are a serious health problem too, but goes to show we need to calibrate our level of anxiety to avoid being too scared for no reason.

    So to me, its not so much a question of survival for humanity, but a question of whether its going to be minimal contagion with well organized response, or a very high number of utterly needless fatalities and shit storm of economic devastation.

    We have the technology and resources to greatly undermine a pandemic, IF we were to prioritize this. If everyone on earth were to agree to spend 50% less on military, and use the resources, planning, and activity to quarantine measures and planning, so that in a pandemic we change from normal activity to quarantine mode (with laws to make it possible and convenient for most non essential activity to stop without negative repercussions such as stopping mortage payments, etc)

    Right now instead of having detailed plans that take into account and minimize the economic impact while optimizing the reduction in contagion, we have our head in the sand and are waiting for the shit to hit the fan, at which time we will suffer the full force of an utterly disorganized disruption of economic activity that BOTH disrupts the economy AND doesnt assure an optimal reduction of contagion!

    ex: is it better for people to Not pay their Mortgage or utility bill,
    a) because their corpse is rotting in their house (and will not be making payments next month , not next year, not ever)
    b) because they are waiting in their house for a period of time while emergency protocols ensure its not a financial problem to do so (so that the person can continue paying after the x days of quarantine?)
    Last edited by icewendigo; July 11th, 2013 at 02:14 PM.
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    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    We have the technology and resources to greatly undermine a pandemic, IF we were to prioritize this. If everyone on earth were to agree to spend 50% less on military, and use the resources, planning, and activity to quarantine measures and planning, so that in a pandemic we change from normal activity to quarantine mode (with laws to make it possible and convenient for most non essential activity to stop without negative repercussions such as stopping mortage payments, etc)

    Do you think that we are able to reduce the effects of a pandemic at a global scale? Not every country can do the same efforts (e.g. Japan vs. Nigeria), thus I ask the question if we do not merely reduce the pandemic to an epidemic.

    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    Right now instead of having detailed plans that take into account and minimize the economic impact while optimizing the reduction in contagion, we have our head in the sand and are waiting for the shit to hit the fan, at which time we will suffer the full force of an utterly disorganized disruption of economic activity that BOTH disrupts the economy AND doesnt assure an optimal reduction of contagion!

    If this statement is true, then I am starting to doubt if humankind deserves it to survive a pandemic.
    Isn't it one of the priorities of the WHO to set up and execute measures in order to decrease the morbidity of a disease?
    Last edited by Cogito Ergo Sum; September 19th, 2013 at 03:48 PM.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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  9. #8  
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    H7N9 in China is already happened three months ago , and now the weather is hot, the virus should not be large-scale outbreak again.
    It is said that when the outbreak of bird flu in China, the Government killed chickens and ducks across the city, finally, failed to identify the source of the virus
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    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luna247 View Post
    H7N9 in China is already happened three months ago , and now the weather is hot, the virus should not be large-scale outbreak again.
    It is said that when the outbreak of bird flu in China, the Government killed chickens and ducks across the city, finally, failed to identify the source of the virus

    Could you rephrase those statements? I am not sure I fully understand your input.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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