Pandemic warning thread


God Bless Our Troops!!!
This will be one to watch develop. Avian bird flue isn't so bad compared to this. If this mutates towards humans we are sunk.

Manila reports Ebola virus in pigs
By Roel Landingin in Manila

Published: December 11 2008 20:24 | Last updated: December 11 2008 20:24

Philippine officials tucked into servings of lechon, the popular dish of roasted whole pig, in front of television cameras on Thursday to reassure the public of the safety of the national staple meat after the discovery among hogs near Manila of a strain of the Ebola virus.

Arthur Yap, agriculture secretary, and Francisco Duque, health secretary, said the Ebola Reston virus, which had never been found in pigs before, presented a low health risk for humans and was different from the deadly African variety.

The World Health Organisation was reported to be looking into whether there was any chance humans could have become infected.

The outbreak could deal a blow to Philippine plans to build a pork export industry. The government halted an inaugural shipment of frozen pork to Singapore and quarantined three swine farms.

Pork vendors in public markets in Manila sought to assure buyers that their products had passed government inspection and met safety standards.

“December is the month when we sell the most pork at relatively higher price,” said Evelyn Reyes, who operates a small pork stall in Quezon City. “I really hope the government does a good work of calming people’s fears about the Ebola virus.”

Pork accounts for more than half of the average 61g of meat consumed daily by each Filipino.

The virus was first discovered in 1989 in macaque monkeys imported from the Philippines by a laboratory in Reston, Virginia. Scientists are trying to determine how the virus spread to pigs.

look at the typical personal hygiene in these places....or lack there of. they will have a much tougher time dealing with this due to that, not that we wont have problems here as well. I just dont think to the same scale. If people are conscious of proper nutrition, keeping thier immune systems at peak.......etc
the problem is...

look at the typical personal hygiene in these places....or lack there of. they will have a much tougher time dealing with this due to that, not that we wont have problems here as well. I just dont think to the same scale. If people are conscious of proper nutrition, keeping thier immune systems at peak.......etc

In most of the world there is a serious lack of sanitation. If enough people become infected the airplane will bring it to us in droves. (curse you Orville and Wilbur)

Once they start coming to more civilized countries for treatment etc. it will rapidly run out of control. dont go startin up one of those damn conspiracy theories HK...:eek:
China warns of "grim" fight against deadly bird

China warns of "grim" fight against deadly bird flu 21 Jan 2009 00:29:01 GMT
Source: Reuters
BEIJING, Jan 21 (Reuters) - China faces a "grim" situation in preventing and controlling human cases of bird flu, the health minister said, after announcing four human infections in the last two weeks and three deaths.

Health Minister Chen Zhu called for hospitals to spare more resources in diagnosing and treating bird flu and more cooperation between agriculture authorities and his ministry, Xinhua news agency said.

A Chinese newspaper reported that the mother of a toddler diagnosed with bird flu had died of severe pneumonia earlier this month, but no samples had been taken to see if she had bird flu. She had been in contact with poultry before her death.

The toddler, and the three recent fatalities, have all fallen ill in areas where there have been no known cases of bird flu in birds. China vaccinates heavily for bird flu, raising concerns among some experts that the vaccines could be masking the presence of the virus.

"The current cases are separate cases. There's no connection," Shu Yuelong, vice director of virus control and prevention with the National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

"But these cases warn us to improve prevention and supervision over the epidemic and ensure early detection and diagnosis when new cases are found."

The H5N1 strain of flu remains largely a virus among birds, but experts fear it could change into a form that is easily transmitted among humans and could spark a pandemic that could kill millions worldwide.

Since the H5N1 virus resurfaced in Asia in 2003, it has infected 391 people, killing 247 of them, according to WHO figures released in mid-December.

At least 34 people have been infected in China and 23 have died.

(Reporting by Lucy Hornby; Editing by Nick Macfie)

AlertNet news is provided by
The scariest part?

You know, humans and pigs are not that far apart genetically. In fact, we use heart valves from pigs for transplant into humans, insulin from pig pancreas, and even a new experimental treatment utilizing fetal cells from pigs to treat Parkinson's.

Unfortunately, common (porcine-homo sapien) retroviruses have pretty guaranteed that, if a virus has made the jump to swine, then we are the "other other white meat". Pigs are kind of like our viral "mine canaries".

