All signs are DC is not conscious of the greatest threat in 100 years: Pandemic flu

Singularity

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Oct 2009
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The number of strains being detected at pork and poultry farms, where patient zero is likely to manifest, is exploding.

To simplify this as much as possible: When you get the actual flu virus, it was probably extremely deadly to your ancestors. If you didn't get a shot and your immunity craps out, you might still die. This happens in numbers that make so-often discussed threats like terrorism, crime, other natural disasters, even car accidents in most places look rather tame. Because most victims are the very young or the very old, but not everyone. Young people especially can suffer a cytokine storm, where the immune system overreacts and inflammation ruins vital organs. But most people are just sick for a few days, at most a week or two, before recovering because they have latent, likely hereditary, immunity.

But none of that is going to matter if we get a novel strain of dreaded H1 virus. Every so often, some pig farmer in China will just get sick and die RIGHT AWAY and you'll see a headline about it. That's a novel strain that didn't spread, because it hasn't mutated to easily transmit between humans yet. But flu is constantly mutating, that's why you need to get vaccinated seasonally, and even the vaccine is just based on a rough guess of the flu varieties that we'll encounter this year. It can't stop a novel strain in advance.

This can't be overstated: No matter your political persuasion, the CDC and research universities that specialize in disease NEED funding. Plans to develop and mass produce an emergency vaccine NEED to be continually developed and refined. The public NEED to get vaccinated every year, and get re-vaccinated if the virus mutates mid-season, because it might help a little even if a novel pandemic strain appears. You should be calling or writing your Congress people and making sure they're aware of this situation. 1918 caught us by surprise, and we dodged a bullet in 1968. We're overdue for something that could kill 20 million people worldwide.
 
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Singularity

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There have been multiple reports of bird flu among chickens in the southeast region of the US recently.
Yeah, that's kinda nerve-wracking, and the ag industry is sometimes reticent about taking immediate action.

It's like, no, dude, if your chickens start dying of flu -- kill them all immediately and burn the bodies. It's not worth it.
 
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Presumably, if more people ate less meat or became vegetarians, there would be a smaller animal population in which a mutant flu virus could develop.
 
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You do remember that the REPUBLICAN CONGRESS cut the NIH, FDA and CDC! Before Trump, additional cuts are in Trump's proposed budget.

Great timing these assholes have, huh?

(And no I had not heard of a new wave of disease in chickens).
 
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Singularity

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You do remember that the REPUBLICAN CONGRESS cut the NIH, FDA and CDC! Before Trump, additional cuts are in Trump's proposed budget.

Great timing these assholes have, huh?

(And no I had not heard of a new wave of disease in chickens).
Well they haven't actually cut the CDC yet, that was part of the initial floater budget but that budget is DOA.

The purpose of this thread is not to indict Republicans in particular. The CDC has told both parties that it needs more funding to actively go into places where disease may arise and fight it there, before it mutates. But this request has been met with a general shrug. Pathogens are simply not on Congress' radar until they have infected Americans at home.

Problem is, if novel pathogenic flu reaches our shores or, worse, originates here at a poultry or pig farm, it'll be too late to spend money on preventing it or even fighting it except via desperate measures while a crash effort to manufacture vaccine takes place. We need to have that effort set up in advance so that the only thing that needs to be done is research HOW to create a vaccine. If pandemic flu arrives tomorrow, we'd have to build the infrastructure to vaccinate the population alongside research efforts.

Unless it's a perfect storm -- airborne, easily infectious, and contagious before deadly symptoms arise (which is a distinct possibility) -- then we'll have time to build herd immunity before it does irreparable damage with our existing infrastructure. But 2-5 million Americans will die. If a true triple threat occurs, then we're facing general societal collapse, most people will live but enough will die that we'll enter immediate depression and endure longterm labor shortages and possibly loss of law and order in the worst-hit communities.
 
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Singularity

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The ultimate goal here needs to be a gene vaccine, something that reorders the immune system so that the body handles unfamiliar strains a lot better. At the very least it would become possible to control cytokine storms, which are going to be the actual killer of the vast majority of pandemic flu's younger, healthier victims. If a cytokine storm doesn't occur, and the immune system otherwise holds up, the worst thing pandemic flu can do to a healthy adult is make them really, really sick.

