current official [b]predictions[/b] on H5N1 in US

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by suburbanite, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    Note that this is an article about the best guesses of the experts. How that compares with reality as it unfolds is anyone's guess.

    http://www.theksbwchannel.com/news/9792460/detail.html

    PS: the thing I'm keying on here is the prediction that it will be affecting the poultry industry in this country in the next few months as a bird-only problem.
     
  2. wvpeach1963

    wvpeach1963 WVPEACH (Paula)

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    90 million people sick, possible 2 million dead.

    Not just birds affected, in those numbers.
     

  3. janandkenny

    janandkenny Well-Known Member

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    that article says that it not transmitting from person to person easily... that IF it did, there would be a global pandemic... and then gave those numbers. So the big word is IF.

    I didn't realize that the virus was detected ten years ago.

    jan
     
  4. Jethro

    Jethro Well-Known Member

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    This sounds like the swine flu scare the national health people started years ago. They got 135 million to play with and the vacine people made a killing, and in the real world there was almost no threat at all.
     
  5. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    THe thing to remember is that the past is a great predicter of the future.

    Avian flu has gone pandemic before. Yeah, Swine Flu was a bust, but it's killed massive numbers before.

    This country couldn't handle a pandemic like 1918 -- the hospitals don't have the surge capacity, and people would panic. H5N1 has the potential to be a good bit worse than H1N1 in 1918.
     
  6. Steve L.

    Steve L. Well-Known Member

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    Or never.
     
  7. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    Steve, it is 100% certain there will be another flu pandemic. On average there has been one every 30 years for the entire history of mankind.

    The question of the hour is, will this nasty super-killer H5N1 be the next flu pandemic virus, or will it be some other, less nasty flu that is more similar to the seasonal flu that we have going around every year?

    In the case of a pandemic flu that is only as severe as normal seasonal flu, we would still have problems that have not occurred in past mild flu pandemics. The way that the mild pandemic flu would differ from seasonal flu is that, since nobody would have immunity, instead of having 5% of the workforce out, you could have 40% or more of the workforce out with flu--even though they all get better and come back within a couple of weeks. We've never had a world-wide 'just in time' economy in any of the past flu pandemics, so we don't know what this kind of absenteeism in affected regions will do to the worldwide economy.

    In a pandemic there just aren't enough medical resources available to do much to address the illness itself, be it a mild flu or a killer; the best strategy is not to get sick in the first place--and 'good luck with that'. But there are things people can do to insulate themselves from the economic byproduct of that kind of absenteeism--the resulting shortages and such.

    The thing to do is stock up--something that comes pretty naturally to the folk on this board.

    If you right now at the drop of a hat could enter the 'buy nothing' challenge thread for at least 6 weeks and preferably 12, without being unduely inconvenienced, then you are 'ready' for a pandemic flu, whether H5N1 or any other type. Because our economy is stretched so thin, it doesn't take a killer flu, just a widespread one, to really kick us in the tushie in terms of our internationally interwoven supply chain.

    More is better. Mormon folk who are stocked up for a year as part of their religion are well off and need give it little additional thought, except perhaps to add over-the counter flu remedies. The rest of us need to do a little work.
     
  8. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    No, there will be a pandemic, probably several of them, someday. We just don't know when.

    Kathleen
     
  9. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    Jethro, there's really no way to know if that was a total debaucle or if those flu shots, at least in Texas where the virus emerged, actually prevented the virus from getting loose.

    Likewise, Y2K 'didn't happen' because truckloads of computer programmers combed through acres of computer code to make the necessary changes to prevent major problems.

    SARS didn't become a pandemic because the people in places where it emerged worked aggressively to contain it. China continues to do so on an annual basis when it crops up again, as people there continue to contract it in rare outbreaks from its wild-animal source.

    It is important that we distinguish between 'false alarms' and 'effective interventions'.

    It is also important for people on this board to look at this from two points of view--one is, theoretically this virus might become a widespread threat to humans and disruption to the economy. The second is, this virus *is* a widespread threat to poultry, and the only reason we haven't had to deal with it yet is because of a couple of oceans.