Too bad they taste so good.

Ebola may have passed from a pig to a human

Ebola may have passed from a pig to a human
By Donald G. Mcneil Jr.
Published: January 23, 2009

In the first known case of what may be transmission of the Ebola virus from a pig to a human, a pig handler in the Philippines has tested positive for a strain of the virus, world health officials and the Philippine government announced Friday.

But the strain — Ebola Reston — is not known to be dangerous to humans, and the worker, who was infected at least six months ago, is healthy, officials said.

The development is worrying because pigs are mixing vessels in which other viruses from humans and animals exchange genetic material, possibly creating strains that are more lethal or more infectious.

But Dr. Juan Lubroth, chief of animal health at the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, said there was "more need to investigate than to worry" and still many unanswered questions.

Ebola Reston, normally a monkey virus, was first found in pigs last year in the Philippines. Health authorities closed two farms and took blood samples from 6,000 pigs and 50 workers on the farms and in slaughterhouses. Only four pigs and the one worker tested positive, the Philippine health secretary, Francisco Duque, said at a news conference in Manila.

Dr. Lubroth said the first pigs tested were very sick, but turned out to have more than one infection, including a virulent reproductive and respiratory syndrome. ,The Ebola Reston may not have been what sickened them.

"But farmers, of course, would prefer to have pigs without Ebola," he said. "So we want to do more testing to see what they can do to protect them."

Broader sampling will determine, among other things, whether the disease is more common in pigs and humans than was known, whether it causes fever and how long its incubation period is.

Ebola Reston was first found in monkeys from the Philippines that died after arriving at a laboratory in Reston, Virginia, in 1989. Antibodies to it were found in workers in several laboratories, but it is not known to have caused more than a mild flu in any human.

By contrast, the Zaire, Sudan and Bundibugyo strains of Ebola, all found in African apes, cause fatal hemorrhagic fever in humans.

It is not known how the pigs were infected, but Dr. Lubroth noted that studies in Africa found Ebola viruses in fruit bats. Similar bats live in the Philippines, and fruit bats are thought to have transmitted Nipah virus to pigs, possibly through their droppings or dead bodies. More Articles in Health »
Plague Warning!

2 Mice Carrying Plague Disappear From New Jersey Lab, FBI Says No Public Health Risk

Saturday , February 07, 2009


The frozen remains of two mice injected with the organism that causes plague have not been accounted for seven weeks after being discovered missing at a University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey facility in Newark, the university said Friday.

The FBI investigated and determined there was no risk to public health or any indication of the terrorist link.

It wasn't the first time plague-infected mice have disappeared from the New Jersey facility. Four years ago, in September 2005, three live mice infected with bubonic plague bacteria disappeared from various cages. Officials later said they believed the rodents had died.

UMDNJ's Public Health Research Institute issued a four-paragraph statement about the December incident late Friday saying it believes the red hazardous waste bag containing the dead mice was sterilized and incinerated along with another bag.

"Although the mice in the missing bag were used in vaccine experiments involving the bacteria Yersinia pestis, the organism that causes plague, UMDNJ has no reason to believe that this situation poses a risk to the safety or health of UMDNJ staff or the community at large," the university said in its prepared statement.

University spokesman Jerry Carey said he did not know why UMDNJ waited seven weeks to disclose the missing mice.

Bryan Travers, a spokesman for the FBI office in Newark, told The Star-Ledger of Newark that the FBI determined there was "no nexus to terrorism or risk to public health."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also investigated after the Dec. 19 discovery that mice were missing. A CDC spokesman had no immediate information on the status of its investigation.

Dr. David Perlin, director of the research institute, said the experiment was part of a National Institutes of Health bioterrorism program to test a vaccine for plague. The infectious disease often caused by bites from rodent fleas is of interest to researchers because of its potential for use by bioterrorists.

Perlin said when mice die during an experiment, they are double bagged, labeled then sprayed with a disinfectant before being placed in a freezer for storage, where they are kept for the duration of the research. Afterward, the bagged remains are sterilized then shipped offsite for incineration.

"Any time you are putting something wet in the freezer, there's a chance bags can stick together, and frequently they do," he said of the disinfectant-sprayed bags.

