View Full Version : Bird flu 'could kill 150 million people'

09-30-2005, 05:05 AM
Bird flu 'could kill 150m people'

Experts fear birds will carry the virus across borders
A new flu pandemic could happen at any time and kill between 5-150 million people, a UN health official warned.
David Nabarro, who is charged with co-ordinating responses to bird flu, said a mutation of the virus affecting Asia could trigger new outbreaks.

"The consequences in terms of human life when the pandemic does start are going to be extraordinary and very damaging," Dr Nabarro told the BBC.

Bird flu has swept through poultry and wild birds in Asia since 2003.

It has killed huge numbers of birds and lead to more than 60 human deaths.

"It's like a combination of global warming and HIV/Aids 10 times faster than it's running at the moment," Dr Nabarro told the BBC.

The UN's new co-ordinator for avian and human influenza said the likelihood that the Asian virus could mutate and jump to humans was high.

Because it has moved to wild migratory birds there is a possibility "that the first outbreak could happen even in Africa or in the Middle East", he warned.

The comments came as agriculture ministers from the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) endorsed a three-year plan to combat the spread of the virus, and pledged $2m to fund research and training.

Dr Nabarro stressed he would be working hard to control bird flu through contact with farming communities and markets where birds are sold and looking at the migration of wild birds.

He said the number of deaths from any future influenza pandemic would depend on where it started, how quickly it was discovered and the kind of response they got from governments.

"The range of deaths could be anything between 5m and 150m," said Dr Nabarro.

"I believe that the work we're doing over the next few months will make the difference between, for example, whether the next pandemic leads us in the direction of 150 or in the direction of five. "So our effectiveness will be directly measured in lives saved and the consequences for the world."

The appointment of Dr Nabarro is an indication of how seriously the UN is taking the threat, the BBC's UN correspondent Suzannah Price says.

In his new role, he is meant to ensure that the UN has a co-ordinated response to bird flu and that it helps global efforts to prepare for any human flue pandemic, our correspondent says.

web page (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4292426.stm)

09-30-2005, 06:21 AM
Snakebyetexx as long as it kills all the right wing Chicken Hawks. What is a Chicken Hawk? According to Jesse "The Body" Ventura a Chicken Hawk is Bill O"Rielly,Rush Limbaugh,George Bush,Dick Cheney etc when it was their turn to fight they were Chickens now when the Can't Fight their Hawks. I saw him on a show on MSNBC at 1.15 in the A.M in the morning. He said he is leaving the Country where he is going he didn't say but he said him and 8 of his Navy Seals brothers could paralize this country with their snipering.

He was asked about Martha Stewart, why I don't know but he replied Martha wasn't convicted of Insider Trading she was convicted of Lying to the Government and she was sent to jail. When the Government Lies to Us We Go To WAR.####

Cueless Joey
09-30-2005, 07:25 AM
I'm glad you see a humor and a good spin to this very serious matter.
I am very concerned about the bird flu as I have relatives in the Philippines.
The primetime story they did on tv here would scare the sh!# out of you. Imagine a building of people in NY being quarantined. Imagine a whole CITY being quarantined.

09-30-2005, 07:33 AM
Joey I am sorry that I missed the story I wouldn't have used it for right wing humor. I thought it not a serious threat to life. I was mistaken, thank you for pointing it out to me.####

Cueless Joey
09-30-2005, 09:45 AM
No probs.
They are very scared the virus mutation can make it to the humans.
Imagine a one person from China flying to NY, getting on the subway and contaminating a bunch of people.
More than half of the people who contract it will die.
There is no cure for it. They said hospitals would be helpless. Imagine SARS times a hundred in New York or Chicago where people are packed like sardines everywhere.
One person in Indonesia has already died from it.
Some in China. It is one scary story.
They are working on a vaccine of course.

09-30-2005, 10:57 AM
Joey I will check it out with my daughter, the one that is addicted to the Pit at Valley Forge. She is a Medicinal Chemist working for J@J.####

09-30-2005, 01:40 PM
World Health Organization Moves to Dampen Fears of a Pandemic Stemming From Bird Flu Virus

GENEVA Sep 30, 2005 The World Health Organization moved Friday to dampen fears over alarming predictions quoted by one of its own officials that a pandemic stemming from the bird flu virus ravaging parts of Asia could kill as many as 150 million people.

The U.N. health agency was fielding inquiries from both the media and the general public after Dr. David Nabarro a senior WHO official named Thursday as the new U.N. coordinator for avian and human influenza cited the number during a press conference at the U.N.'s New York headquarters.

WHO's flu spokesman at the agency's Geneva headquarters made a surprise appearance Friday at the U.N. regular media briefing in an effort to put Nabarro's comments in context. While he did not say the 150 million prediction was wrong, or even implausible, he reiterated that WHO considers a maximum death toll of 7.4 million a more reasoned forecast.

Scientists have made all sorts of predictions, ranging from less than 2 million to 360 million. Others have quoted 150 million.

"We're not going to know how lethal the next pandemic is going to be until the pandemic begins," said WHO influenza spokesman Dick Thompson.

"You could pick almost any number," until then, he said, adding that WHO "can't be dragged into further scaremongering."

Experts agree that there will certainly be another flu pandemic a new human flu strain that goes global. However, it is unknown when or how bad that global epidemic will be. It is also unknown whether the H5N1 bird flu strain circulating in Asian poultry now will be the origin of the next pandemic, but experts are tracking it just in case and governments across the world are preparing themselves for such a possibility.

Two unknown factors will have a major influence on how many people will die from the next flu pandemic, experts say. One is the attack rate, or the proportion of the population that become infected. The other is the death rate, or the proportion of the sick who die.

Normal seasonal flu viruses have an attack rate of between 5 percent and 20 percent, but a death rate of less than 1 percent. Between 250,000 and 500,00 die from flu every year, according to WHO.

Based on evidence from the three pandemics that occurred during the 20th Century, scientists have determined that pandemic flu strains tend to infect between 25 percent and 35 percent of the population.

The worst death rate was seen in the 1918 pandemic, known as the Spanish flu pandemic. That killed 2.6 percent of those who got sick, killing a total of about 40 million people.

The other two pandemics were gentler. The 1957 one killed 2 million people and the most recent one, in 1968, killed 1 million people.

Forecasts that change the assumed attack rate or the death rate will yield different predictions. Other assumptions, such as whether or not anti-flu drugs will work against the virus, would also change the figures.

WHO said Friday that it considers the most likely scenario to be a death toll of between 2 million and 7.4 million people.

"That's because we looked at what happened in the 1918 pandemic. That caused the greatest number of deaths ever recorded from an infectious disease in a single year, by far. More than the black plague, more than any other infectious disease," said Thompson. "That was an extreme of an already rare event. Pandemics normally have more modest death rates."

When the U.N. health agency advises countries on how to prepare for the next pandemic, it uses the moderate scenario because that's what's most likely to happen. It doesn't mean that a more exaggerated scenario cannot happen, only that it is less likely, Thompson said.

"There is a limited amount of public health money available to countries and we have to give them the best guidance on how to spend that money," he said.

The H5N1 strain of bird flu has swept through poultry populations in large swathes of Asia since 2003, jumping to humans and killing at least 65 people more than 40 of them in Vietnam and resulting in the deaths of tens of millions of birds.

Most human cases have been linked to contact with sick birds. But WHO has warned that the virus could mutate into a form that spreads easily among humans changing it from a bird virus to a human pandemic flu strain.

web page (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=1173345)