    Wild birds carrying it here is not the only risk to poultry. There's all kinds of smuggling going on, both of poultry products and live birds, coming from countries where the killer bird-virus is commonplace. So we can't just assume that our poultry is safe, even if wild birds here are not found with the virus. The outbreak in Nigeria, for example, occurred not because of wild bird migration, but because of chicks smuggled in from China.

    The upper midwest US recently had a 2 ton seizure of bird parts smuggled from China (chicken feet and goose entrails, mostly), and Texas recently had an abandoned home raided wherein hundreds of exotic chickens smuggled from Indonesia had been left in their own filth to die. Either of these incidents could have brought the deadly virus to American soil; there could have been an outbreak without any warning signs, as a result of criminal activities.

    Poultry folk really need to take a 'neighborhood watch' sort of approach about this virus. Turn in any illegal poultry-activity they suspect. They need to urgently take to heart the USDA suggestions for a more biosecure facility (my interpretation, basically, is to build a wall-less barn roof over coop and chicken run, with a 3 foot margin on all sides, then fence it top to bottom in aviary wire (small chicken wire) or hardware cloth, so that no bird droppings can get into the coop or run and no wild bird can approach closer than 3 feet. this would also thwart hawks and foxes, btw.) And they need to segregate ducks, who can carry the deadly virus without showing illness or with only mild illness, from chickens, in whom the virus is 100% fatal. Lastly they need to use common sense and not bring sick chickens into the house--instead maybe build a little heated 'chicken hospital' box where they can care for sick birds while avoiding exposure themselves to whatever the bird may have. It's an expense, but it doesn't have to be a crippling expense.

    One of my fears is that the government will declare backyard flocks without a biosecure facility a threat to commercial chicken farming, and run around exterminating the flocks. If a backyard farmer can demonstrate that they have a biosecure facility, I think this scenario could be avoided. :soap:

    (I've been waiting to find a reason to use that emoticon! :D )
     
  10. ozarkcat

    ozarkcat Well-Known Member

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    On the other hand, we didn't have antibiotics in 1918, either. People tend to die from the flu due to complications such as pneumonia or extremely high fevers - things that we have a much better chance of dealing with today.
     
  11. Steve L.

    Steve L. Well-Known Member

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    Did I say that there would never be another flu pandemic?

    The "two weeks or two years…" refers to a pandemic caused by a mutation of H5-N1, a mutation that may never happen..

    The whole point of this article is to promote fear of H5-N1.
    The last two lines are obviously an afterthought.
    We saw articles just like this with Legionaire's Disease, with SARES, with Lyme Disease, with West Nile Virus...
    They were gonna kill us all too... :shrug:
    Well, I probably could do that. :)
    Maybe that's part of the reason I'm so skeptical.
     
  12. Salmonberry

    Salmonberry Registered Nut

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    What bothers me is the culture of fear this breeds. Yeah, this could happen. We are also waiting for the big earthquake in California and Mississippi. We are also waiting for Mt Rainier in WA state to blow. We are also waiting for another big terrorist attack. So many threats to instability. The main gist of the prediction is not that there will be a human pandemic, but that many BIRDS will be affected. Whomever wrote the story injected the information about humans. Yes, there may be a human H5N1 flu pandemic this year, chicken little, but I, for one won't be controlled by fear mongers.

    Salmonberry
     
  13. teresab

    teresab Well-Known Member

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    Better safe than sorry is my motto...so I stock up and when something major happens we're ok holed up here for a good period of time..in the mean time I rotate my stock and keep eating as normal. No Fear involved...just being prepared.
     
  14. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    cat, this particular flu does NOT work like "normal" flu virus - it's fast and furious and of all humands infected 50% have died within 3-7 days IN the hospitals, on ventilators!
     
  15. Kstornado11

    Kstornado11 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm w/ Salmonberry on this one.

    Quote:
    "The upper midwest US recently had a 2 ton seizure of bird parts smuggled from China (chicken feet and goose entrails, mostly), and Texas recently had an abandoned home raided wherein hundreds of exotic chickens smuggled from Indonesia had been left in their own filth to die."

