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Tag: pandemic

Thoughts on ebola

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As Bane said in Dark Knight Rises, “Now is not the time for fear, that comes later.”

There have been two cases in Texas and as of this posting there have been reports of possible cases at LAX and Boston. Unless you have face-to-face contact with someone with ebola, chances are you have nothing to worry about.

The problem is we as a nation have forgot what it is like to have an infectious agent in our mist. Small pox, measles, mumps and polio are a thing of the past. For the most part diseases like ebola a problem for the rest of the world, but not anymore. Ebola is here and now, and we have to deal with it.

Time will tell if ebola can get a foothold in the United States. Due to our healthcare protocols the cards are stacked against ebola. The United States with localized health departments and the CDC are an uphill battle for the disease. South and central America is another story. Worse case situation, ebola gets a foothold in Central America, mutates, becomes airborne and moves across the border into one of the border states.

We need to pay attention to the current situation, but let’s not panic. I see no reason to buy 10,000 n-95 facemask or 1,000 gallons of bleach.

If ebola does get a foothold there will be plenty of time to panic, but now is not the time.

Monkey Meat and the Ebola Outbreak

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On June 26, 2014 Vice posted a video on youtube about the Ebola outbreak in Africa. Little did we know the outbreak was going to get much worse. It is kinda scary that in just six or so weeks the Ebola outbreak went from barley making the news to getting worldwide attention.

There are a several important points in this video:

1. As the population of Africa expands into jungle, the indigenous people will be exposed to viral infections never seen before.

2. We share around 99% of our DNA with primates. When humans keep primates as pets and eat meat from primates, there is an increased risk of exposure.

3. With modern transportation Ebola and other diseases are just a plane ride away from the rest of the world.

Mexicos response to the swine flu

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Health officials in Mexico first noticed unusual cases of flu and pneumonia in mid – late March, 2009. The World Health Organization in notified in late March, and again on April 9th. But the WHO did not take action until late April.

Here is the article on WHO may have dropped ball with Swine Flu.

Between late March, and late April, what did the health officials of Mexico do?  I do not remember seeing anything about a travel advisory to Mexico be posted because of unusual cases of flu and pneumonia. No real action was taken by Mexico, or the World Health Organization until the swine flu had already spread outside of Mexico and containment was impossible.

And now, Mexico has criticized quarantines in other nations.

Nations have a right to defend their borders, and this includes against the invasion of viruses.  There is a lot more here then just a nation that put some people in quarantine. The health officials of Mexico have displayed a serious disregard for public health. And not just for the citizens of Mexico, but for people all over the world.

Perhaps the doctors and government officials in Mexico have never heard of the flu outbreak of 1918 where an estimated 20 – 50 million people died.

Those quarantines are supposed to help stop another outbreak like what happened in 1918, and what happened to London in 1665 – 1666 with the Bubonic Plague. But for some reason its supposed to ok for people to spread the swine flu?

The entire world is very lucky this swine flu has between a 1% – 10% fatality rate. Because by the time the government of Mexico took any kind of action, the outbreak was impossible to contain. And now, its as if the Mexico government does not care if the virus continues to spread. The government officials of Mexico should be ashamed of their selves for their conduct. Overall, they have displayed an immature and unprofessional attitude about this whole swine flu situation.

And now the big question. Is this what we can expect in the next outbreak? What if the next virus is more deadly then the swine flu? Will the next country that the outbreak comes from display a relaxed attitude like the Mexican government did? If so, the people all across the world could be in for a big surprise if a deadly virus ever breaks out.

Swine Flu reported in Hong Kong

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Hong Kong has reported its first case of swine flu.  Police were quick to quarantine the entire hotel and all 300 guest inside. The quarantine is supposed to last for 1 week. There is no information whether that is a business week, which is 5 days. Or a full week, which is 7 days.

The victim is a 25 year old man who had recently traveled to Mexico.

No other cases in Hong Kong have been reported at this time.

WHO may have dropped ball with Swine Flu

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On Yahoo News an article has been posted stating that the World Health Organization was slow to respond to notifications about alarming occurrences of flu and pneumonia in Mexico.

Cases in Mexico may have started as early as late March. The World Health Organization was notified on April 9th of the Swine Flu H1N1 outbreak. But the WHO did not take action until laboratories in the U.S. and Canadian identified the virus. Which was on April 24.

This means that almost a month pasted from first notification until the first response action was taken.

It seems that nothing has changed in the past 25+ years.  In the early 1980s the Center for Disease Control was notified of a strange illness that was killing gay men in different parts of the USA, but mostly in California.  Very little to no action was taken until the virus was isolated.  During that time the HIV continued to spread.  And today, more then 21 million people have been killed by HIV and the complications caused by AIDS.

From the death toll of the swine flu, it looks like the virus has around a 1% fatality rate.  If the virus would have had a death rate of bubonic plague, or small pox, in the past month over a thousand people would have died in Mexico alone.

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Mexico officials ask citizens to close nonessential businesses

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Officials in Mexico have asked citizens to close all nonessential businesses for 5 days. Besides the closing of businesses, citizens have been asked not to leave their homes unless its necessary.

