Bird Flu


Deepdale

macrumors 68000
May 4, 2005
1,965
0
New York
carpe diem said:
Is any body here scared of bird flu if so are you taking any precautions?
In practicality there is not much one can actually do. For the thin veneer of psychological comfort it may provide to those who feel better without being reminded of our feathered friends too much, I would stay away from parks, avoid watching Hitchcock's "The Birds," and make a concerted effort not to interact with birdbrains.
 

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,553
2,886
I was worried but then Tony Blair went on about schools instead. My guess is that the government dont think its that big an issue, so its OK. if it isn't OK then this could be what puts Labour in the bin.

away from politics though. I was worried but then again its only killed 50 or so people in China. I dont wish to cause offence if my thinking is a little outdated but China is a much more densely packed country and my guess is their health service and general state of health for the population isn't that good. I figure if it can kill 50 people there then then UK shouldn't worry too much. Besides its hit europe and even a parrot with the virus got to the UK, nobody is ill.

I have a 1000mg Vitamin C tablet everyday (for mouth ulcers originally) but since having them I'm just never ill anymore. Last time I was actually ill was 3 years ago almost when I got a bad cold in Paris. Before that I just cant remember! Vitamin C, plenty of protein is all you need. Well its kept me safe all these years.
That and the UK has 2 flu vaccines for every person here is a reassurance. Just incase the bird flu morphs into that apparent super flu.
 

PhilippeArni

macrumors newbie
Oct 30, 2005
10
0
GOOD POINT MR. But you shouldn't be too worried about the bird flu. Just keep on living your life normaly.
 

PhilippeArni

macrumors newbie
Oct 30, 2005
10
0
I'm not scared because I live in a safe country were the bird flu can't get through, cap dem don't be scared, JUST LIVE YOUR LIFE NORMALLY.
 

amin

macrumors 6502a
Aug 17, 2003
977
9
Boston, MA
It is concerning. Our protection is basically what it always has been - good hygiene, wearing masks when appropriate, etc. We have just been lucky in recent decades. No doubt a major flu will come at some point. When they come, they kill more than hurricanes, earthquakes, and most wars.
 
Bird flu can only travel currently from bird-->bird or bird-->human (with difficulty)

This virus will only be able to travel person-->person if one of two things happen.

1) It randomly mutates/evolves into having the ability to infect person-->person. Only 1/100000000 viruses mutate and then there is a miniscule chance that it will mutate to affect people. It will involves some very particular mutations of particular genes. If this was to ever happen it would take hundreds/thousands of years to occur, by whick time the virus would have died out anyway.

2) It gets together with an infulenza virus and they swap RNA (sic) and the influenza virus happens to pass the avian flu virus the RNA required to travel person-->person. Again, this is extremely unlikely.


Jesus
 

joepunk

macrumors 68030
Aug 5, 2004
2,557
13
a profane existence
No matter that the number of people who have died is small at the moment, the thing is, IMO, this outbreak is still relatively new and young and still has plenty of room to grow, mutate and spread. Oh and kill.

And no boarder guard is capable of stopping a virus.
 

dops7107

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2005
993
0
Perth, Oztrailya
Jesus said:
1) It randomly mutates/evolves into having the ability to infect person-->person. Only 1/100000000 viruses mutate and then there is a miniscule chance that it will mutate to affect people. It will involves some very particular mutations of particular genes. If this was to ever happen it would take hundreds/thousands of years to occur, by whick time the virus would have died out anyway.
That's a wonderfully precise statistic. Where did you get it? :rolleyes: How many virions are there in an infected individual? I wouldn't be surprised if it is at least 100,000,000 - in which case the probabilities are very much less unlikely. And your info about "thousands of years" is also dubious, given that a flu virus generation time is probably in the order of hours and so the opportunities for mutation in a given time are higher than for most organisms.

Jesus said:
2) It gets together with an infulenza virus and they swap RNA (sic) and the influenza virus happens to pass the avian flu virus the RNA required to travel person-->person. Again, this is extremely unlikely.
I would argue that this is pretty darned likely actually. Point 1) is reasonable, because you are saying that random mutation alone is unlikely to change one virus into another type. But horizontal gene transfer between two viruses is highly likely and is the reason why new strains constantly emerge each year and that people are never immune to colds etc. Get a bird flu replicating in a human cell at the same time as a human flu, and ooops, the wrong RNA gets packged in the wrong coat, or some kind of funny RNA recombination takes place... --> new strain with a mixture of capabilities.

I don't think it's too much to worry about - we're better prepared and able to cope than ever - but history tells us that a flu pandemic will happen some time soon. It's almost certain. Best thing to do is avoid people as much as possible once it hits - and if you get it, do the decent thing and try to quarantine yourself :)
 

Applespider

macrumors G4
dops7107 said:
And as we all know, Mac users don't get viruses :p
:D Nice one!

I'm a realist - for now, I'll carry on as normal. I'm generally pretty healthy but I figure, if I'm going to catch a lethal disease carried through the air, then there's not a lot I can do to stop it. The people who have stopped eating chicken that they buy in sealed packets from the supermarket, just in case, are loopy.
 

Jaffa Cake

macrumors Core
Aug 1, 2004
19,801
6
The City of Culture, Englandshire
Applespider said:
The people who have stopped eating chicken that they buy in sealed packets from the supermarket, just in case, are loopy.
I know someone who gave up eating beef during the BSE scare because it 'wasn't safe', but when the scare led to the price of beef being slashed she stocked up her freezer on all the cut price cuts, which she would eat when it was 'safe' again... :D

I'm not especially worried at the moment (although we've been told at work to wash our hands before making a cuppa to help stop its spread :rolleyes: ). There are stages it needs to go through before it becomes something that could threaten a pandemic – as dops7107 mentioned earlier – but at least the necessary authorities are (apparently) aware of the potential risks.

This reminds me... I'll have to give my doctor a call tomorrow and get myself in for my flu jab... :p