Bird flu may evolve into epidemic - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 09:29 PM
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RE: Bird flu may evolve into epidemic

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GermanStar - 2/3/2005 9:19 PM

I've read of death estimates ranging from 20 - 100 million from the 1918 pandemic. The U.S. was only sideswiped by something like 500,000 deaths. With the prevalence of commercial air travel, no one will get sideswiped this time, if it manages to get off the ground. And conditions created by the tsunami so close to the point of origin... shudder...
Europe and the USA will be exposed more than any other geographical area simply because of as you indicate, traffic. However, we may be able to ameliorate the effects because we also have the most advanced medical science and facilities for vaccine development.

The best question to ask is not what we did wrong, but what we can do that will make things better. A great question to ask if you're a taxpayer is what you want your money spent to address in regards to this certainty--a future pandemic that will kill millions, probably in your lifetime.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Bird flu may evolve into epidemic

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Botnst - 2/3/2005 9:29 PM

Europe and the USA will be exposed more than any other geographical area simply because of as you indicate, traffic. However, we may be able to ameliorate the effects because we also have the most advanced medical science and facilities for vaccine development.

The best question to ask is not what we did wrong, but what we can do that will make things better. A great question to ask if you're a taxpayer is what you want your money spent to address in regards to this certainty--a future pandemic that will kill millions, probably in your lifetime.
I can't help but look at flu vaccine developement as little more than a honing of skills for the pandemic that's bound to strike sooner or later. I'm sure all those years of practice will count for something. The problem is the time required to develop enough vaccine to make a real difference. I've seen it described as a nearly impossible problem. The conclusion I've drawn from all this is to be hopeful, but not too hopeful...

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 11:01 PM
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RE: Bird flu may evolve into epidemic

I agree, G.

The turn-around time from detection to deployment of vaccine has vexed a half-century of scientists. The CDC (and other health organizations worldwide) have detection systems, "sentinels", around the world to detect the presence of comminicable pathogens. They are the ones that find the haemorrhagic fevers (www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/vhfmanual.htm), for example.

We also had (until recently a fairly recently) a widely dispersed capability to deal with large-scale production of vaccines in the USA. because of the incredible wisdom of Congress and the Executive, we've eliminated a good portion of that ability.

But the big problem is not in either detection nor is it in production. It is in the twin problems of prediction and bureaucratic decision-making.
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