Vegetarian Discussion: "1918 Virus WAS Bird Flu" NYT "1918 Killer Flu 'came From Birds'" BBC . Time To Change Bad Habits And Diet Before It's Too Late.

"1918 Virus WAS Bird Flu" NYT "1918 Killer Flu 'came From Birds'" BBC . Time To Change Bad Habits And Diet Before It's Too Late.
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Aunt Sally
2007-06-10 04:51:40 EST
"You are what you eat" has never been more true. Filthy treatment of
animals, countryside and humans is killing us, isn't it about time we
put two and two together?

http://birdflubook.com/g.php?id=5

“Humanity has but three great enemies: fever, famine and war; of these
by far the greatest, by far the most terrible, is fever.”
—Sir William Osler3

It started, harmlessly enough, with a cough drowned out by the raging
world war. It was known as Spanish influenza only because censorship
by the warring governments wouldn’t allow reports of the spreading
illness for fear it would damage morale.4 However, Spain, being
neutral, allowed its press to publicize what was happening. The first
cable read, “A STRANGE FORM OF DISEASE OF EPIDEMIC CHARACTER HAS
APPEARED IN MADRID.” Because of the censors, even as millions were
dying around the globe, the world press was apt to report little about
the pandemic beyond what the Spanish King Alfonzo’s temperature was
that morning.5 In Spain they called it the French flu.6

“The year 1918 has gone,” the editors of the Journal of the American
Medical Association wrote in the Christmas issue, “a year momentous as
the termination of the most cruel war in the annals of the human race;
a year which marked the end, at least for a time, of man’s destruction
of man; unfortunately a year in which developed a most fatal
infectious disease….”7 That most fatal disease killed about 10 times
more Americans than did the war.8 In fact, according to the World
Health Organization (WHO), “The 1918 influenza pandemic killed more
people in less time than any other disease before or since,”9 the
“most deadly disease event in the history of humanity….”10

The word “epidemic” comes from the Greek epi, meaning “upon,” and
demos, meaning “people.” The word “pandemic” comes from the Greek word
pandemos, meaning “upon all the people.”11 Most outbreaks of disease
are geographically confined, just like most disasters in general.
Wars, famines, earthquakes, and acts of terror, for example, tend to
be localized both in time and space. We look on in horror, but may not
be affected ourselves. Pandemics are different. Pandemics are
worldwide epidemics. They happen everywhere at once, coast to coast,
and can drag on for more than a year.12 “With Hurricane Katrina,
people opened their homes, sent checks and people found safe havens,”
writes a global economic strategist at a leading investment firm, but
with a pandemic, “there is nowhere to turn, no safe place to
evacuate.”13

The word “influenza” derives from the Italian influentia, meaning
“influence,” reflecting a medieval belief that astrological forces
were behind the annual flu season.14 In 1918, though, the Germans
called it Blitzkatarrh.15 To the Siamese, it was Kai Wat Yai, The
Great Cold Fever.16 In Hungary, it was The Black Whip. In Cuba and the
Philippines, it was Trancazo, meaning “a blow from a heavy stick.” In
the United States, it was the Spanish Lady, or, because of the way
many died, the Purple Death.

Purple Death
Influenza ward in army general hospital, Fort Porter, New York
(National Archives, 165-WW-269-B-4)
What started for millions around the globe as muscle aches and a fever
ended days later with many victims bleeding from their nostrils, ears,
and eye sockets.17 Some bled inside their eyes;18 some bled around
them.19 They vomited blood and coughed it up.20 Purple blood blisters
appeared on their skin.21

The Chief of the Medical Services, Major Walter V. Brem, described the
horror at the time in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
He wrote that “often blood was seen to gush from a patient’s nose and
mouth.”22 In some cases, blood reportedly spurted with such force as
to squirt several feet.23 “When pneumonia appeared,” Major Brem
recounted, “the patients often spat quantities of almost pure
blood.”24 They were bleeding into their lungs.