Yahoo news posted the article that is being referred to – Mexico shuts nonessential services amid swine flu

This is just my opinion, but if the swine flu continues to spread, we can expect to see this kind of stuff on a global scale. What would it be like for cities such as New York to impose a quarantine or curfew?

Most Americans have never had to deal with this kind of situation before. What kind of civil unrest (and panic buying) would happen if cities across the USA were told to close?

Some of the “further down the road” considerations are items that we use in everyday life. Free trade as destroyed the manufacturing base of the USA. This means that when Mexico shuts down, so does a large part of the USA.

Houston, Texas supplies about 20% of the nations fuel. What would happen if Houston were put under a quarantine? And all citizens were asked to stay at home. The entire nation, if not the entire world would be affected.

Pandemic flu alert level reaches phase 5

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised its pandemic flu alert level to phase 5.   Source – Yahoo News.  Here is a link to the WHO website and press release – WHO goes to phase 5 on swine flu.

What does this mean?  It means that the outbreak can not be contained.

In response to this situation, the Survivalist Forum has opened a Swine Flu Forum section.  Please post any questions or comments that you have in that forum.

Cases of swine flu have been confirmed in the USA, Austria, Canada, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom. Confirmed swine flu related deaths have been reported in Houston, Texas and Mexico.

Swine Flu updates April 25- 27

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The past few days have been a whirlwind of “Swine Flu” events.

April 25 – Texas closes the high school where the students tested posivite for swine flu.  Around 75 – 100 people are dead in Mexico.  The 75 – 100 varies because different news sites are reporting different numbers.  So its a little confusing as to what the exact death toll is.

April 26 – Texas closes the entire school district where the positive students are from.  Death toll in Mexico nears 100.  Swine Flu is being reported in different parts of the world.  Mexico has cancelled all public events and ordered public places closed.

April 27 – Death toll in Mexico Soars (as one news site states it) to well over 100.  World Health Organization (WHO) raises threat level to 4, saying we are very near an pandemic.  Mexico ordered schools all across the nation to close. The US Government advises against unnecessary travel to Mexico. New cases are being reported in – Canada, Spain and Scotland.

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World Health Organization releases information on Swine Flu

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The World Health Organization has posted a Swine Flu questions and answers PDF file on their website. Some of the information that the file covers – What is swine influenza, What are the implications for human health, Where have human cases occurred,,, and several other key points.

Go on over to the Swine influenza page on the World Health Organization website and download the file.

Texas Health Officials close school in an effort to stop swine flu

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In an effort to contain the outbreak of Swine Flu, health officials in the State of Texas have temporarily closed Byron Steele High School in Cibolo. This is effective immediately.

To read the whole article, see this School to Close and Other Flu Precautions Recommended news article on the Texas Department of State Health Services website.

“The purpose is to reduce the risk to students, staff and the community,” said Sandra Guerra, M.D., a DSHS regional director and the public health authority for Guadalupe County.

To discuss the current situation with the Swine Flu, visit the Swine Flu Outbreak thread in the Survivalist Forum.

Flu outbreak prevention

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Before we get started, the author of this article (Kevin) is not a health care professional. Do your own research before making decisions that affect your health. Links in this article are being provided for information purposes only.

The flu is a viral respiratory infection – there is no real treatment or cure. Once someone catches the flu, there is little that doctors can do for the patient.  One of the most important considerations about the flu, is to stop the spread of the disease.

The flu is spread through infected cough droplets.  The infected person coughs, which spews forth maybe millions of droplets that carry the flu virus.  Other people breath in those infected droplets.  And as a result, they become infected with the flu.

Cover your cough – One of the most important considerations is for people to cover their cough.  This can be done with your hand, shirt sleeve, cloth or tissue. 

This is the way I like to cover my cough – when you feel the urge to cough, use the non-dominate hand, place the web of the hand between the pointer finger and the thumb just under the nose.  The persons hand should form a cup, that is pointed downwards.  When the cough droplets are expelled through the mouth, they hit the inside of the hand and are forced downward, instead of straight out and onto other people.  Also, turn your head away from other people when coughing.

Notice that the non-dominate hand is mentioned – this is to stop the thread of the flu virus to door knobs and other items that people might pick up with their dominate hand.  If you meet a friend and shake their hand, you do not want to touch the other persons hand with the hand you just coughed in.

The Center for Disease Control does not recommend coughing into your hand. They recommend using your shirt.

But either way – cover your cough. Take every precaution possible to prevent exposing others to your cough droplets.

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World Health Organization holds emergency meeting on swine flu

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Its been reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) has called an emergency meeting on the swine flu outbreak.

The Center for Disease Control – which is part of the United States Government – has confirmed seven human cases of Swine Influenza A/H1N1 inside the USA. Five of the cases are in California and two are in Texas. Besides the seven confirmed cases, there are nine more cases that are suspected of being A/H1N1.

The WHO emergency meeting is composed of a panel that will determine if the outbreak of swine flu constitutes a public health emergency.

More details later.

To discuss this article, visit the Swine Flu Outbreak thread in the Survivalist Forum.

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