H5N1 vaccine?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by trebblekicked, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. trebblekicked macrumors 6502a

    trebblekicked

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    #1
    University of Pittsburgh researchers develop new avian flu vaccine

    "Because this vaccine contains a live virus, it may be more immune-activating than avian flu vaccines prepared by traditional methods, the researchers said.

    Because it is grown in cells, it can be produced quicker than traditional vaccines, making it an attractive option for preventing the spread of the virus in domestic livestock populations and potentially in humans, according to the study, which will be published in the Feb 15 issue of the Journal of Virology."
     
  2. MOFS macrumors 65816

    MOFS

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #2
    Hmm...not sure how useful this is gonna be. What with the time taken to obtain a full grant to sell it to the NHS/ American Health Service following full human trials, the virus would surely have mutated significantly by then. While some of the proteins might be similar, I still think its too early to guesstimate how H5N1 is going to mutate, and thus a vaccine may be as ineffective as the current 'flu vaccine. But then again - I'm a med student - not a virologist!:eek:
     
  3. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    #3
    This virus has killed how many people? all 10-20 of them? Those 10-20 people didn't live in the best places on the planet. Probably would have died of a head cold. I dont see why they are making this flu to be so bad. Are the drug companies that broke that they need another flu to make drugs for people to buy?
     
  4. topicolo macrumors 68000

    topicolo

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    #4
    Would you say the same thing if the virus killed 10-20 people living in the poorest neighbourhoods in Washington DC or LA? Gee, it only killed some people who would've shot each other anyway, who cares? What makes diseases you and I may get more worthy of research attention?

    Either way, if we used your line of thinking and abandoned research in creating vaccines for the H5N1 virus because there wouldn't be any money in it, we would be screwed when this virus mutates and incorporates the better transmission mechanisms of more common flu viruses such as airborne transmission (which there are already circumstantial signs of). We would be sitting ducks for a global pandemic where half of the infected people die of this disease because of its special ability to replicate extremely quickly in the lungs, killing its victims by pneumonia. The last case of a global flu pandemic, the Spanish flu of 1918, killed between 20 to 40 million people without even the advanced forms of transportation we have today such as airplanes, which would make the next pandemic even more deadly and faster spreading. Thankfully, we actually have people with compassion running some of the research programs and NIH funding for things the big pharmas won't take on. Not everyone is coldhearted and utterly profit oriented, cantthinkofone.
     
  5. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    #5
    the issue is not how many so far, it is how few have survived it! The majority that catch it die. If the number is 60% mulitply that by a billion and the numbers get nasty fast.
     
  6. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    #6
    Im not saying we should abandon research on the virus, im just saying they seem to be over-hyping it a little to much in my opinion. Back in 1918 we hardly knew any thing about diseases compared to today. Im sure simple quarantines would slow down the virus, if not stop the virus in its tracks.

    And i think it is safe to say that most drug companies are in it for the money. If the disease is cured, then how are they to make money if no one is sick with it? I would bet my life (as much as its worth compared to the next guy) that there has been a cure for cancer for a few years. Isn't cancer the biggest disease in the world apart from AIDs and HIV? I have known a few people with cancer. Three that i know of. Two survived it, one died after she thought she was curved.

    Im not trying to spark a conspiracy about the drug manufactures. They have done a lot for the world. But after generations of the business being passed down from grandfather, to son, to grand-son, the goal to help people, and make enough profit to pay off all the bills, and have some left over for your self, is probably switched. Money is the main goal. If they help a few people along the way then good deal. I guess you could tie it back to kings and emperors. The king or emperor might have been a great leader, and his son or daughter might have been great too, but what happens when the grand son/daughter or great grand son/daughter is born into such wealth, and power. They want more of it. Then the dynasty falls and a new one comes around and the cycle starts all over again.
     
  7. topicolo macrumors 68000

    topicolo

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    #7
    First of all, flu epidemics, espeically this one, cannot be solved by a few "simple quarantines." If you know about the flu life cycle, you'd know that birds such as chickens, wild ducks and migrating birds are the reservoir for the virus. They spread the virus from region to region and no simple quarantine in the world would be able to stop their spread, unless you somehow managed to kill or quarantine all of the fowl-based reservoirs in an affected region. Up until recently, H5N1 was solely spreading by direct contact from birds to humans but now there are cases of this virus in cats as well as potential human-human spread which is a big leap in this virus' potential capability to become a huge killer pandemic. The difference with this strain was best stated when stubeef said,
    Second, pharmaceutical companies are absolutely in it for the money. There are actual instances where they've stopped producing drugs which can potentially save a few individuals with really rare diseases because they couldn't justify the manufacturing costs but the big pharmas aren't the only source of research funding out there. The governments of many countries fund academic research into this area and things such as this new vaccine are the result. Your claim that "that there has been a cure for cancer for a few years" is ludicrous. If are convinced enough of that to bet your life, you'd be dead right now. I did my honours project in this area (more specifically embryonal carcinoma cells) and I can tell you that most of the main treatments for cancer hasn't changed much in the last 20 years. The only advances have been in treatment techniques. We have been understanding vastly new amounts about the protein and signalling interactions that lead to cancer, but aside from new treatment approaches like Imclone's use of monoclonal antibodies, we're still decades away from a cure. There are hundreds of independent causes of cancer and it's unlikely that there will be one cure-all. Just because some newspaper sensationalizes a promising result of a treatment in mice doesn't mean it will work in humans--in fact it doesn't most of the time. The only real cures for cancer we have nowadays are for mice.
     