It may be possible to program our genes to anticipate new strains of virus that the body has had no previous exposure to, and react to it as if antibodies did in fact exist. But that's a bit more of a holy grail.
 
Jul 2013
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The ultimate goal here needs to be a gene vaccine, something that reorders the immune system so that the body handles unfamiliar strains a lot better. At the very least it would become possible to control cytokine storms, which are going to be the actual killer of the vast majority of pandemic flu's younger, healthier victims. If a cytokine storm doesn't occur, and the immune system otherwise holds up, the worst thing pandemic flu can do to a healthy adult is make them really, really sick.

It may be possible to program our genes to anticipate new strains of virus that the body has had no previous exposure to, and react to it as if antibodies did in fact exist. But that's a bit more of a holy grail.
We are more likely to get a weaponized virus ala Twelve Monkeys from the fringe nutters infesting this planet.
 
Mar 2010
21,029
14,342
Indiana
The number of strains being detected at pork and poultry farms, where patient zero is likely to manifest, is exploding.

To simplify this as much as possible: When you get the actual flu virus, it was probably extremely deadly to your ancestors. If you didn't get a shot and your immunity craps out, you might still die. This happens in numbers that make so-often discussed threats like terrorism, crime, other natural disasters, even car accidents in most places look rather tame. Because most victims are the very young or the very old, but not everyone. Young people especially can suffer a cytokine storm, where the immune system overreacts and inflammation ruins vital organs. But most people are just sick for a few days, at most a week or two, before recovering because they have latent, likely hereditary, immunity.

But none of that is going to matter if we get a novel strain of dreaded H1 virus. Every so often, some pig farmer in China will just get sick and die RIGHT AWAY and you'll see a headline about it. That's a novel strain that didn't spread, because it hasn't mutated to easily transmit between humans yet. But flu is constantly mutating, that's why you need to get vaccinated seasonally, and even the vaccine is just based on a rough guess of the flu varieties that we'll encounter this year. It can't stop a novel strain in advance.

This can't be overstated: No matter your political persuasion, the CDC and research universities that specialize in disease NEED funding. Plans to develop and mass produce an emergency vaccine NEED to be continually developed and refined. The public NEED to get vaccinated every year, and get re-vaccinated if the virus mutates mid-season, because it might help a little even if a novel pandemic strain appears. You should be calling or writing your Congress people and making sure they're aware of this situation. 1918 caught us by surprise, and we dodged a bullet in 1968. We're overdue for something that could kill 20 million people worldwide.
It may not be the flu, but myself, my twin, and my parents have got the worst GD cold we have ever experienced right now. We are totally disabled with this nasty thing. I'm keeping an eye on my parents as they are 79 and 80. It's effecting our lungs, our sinuses and urination stream is very weak.

Hey did you know ground zero in the U.S. for the Pandemic Spanish Flu was the former Ft. Devens, Massachusetts? It ended up killing more troops than the WWI itself. The young and healthy were especially susceptible as it got their immune systems to work against them.
 
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Singularity

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It may not be the flu, but myself, my twin, and my parents have got the worst GD cold we have ever experienced right now. We are totally disabled with this nasty thing. I'm keeping an eye on my parents as they are 79 and 80. It's effecting our lungs, our sinuses and urination stream is very weak.

Hey did you know ground zero in the U.S. for the Pandemic Spanish Flu was the former Ft. Devens, Massachusetts? It ended up killing more troops than the WWI itself. The young and healthy were especially susceptible as it got their immune systems to work against them.
Yes I did. Fort Riley, Kansas, is also a famous source of the scourge. In its earliest days they actually thought the flu was a bacterial ailment, so no harm in letting troops go home to their families after being exposed to flu in Europe and getting sick on the way back/right after arrival. If troops had been properly quarantined according to modern standards, it may have burned out in the U.S. and thousands might've been saved. Should an equally virulent and dangerous strain of flu return 100 years later, it's unlikely we will have that quarantine opportunity. Unlike Ebola, flu spreads before the manifestation of unmistakable symptoms and can be airborne. If enough sick people get on even a handful of international flights, we're in big trouble.