    That's SUCH utter BS. I can't believe that these things can be smuggled in...where is the security?? Totally inexcusable. :grump:
     
  16. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In a pandemic we won't have antiobiotics & modern medication for the majority of the population either. The health system will be rapidly overwhelmed. This is a REAL threat -- there's very little surge capacity in hospitals today, and limited stocks of medications. Ordinary medications are out of stock on a routine basis anyway, including a few common and important ones.

    If suddenly we need truckloads of antiobiotics, corticosteroids, and tamiflu -- we can't do it. We just don't have the capacity. We can't convert other facilities to making more without shorting supplies of other meds.

    And then independent of supplies there's the issue of personnel. A well-adapted strain of influenza is wildly contagious and the first people to be exposed are going to be the medical personnel -- the doctors and nurses, pharmacists, even the administrative personnel and orderlies and everyone who makes the medical system in this country run.

    It's a prescription for a disaster. And panic.

     
  17. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Oh, and the people who die are dying of things like DIC and VIRAL pneumonia and systemic organ failure. Respiratory failure is one cause of death, but it's not necessarily due to bacterial pneumonia.

    And antiobiotics (and corticosteroids) are not helping overseas. In the more modern countries fighting this with modern medical technology the death rate is 50%.

    In Indonesia, with some modern medical care but probably delayed due to a tendency to try to treat patients at home first -- the death rate's 75%.

     
  18. Trixie

    Trixie Well-Known Member

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    I absolutely don't know what to think about this situation.

    One reaction is - it's a government manufactured panic. It could be designed to keep us in panic mode.

    Could it just be another attempt to eventually say that individuals should not be raising fowl and only the commercial growers will be allowed?

    Another reaction - It is altogether possible that this is real.

    As to exotic birds being smuggled in - of course it is possible. Only a small percentage of cargo is inspected coming into our ports. I would imagine an even smaller percentage of train loads, or trucks, are inspected coming in - especially from Mexico. We know that parrots and other birds are smuggled in regularly.
    So it is possible.

    We do know that people are coming across our borders daily that are carrying all manner of diseases. We should be very concerned about those diseases - that are very real. They are here now.

    If it does become human to human, it most certainly can, and will , come across our borders. There is nothing to stop it -

    I live in the middle of an area that has a lot of chicken production. This presents two thoughts. Will this be safer as I am sure these chicken people are watching this disease quite closely? Or will they use this as an excuse to destroy private flocks, even though there is no flu, to 'keep their production safe'?

    I do know this, these chicken people are getting very stringent on the disease control in their chicken houses.

    Some years ago, anyone could go into those houses. If you were visiting with the people who ran the houses, you could go with them and go into the houses. Now only the people with a reason can go into the houses. There are mats they walk on before going into the houses.

    There once was a time, they just put the dead chickens in a barrel and a truck picked them up periodically. Now they are placed in a sealed container - much like a biohazard container.

    So, bottom line, I don't know. I do know it behooves us to be prepared to 'hunker down' for a while if possible. A flu epidemic might occur, a terrorist attack might occur - and we do know that infectious diseases like we have never seen are coming across our borders daily.
     
  19. phantompark

    phantompark Well-Known Member

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    Try reading The Great Bird Flu Hoax by Dr. Joseph Mercola.
    Title kind of gives you a hint what it is about. It might just calm you down about the "flu".
     
  20. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    Well, I don't see that there can be any harm in being able to sustain your household for several weeks or months without having to make a trip to the store, especially if you rotate your stock. I see that as the primary action for individuals against a human pandemic. It also works against any other kind of disaster that might strike you, from flood to civil unrest to earthquake...about the only disaster it won't help is fire, which would consume the preps, though some cans might survive.

    And the modifications recommended for coops, at least as I understand them, are do-able and have advantages even if there isn't a virus problem in birds--and they help against other common poultry viruses, like Newcastle Disease, that definitely is here in the US. So I don't see much harm in doing those things either.

    Better safe than sorry.

    The biggest national expert on this topic is Michael Osterholm. His stated goal has been to 'scare people *into* their wits, not out of them'. I just wish that articles like the one I linked to would tell people what to do about the threat, not just say 'the boogeyman's gonna get ya!' A better message is, "we think there's a boogeyman, and here's what you can do about it just in case."