  8. Phat Elvis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Location:
    Phila, PA
    #8
    Fear

    It's interesting. For every company that makes money off of people's fears of a pandemic there is another company that makes money off of people that don't buy into the fear.

    Just educate yourself, know the real risks, and keep your money in your pocket.

    As for this vaccine, the Pittsburgh group is pretty bright but the testing for a vaccine is pretty extensive before it gets released (see the Rotavirus vaccine). It won't make a difference this year. Get your flu shot.
     
  9. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #9
    [sarcasm]Why not, it seems to have been the mantra of the government and some people back in the 1980's with the HIV virus. [/sarcasm]

    The Spanish Flu of 1918 is the reason that the H5N1 virus is being taken seriously as a world wide threat.

    Don't sell short the medical knowledge of that time period. Is there media hype? Yes. Hype sells advertising. But the threat is real.

    Things have changed since 1918. We have many more pharmaceuticals to treat and vaccinate than they did back then. But viruses are smart, they can mutate over time. We are seeing more diseases that are resistant to current treatments because of use of drugs over time.

    It could be a very short time for the H5N1 virus to mutate, so as to make human to human spreading possible.

    Quarantines sounds simple enough. But by the time someone presents symptoms of H5N1 infection, they could have spread it 10 other people. And they then each spread it to 10 other people each.

    You could easily have 25% of the population under quarantine, with certain death being the result. The effect on the world economy would be devastating. Not to mention how do you quarantine the infected? Even if only 10% of the population presented symptoms, where do you put them? How do you provide treatment?

    Wish it were that simple. Sort of like the technology that Detroit has been sitting on for years that would give the Hummer the same power, but 50mpg's.

    There is money in a cure, as well as a treatment.

    I understand where you are coming from, even if I don't fully agree.

    I do think that "profit" has over ruled basic common sense. Look at the drop in Apple stock, even though they did do well - but not up to some "experts" expectations.

    My following comments may push this thread even further towards the Political Forum; but here I go. I believe that the "basics of life" should not be subject to profiteering. Meaning that food, housing, medical care, utilities, and the such should not be rewarded to the levels that we have allowed it to be in todays world.

    If this concept had been in place, there would never have been the Enron scandal. Drug companies do see some profits off of research that has been government funded through our tax dollars. They also show some profit off of the system of healthcare we have in the US as opposed to other countries. Why is that some drugs are far cheaper in Canada than here in the US?

    Much of this reminds me of "the money changers in the temple". I just hope we are truly judged on our final day, by the good deeds we have performed.
     
  10. bbrosemer macrumors 6502a

    bbrosemer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    #10
    Drug companies are not evil!!!

    Does anyone have any idea how much money drug companies have to put into research of drugs... It is in the billions, and that is just before the drug is put on the market. The real problem with all drugs is the goverment or ... FDA. The testing that drugs go through is for the most part overkill and yet still sometimes we find out the drug may still be harmful. Overall it is the hypocondirac socitey that we live in that has caused immense problems with the evolution of viruses. If people would only let there cold go away on its own, or take the flu for what it is survival of the fittest and evolution would continue to occur. By not allwowing the human body to naturally adapt we have been setting ourselves for a very dangerous, and costly disease. People are in a sense "devolving" and will be killed off in the millions when avian flu reaches humans. Our immune system has become very stagnant over the years and is going to cost us in the long run.
     
  11. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #11
    And remember that the flu in 1918 was a strain of Avian Flu

    also just as early as 1968 750,000 people i believe died in the Hong Kong flu.

    Stop the spread before it gets out of control
     
  12. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #12
    Drug companies are evil, why you ask? Because barely any of them are seriously working on an AIDS vaccine besides the government. Why? Because the corporations will wait for the government to come up with the vaccine and then they will just copy it and sell it for a high price.

    There is actually a thread on that around here. Time to go look for it

    EDIT:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=169160
     
  13. bbrosemer macrumors 6502a

    bbrosemer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    #13

    Do you not get it. Drug companies spend billions devloping drugs.... Billions. You probably have no concept of how much that is. If the goverment does the research than the cost of the drug will be considerably cheaper. For not just the company but the consumer too. Most research for flu vaccines are done by the goverment anyway. Then brought to market at very cheap rates. Have you ever noticed y most people are able to get the flu shot for free. Most drug compaines makes drugs for all you hypocondriacs out there who need medication becasue you stubbed your toe. Suck it up I took no pain killers after having my appendix removed. NyQuil isnt going to cure you cold either there buddy so just keep in mind the next time you pop some anti viral crap down all you are doing is helping that virus or that bacteria evolve. Meanwhile the human population continues to stagnate and possible through technology and "disease control" cause its own demise.

    here read this: http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/795_antibio.html
     
  14. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #14
    The problem with stats is in their source. Just think Eron. But how much of those dollars are attributed to costs shared by research by Government funded research.

    The FDA could do a better job if lobbyists didn't have their way. For every drug that came to market that was found to be harmful, there are many others that have been shown to be dangerous elsewhere in the world, but nver came to market here.

    Doctors share a great deal of the blame in this. And the state of our healthcare system. Doctors are being pushed to move their patients through quickly. No time for extended tests. No time to really sit down and explain why a prescription would not be needed.

    I can only hope that the doctors I have had over the years may help me in treatment with drugs against who knows what. They were reluctant to use "aggressive" drugs.
     

Share This Page