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 Interesting bird flu article, FYI
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2007 :  12:48:22  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
Pro-med update

quote:
Nearly 90 per cent of the people who've been diagnosed so far with
H5N1 avian influenza virus infection were under age 40, a new
analysis from the World Health Organization shows. ...

The 2 British scientists looked at ages of reported cases and
compared them to population figures for countries reporting human
infections, looking to see if the demographic compositions of those
countries provide some clues. Their analysis showed that the
imbalanced distribution of cases is seen in both genders throughout
the duration of the ongoing H5N1 outbreak (which began in late 2003)
and across all countries which have had enough human cases so that
statistics could be crunched. That suggests that the trend probably
isn't due to local cultural or geographic factors,

Current evidence indicates that pandemic influenza of humans since 1918 has
been restricted to 3 influenza A virus subtypes: H1 (1918-57 and
1977-present); H2 (1957-68); and H3 (1968-present). If an element of
immunity to avian influenza A (H5N1) does exist in older populations,
its possible association with geographically widespread
(intercontinental) influenza A events before the late 1960s merits
further investigation."



The death rate was highest among cases aged 10 to 19; 76 per cent of
cases in that group died. Cases aged 50 and over had the lowest death
rate (40 per cent) followed by children under age 5 (44 per cent) and
children aged 5-9 (49 per cent). The total case fatality rate was 60 per cent.

Cases have increased over time, the unnamed authors reported, with
the cases in the 2nd year of the 3-year period twice as high as those
recorded in the 1st year. From year 2 to year 3, the number of cases
rose by about 25 per cent.



So this is both good news and bad news times two.

The good news, a substantial portion of the population may have some immunity. This could dampen a pandemic since there would be less people to spread the infection.

The bad news #1, it could indicate the conclusion H5 won't become infectious enough to become a pandemic was wrong.

Bad news #2, look at that death rate and the ages most affected. It's similar to the 1918 experience, which could indicate the circumstances are similar therefore the risk of a repeat pandemic is greater, not to mention it would be just as devastating to the world even if older people had some immunity.


Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9666 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2007 :  15:47:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
So, basically...
If a pandemic hits, I should stay indoors and have mom go out and pick up groceries and other food in the mall and feed the parking meter.

Damn. I just realized that after 2 chemo-therapies 10 years apart, she'll be one of the first to go. And I cannot depend on my dad's bypassed heart to cope either.
Looks like I'm screwed too.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
Edited by - Dr. Mabuse on 02/12/2007 15:50:07
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Original_Intent
SFN Regular

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2007 :  06:00:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Original_Intent a Private Message
All I need to know about the bird flu (that I don't already know) is at what temperature it dies. We have several months of food and drinking water stockpiled, the ability to greenhouse with growth lights (the fuel supply could possibly be a problem here and economic conditions forbid the building of an actual greenhouse.) My biggest concern is water for everyday use. The poll barn gutters will collect more water then we need as long as I don't have to worry about avian bird poop......

The study makes sense. If I am not mistaken (which is always possible), it attacks the immune system. Younger people have more vigorous immune systems then older folks (asa general rule). I wonder how it affects folks with auto-immune disorders such as Chron's.....

Peace. Be a grasshopper, not an ant.....
Joe
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Ghost_Skeptic
SFN Regular

Canada
510 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2007 :  08:14:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Ghost_Skeptic a Private Message
The virus does not attack the immune system. It is an over reaction by the immune system (a cytokine storm) that kills many infected individuals. The reason most fatalities are in youger individuals is because older people have been infected by a virus that was sufficiently similar for their immune systems to recognize the bird flu virus in time.

"You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. / You can send a kid to college but you can't make him think." - B.B. King

History is made by stupid people - The Arrogant Worms

"The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism." - William Osler

"Religion is the natural home of the psychopath" - Pat Condell

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter" - Thomas Jefferson
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2007 :  01:54:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
The study showed those over 40 were actually infected less, not that they had milder disease, Ghost. Though the cytokine storm is still believed to be playing a role in the fatality distribution. It's a lot of speculation that is what caused the age fatality distribution in 1918 but we don't have access to the patients to actually check.

The few blood surveys that have been done on H5N1 did not show much unnoticed infection. But it wasn't clear if the younger victims were closer to the chickens by a cultural phenomenon such as being the one to get the eggs out of the coup. Now that the disease has been looked at in a broader setting, something specific to an age group in a particular society can't account for the age distribution of infection. It's really too early to conclude anything. These are just hypotheses.


Edited by - beskeptigal on 02/14/2007 01:55:35
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Original_Intent
SFN Regular

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2007 :  22:08:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Original_Intent a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ghost_Skeptic

The virus does not attack the immune system. It is an over reaction by the immune system (a cytokine storm) that kills many infected individuals. The reason most fatalities are in youger individuals is because older people have been infected by a virus that was sufficiently similar for their immune systems to recognize the bird flu virus in time.



ACK... I actually knew that... Not.... Enough.... Coffee.... at the time. I remeber finding it interesting and wondering how my body would react. Maybe it will be too busy bugging me with Chorn's to bother with the bord flu.

Joe
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