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H5N1 To Arrive In US This Year, Says Interior Secretary Gale Norton

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Bloviating Zeppelin: H5N1 To Arrive In US This Year, Says Interior Secretary Gale Norton

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Monday, March 20, 2006

H5N1 To Arrive In US This Year, Says Interior Secretary Gale Norton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton said on Monday said that it was "increasingly likely" that bird flu would be detected in the United States as early as this year.

Speaking to reporters, Norton and Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns unveiled a plan to increase monitoring of migratory birds that are likely to bring the bird flu virus to U.S. shores.

Norton said bird flu would likely first be detected in the Pacific islands in Alaska, where testing for the disease will be a priority.

Norton stressed that detecting the disease in birds in the United States would not signal the start of a human pandemic.

H5N1, by the way, has already mutated within itself, I should like to point out. It is not impossible for it to cross species lines. I find this a remarkable and honest admission by an American bureaucrat. This might be an interesting time to begin to stock up on some provisions for your home.


Blogger Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

I was just fixing to say....before your last sentence...We might better start buying our tuna fish, can goods, and stock up... like we do for our hurricanes down here.

We stay pretty stocked up anyway...and with me not leaving much anymore...hopefully I'll be fine.

On a serious note, it is something to think about.

Mon Mar 20, 04:20:00 PM PST  
Blogger echotig said...

I haven't had any kind of flu since I was 12 years old. You know what that means?

I'll be the first to die!!!

We're all going to die!!!

Buy tuna!! If it came down to a can of tuna and nothing I'd be searching for m & m's in the cushions of the couch.

Stock up on beef jerky.

Mon Mar 20, 05:54:00 PM PST  
Blogger TexasFred said...

Never trust a woman with *BIG* hair...

Mon Mar 20, 06:29:00 PM PST  
Blogger bigwhitehat said...

I trust I will get better service at Wing Stop soon. If things get bad enough Troy Aikman himself will be making my wings.

Mon Mar 20, 06:44:00 PM PST  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

03 20 06

Blo Zep: What kind of provisions should one stock in terms of the medical stuff? I know you have been talking about the flu on and off for a while. Yet I don't know what can be done to prevent or treat this flu. Any ideas?

Mon Mar 20, 07:11:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Overall, it's interesting to note the reactions to this and other H5N1 news. Some think the world is tilting entirely off its axis, some think it's nothing but a bunch of needless screeching.

I'm in the "be aware and prepared" category. I've stocked up just because I live so darned far away from civilization -- though I work smack dab in the middle of a 1.3 million population zone.

What can we do medically? Hmm. Good one, Mahndisa. On a personal, individual level, not much. This may sound Moonbat, but I'd go with the simple stuff first: a box of the white med masks with the straps. We wear those when around TB patients. Simple and effective. Problem is, H5N1 has already mutated a couple times. And no one has a so-called "vaccine" yet. The other problem is that, at this point, it has a 50% lethality rate in humans.

Tue Mar 21, 07:25:00 AM PST  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Well, a duck with avian flu was found dead in Canada last year... a *wild* duck... so it is here, just not being looked for.

And requiring the avian flu to cross species lines and then become readily communicable is a two-stage operation. It does the first pretty well, but the second not so well.

The primary concern now should be that if you have the regular flu, stay home until you are over it. If an avian strain and a common strain both get into the same cell they *will* share genetic material with each other. So common health basics needs be addressed.

Second, in-nature mutations. Unfortunately avian, swine and human influenza all have some cross-species ability. What was interesting a few years ago were horses imported from thailand that went through quarantine to Australia and then started to transmit avian flu. That was an unknown vector. Additionaly bats also carry their own strains that can cross with horse, cow and human strains.

The entire influenza family is *very* successful, but not as much as the rhinovirus, or common cold. This means that the worst parts of influenza have not been weeded out through mortality and nasty strains still show up with high mortality rates. The common cold is more of a nuisance and spreads successfully to be a continuous nuisance. So keeping housepets indoors and isolating them from wild species when they are sick is a *good* idea. Do not give influenza a chance to diversify.

At some point, either through genetic mutation or combinatorial reshuffling the avian flu will turn into a human communicable form. Its lethality would be highly dependent upon what material it had or lost due to mutation and shuffling. It might be something that, like the cold, is a nuisance. Or it might be a 30% mortality rate virus.

There are advances on ways to analyze influenza strains and generate large amounts of anti-virus. But this is a per-strain solution and must be analyzed *first*. By doing away with the old egg incubation system, mass production can be done. That should be fully in-place within 5 to 10 years. Broader anti-virals, however, are proving not to work too well against current avian strains *and* are causing current strains to undergo a resistance process similar to bacteria and anti-biotics. Current strains are getting resistance to anti-virals by broad overuse and worry.

Will an avian flu change to be human susceptible and transmissable in a ready fashion? Most probably, yes. Time frame varies between tomorrow and 20 years, possibly much longer.

How bad will it be? Unknown as the mutations and genetic shuffling will change the virus in ways we do not know.

What are the safety preventatives? Wash hands if you have used objects common to others. Cover mouth when sneezing and then wash hands immediately. If you are sick with flu or flu-like symptoms, stay home. If your pet is sick, keep it in restricted spaces and out of contact with other animals of all sorts. Do not run in the hall with scissors.

If there is an epidemic, what are the precautions? Have at least 6 weeks of readily available canned and rehydratable goods at home. If you are dependent upon medications immediately get them refilled or get a 'vacation supply' refill from the pharmacy. The flu is susceptible to chlorine, so as long as the water supplies are kept in good shape that is safe. Always refresh your fresh water supply so as to have a few weeks of that on hand. Keep cleaning wipes available that have a harsh astringent in them. Surgical mask for viral filtration is good, ensure it says such on the package. Latex gloves are good, or the above wipes. Use the net to order goods, and only go out for short times for basics and avoid crowds. Continue all other safety precautions.

If you live along the pacific northwest coast, hope that the Cascadia fault doesn't let go. You will enjoy that less than the flu.

If you live on the east coast of the US, hope that part of the Canary Islands doesn't slump off, a half-mile high tidal wave will not make your day.

If Yellowstone erupts hold your loved ones dearly as darkness descends on the planet.

Does this put things into perspective?

Tue Mar 21, 08:38:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

AJ: I think the thing that really resonates with me is the part about running with scissors! Spot on, sir!

Tue Mar 21, 10:03:00 AM PST  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Mr. Z - I could not resist! Actually just simple safety that we are always told about will do us well. Stop the spread through hygiene. Don't go to work sick.

These simple things work... if you do them.

Wed Mar 22, 06:54:00 AM PST  

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