The rodents had been infected with the plague, Perlin said, but he said they posed no threat to research staff or the public in part because they were dead. They were also housed in a secure facility that follows protocols for a biohazard site, he said.

Millions of people died from plague in the Middle Ages, when homes and work places were inhabited by flea-infested rats. Antibiotics are effective against plague, but the disease can be fatal if an infected person is not treated quickly, the CDC Web site says. There is currently no vaccine.

Perlin said the institute has begun taking inventory of all logged hazardous waste bags before sterilization following the incident.
first case of Ebola in USA

1st US case of Marburg fever confirmed in Colo.
2 days ago

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (AP) — The first U.S. case of Marburg hemorrhagic fever has been confirmed in Colorado, and authorities say the patient — who contracted the rare illness while traveling in Uganda — has since recovered.

The disease, caused by a virus indigenous to Africa, spreads through contact with infected animals or the bodily fluids of infected humans. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesman Dave Daigle said no previous cases have been reported in the United States.

The patient had traveled to Uganda, visited a python cave in Maramagambo Forest in Queen Elizabeth Park and encountered fruit bats, which can carry the Marburg virus. The Ugandan government closed the cave after a tourist from the Netherlands died from Marburg in July.

The patient was treated at Lutheran Medical Center in January 2008 and sought follow-up care in July, after learning of the tourist's death. The patient recovered and his or her identity wasn't disclosed.

Pierre Rollin, acting chief of the Special Pathogens Branch of the CDC, said specialized tests of the initial sample taken in January 2008 confirmed the illness in the Colorado patient in December.

CDC officials said identifying the virus and how a patient contracted it can be difficult. It often depends on the quality of the sample being tested and the timing; samples taken early in the patient's illness makes identification easier, Rollin said.

Marburg hemorrhagic fever is extremely rare. The CDC's Web site counts fewer than 500 confirmed cases since the virus was first recognized in 1967. More than 80 percent of the known cases are fatal.

It has an incubation period of 5 to 10 days. The first symptoms are fever, chills and headaches, but symptoms worsen significantly after the fifth day of illness.

Lutheran hospital spokeswoman Kim Kobel said none of the staff and physicians who cared for the patient has developed symptoms.

Rollin said the CDC is testing hospital staff to see if any illnesses were undetected at the time.
In most of the world there is a serious lack of sanitation. If enough people become infected the airplane will bring it to us in droves. (curse you Orville and Wilbur)

Once they start coming to more civilized countries for treatment etc. it will rapidly run out of control.
That all depends. Bird flu, Ebola, etc are dangerous but realistically, they're not likely to sweep across the nation. The fact that they're effective so quickly means that the infections are quickly discovered and people can be quarantined ASAP. Even in the worst case scenario, a rapid kill rate means that all potential hosts in a town or city will be eliminated. Ebola and bird flu aren't very good at surviving outside of a host.

HIV/AIDS has been so successful specifically because it lies dormant for so many years. A decade later, someone will probably not even remember who they were originally with that gave them the virus. What would really be scary is an airborne virus that kills its victims in about five years - and by then, it could spread to billions without anyone noticing.
Flu kills 149 in Mexico, WHO raises alert level

Flu kills 149 in Mexico, WHO raises alert level
27 Apr 2009 21:03:37 GMT
Source: Reuters
(For full coverage of flu outbreak, click [nFLU])
Reuters AlertNet - Flu kills 149 in Mexico, WHO raises alert level
* WHO raises pandemic alert level

* Mexico says death toll up to 149, closes all schools

* Two cases confirmed in Scotland

* U.S. urges caution in traveling to Mexico

* China, other states ban U.S. pork imports (Updates with WHO raising pandemic alert level)

By Alistair Bell and Jonathan Lynn

MEXICO CITY/GENEVA, April 27 (Reuters) - A new virus has killed up to 149 people in Mexico and the World Health Organization moved closer on Monday to declaring it the world's first flu pandemic since 1968 as the illness spread further in the United States and Europe.

The WHO raised its pandemic alert level to phase 4 over the deadly swine flu virus, indicating a significant increased risk of a pandemic, a global outbreak of a serious disease.[nLR776132]

There were 40 confirmed cases of the flu in the United States, including 20 cases at a New York City school where eight cases were already identified, U.S. health officials said. [nN27539441]

Although the flu is not caught from eating pig meat products, several countries imposed import bans on pork from the United States. Stocks in companies such as airlines were also hit as investors worried about the impact of the illness on travel.

The WHO's measure still falls short of declaring a pandemic. The last such flu outbreak, a "Hong Kong" flu pandemic in 1968, killed about 1 million people in the world. [ID:nN24440477]]

Texas health authorities confirmed a third case of swine flu at a school near the Mexican border and California had eight confirmed cases.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged caution in traveling to Mexico [nWAT011356] and the European Union also advised its citizens to avoid non-essential travel to areas affected by swine flu. [nBRU007381]

Mexico relies heavily on tourism, its third biggest source of foreign currency, and millions of Americans travel to Mexico every year.

Mexican Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova said the outbreak was now suspected to have killed 149 people and the number of cases would continue to rise.

Thirty-three million Mexican schoolchildren will be off school until the middle of next week as authorities seek to contain the outbreak. Schools in the sprawling capital had already been closed but the government ordered classes canceled across the country until May 6.

Most of the those who died were between 20 and 50 years of age, Cordova said.

Oil prices fell more than 2 percent to close to $50 a barrel <CLc1> as investors feared a new blow to an already fragile global economy if trade flows are curbed and manufacturing is hit. [MKTS/GLOB]

The MSCI world equity index <.MIWD00000PUS> fell 1 percent, and U.S. stocks slipped on concerns that a possible global flu outbreak could dampen signs of optimism about the world economy.

Flu fears hit U.S. airline stocks hard as investors worried that the travel industry would suffer. Shares prices for UAL Corp <UAUA.O>, the parent of United Airlines, shed 15 percent, while Continental Airlines Inc <CAL.N> lost 14 percent.

Other travel and leisure stocks such as Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways <0293.HK> and British Airways <BAY.L> fell sharply, whereas makers of drugs and vaccines, such as Roche <ROG.VX>, were higher. [nLR144642]

Spain became the first country in Europe to confirm a case of swine flu when a man who returned from a trip to Mexico last week was found to have the virus. [nLR644791]

But his condition, like that of the cases in the United States and six in Canada, was not serious. Spain had 26 suspected cases under observation, health officials said.

A New Zealand teacher and a dozen students who recently traveled to Mexico were also being treated as likely mild cases.

In the first confirmed cases in Britain, Scotland's health minister said two people tested positive for swine flu and were being treated under isolation near Glasgow. [nLAL002214]

Suspected cases were also reported in France, Norway, Germany, Sweden and Israel.

(Additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva, Maggie Fox, Emily Kaiser and Lesley Wroughton in Washington, Helen Popper and Miguel Gutierrez in Mexico City and Tan Ee Lyn in Hong Kong, Writing by Kieran Murray, Editing by Frances Kerry)
CDC: 'Fully expect we will see deaths'

CDC: 'Fully expect we will see deaths'
Apr 28 03:29 PM US/Eastern
AP Medical Writer
ATLANTA (AP) - A U.S. health official said at least five people are hospitalized with swine flu in the United States and deaths are likely.
CDC: 'Fully expect we will see deaths'
"I fully expect we will see deaths from this infection," as swine flu cases are investigated, said Richard Besser, acting director of the federal Centers for Disease Control. He said he did not know about a newspaper report of two deaths in two southern California hospitals in which the victims seemed to be suffering from swine flu symptoms.

"I would say I'm very concerned," Besser said. "We are dealing with a new strain of influenza, we're dealing with a strain of influenza that appears to be moving through our community."

Based on the latest lab analysis, Besser said new flu infections are still occurring. He noted, however, that ordinary human flu accounts for about 36,000 deaths every year in the U.S.

He said hospitalizations nationwide include three in California and two in Texas.

Besser said the country has 64 confirmed cases in five states, with 45 in New York, one in Ohio, two in Kansas, six in Texas and 10 in California. At least four other cases have been reported by states.
who level 5 pandemic imminent!!!!

WHO raises flu threat level, warns pandemic imminent 30 Apr 2009 02:39:16 GMT
Source: Reuters
(For full coverage of the flu outbreak, click [nFLU])
Link Removed
* WHO says flu pandemic imminent

* Mexico says has 17 more suspected deaths

* Mexican toddler is first U.S. fatality (Updates with Mexico suspending all non-essential work and services; 17 more deaths suspected in Mexico)

By Laura MacInnis and Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA, April 29 (Reuters) - The World Health Organization said on Wednesday the world is at the brink of a pandemic, raising its threat level as the swine flu virus spread and killed the first person outside of Mexico, a toddler in Texas.

"Influenza pandemics must be taken seriously precisely because of their capacity to spread rapidly to every country in the world," WHO Director General Margaret Chan told a news conference in Geneva as she raised the official alert level to phase 5, the last step before a pandemic. [nLT672274]

"The biggest question is this: how severe will the pandemic be, especially now at the start," Chan said. But she added that the world "is better prepared for an influenza pandemic than at any time in history."

Mexico said it had suffered another 17 deaths of patients potentially linked to swine flu, bringing the total to as many as 176, and called for a suspension of all non-essential work and services.

Already in Mexico City, a metropolis of 20 million, all schools, restaurants, nightclubs and public events have been shut down to try to stop the sickness from spreading, bringing normal life to a virtual standstill.


Nearly a week after the H1N1 swine flu virus first emerged in California and Texas and was found to have caused dozens of deaths in Mexico, Spain reported the first case in Europe of swine flu in a person who had not been to Mexico, illustrating the danger of person-to-person transmission.

Both U.S. and European officials have said they expect to see swine flu deaths.

President Barack Obama said during an evening news conference at the White House there was no need for panic and rejected the possibility of closing the border with Mexico.

"At this point, (health officials) have not recommended a border closing," he said. "From their perspective, it would be akin to closing the barn door after the horses are out, because we already have cases here in the United States."

Obama also praised his predecessor for stockpiling anti-viral medication in anticipation of such an outbreak.

"I think the Bush administration did a good job of creating the infrastructure so that we can respond," Obama said. "For example, we've got 50 million courses of anti-viral drugs in the event that they're needed."

Despite worries that a major flu outbreak could hit the struggling global economy, world stocks rallied on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said the U.S. recession appeared to be easing [nL29448979].

Almost all cases outside Mexico have had mild symptoms, and only a handful have required hospitalization.


Chan also urged companies who make the drugs to ramp up production. Two antiviral drugs -- Relenza, made by GlaxoSmithKline <GSK.L> <GSK.N> and Tamiflu, made by Roche AG <ROG.VX and Gilead Sciences Inc. <GILD.O> -- have been shown to work against the H1N1 swine flu strain.

Drugmakers have donated millions of doses of their drugs to the WHO. She also alerted governments to be ready to distribute stockpiles of their drugs. Vaccine makers were on standby to begin making a new vaccine if needed.

And Germany, Austria and Peru reported cases of the illness, bringing the number of affected countries to 10. Peru said its case involved a woman who had traveled to Mexico and its health minister immediately announced the suspension of all commercial flights arriving from that country.

Texas officials said a 22-month-old boy had died while on a family visit from Mexico, marking the first confirmed U.S. swine flu death. In the Texas border city of Brownsville, where the boy was first diagnosed, some residents said they were now reluctant to venture south to Mexico.

"I am extremely concerned because you could die," said Santiago Perez, 18, a student at Pace High School.

Kathleen Sebelius, Obama's newly confirmed health secretary, spent her first day in office on a media tour as the administration sought to calm fears while urging vigilance. "We know that the cases will continue to rise," Sebelius said. [nN29472306]

Mexico's central bank warned the outbreak could deepen the nation's recession, hurting an economy that already shrank by as much as 8 percent from the previous year in the first quarter. [ID:nN29421604]

France said it would seek a European Union ban on flights to Mexico [nLT437502].

The EU, the United States and Canada have advised against non-essential travel to Mexico, and many tourists were hurrying to leave, crowding airports. [ID:nN29407032] (Reporting by Maggie Fox and Tabassum Zakaria in Washington, Jason Lange, Catherine Bremer Alistair Bell and Helen Popper in Mexico City; Matt Bigg in Atlanta; Writing by Andrew Quinn and Dan Whitcomb; editing by Todd Eastham)
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it. I feel fine.
Joe said don't use mass transportation or be in other confined spaces. Someone might sneeze.

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