As victims struggled to clear their airways of the bloody froth that
poured from their lungs, their bodies started to turn blue from the
lack of oxygen, a condition known as violaceous heliotrope cyanosis.25
“They’re as blue as huckleberries and spitting blood,” one New York
City physician told a colleague.26 U.S. Army medics noted that this
was “not the dusky pallid blueness that one is accustomed to in
failing pneumonia, but rather [a] deep blueness…an indigo blue
color.”27 The hue was so dark that one physician confessed that “it is
hard to distinguish the colored men from the white.”28 “It is only a
matter of a few hours then until death comes,” recalled another
physician, “and it is simply a struggle for air until they
suffocate.”29 They drowned in their own bloody secretions.30

“It wasn’t always that quick, either,” one historian adds. “And along
the way, you had symptoms like fingers and genitals turning black, and
people reporting being able to literally smell the body decaying
before the patient died.”31 “When you’re ill like that you don’t
care,” recalls one flu survivor, now 100 years old. “You don’t care if
you live or die.”32

Major Brem described an autopsy: “Frothy, bloody serum poured from the
nose and mouth when the body was moved, or the head lowered…. Pus
streamed from the trachea when the lungs were removed.”33 Fellow
autopsy surgeons discussed what they called a “pathological
nightmare,” with lungs up to six times their normal weight, looking
“like melted red currant jelly.”34 An account published by the
National Academies of Science describes the lungs taken from victims
as “hideously transformed” from light, buoyant, air-filled structures
to dense sacks of bloody fluid.35

There was one autopsy finding physicians reported having never seen
before. As people choked to death, violently coughing up as much as
two pints of yellow-green pus per day,36 their lungs would sometimes
burst internally, forcing air under pressure up underneath their skin.
In the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, a British
physician noted “one thing that I have never seen before—namely the
occurrence of subcutaneous emphysema”—pockets of air accumulating just
beneath the skin—“beginning in the neck and spreading sometimes over
the whole body.”37 These pockets of air leaking from ruptured lungs
made patients crackle when they rolled onto their sides. In an unaired
interview filmed for a PBS American Experience documentary on the 1918
pandemic, one Navy nurse compared the sound to a bowl of Rice
Krispies. The memory of that sound—the sound of air bubbles moving
under people’s skin—remained so vivid that for the rest of her life,
she couldn’t be in a room with anyone eating that popping cereal.38

“[A] dead man has no substance unless one has actually seen him dead;
a hundred million corpses broadcast through history are no more than a
puff of smoke in the imagination.”
—Albert Camus, The Plague39
Percent of population dying in U.S. cities
In 1918, half the world became infected and 25% of all Americans fell
ill.40 Unlike the regular seasonal flu, which tends to kill only the
elderly and infirm, the flu virus of 1918 killed those in the prime of
life Public health specialists at the time noted that most influenza
victims were those who “had been in the best of physical condition and
freest from previous disease.”41 Ninety-nine percent of excess deaths
were among people under 65 years old.42 Mortality peaked in the 20- to
34-year-old age group.43 Women under 35 accounted for 70% of all
female influenza deaths. In 1918, the average life expectancy in the
United States dropped precipitously to only 37 years.44

Calculations made in the 1920s estimated the global death toll in the
vicinity of 20 million, a figure medical historians now consider
“almost ludicrously low.”45 The number has been revised upwards ever
since, as more and more records are unearthed. The best estimate
currently stands at 50 to 100 million people dead.46 In some
communities, like in Alaska, 50% of the population perished.47

The 1918 influenza pandemic killed more people in a single year than
the bubonic plague (“black death”) in the Middle Ages killed in a
century.48 The 1918 virus killed more people in 25 weeks than AIDS has
killed in 25 years.49 According to one academic reviewer, this
“single, brief epidemic generated more fatalities, more suffering, and
more demographic change in the United States than all the wars of the
Twentieth Century.”50

In September 1918, according to the official published American
Medican Association (AMA) account, the deadliest wave of the pandemic
spread over the world “like a tidal wave.”51 On the 11th, Washington
officials disclosed that it had reached U.S. shores.52 September 11,
1918—the day Babe Ruth led the Boston Red Sox to victory in the World
Series—three civilians dropped dead on the sidewalks of neighboring
Quincy, Massachusetts.53 It had begun.

When a “typical outbreak” struck Camp Funston in Kansas, the
commander, a physician and former Army Chief of Staff, wrote the
governor, “There are 1440 minutes in a day. When I tell you there were
1440 admissions in a day, you realize the strain put on our Nursing
and Medical forces….”54 “Stated briefly,” summarized an Army report,
“the influenza…occurred as an explosion.”55

October 1918 became the deadliest month in U.S. history56 and the last
week of October was the deadliest week from any cause, at any time.
More than 20,000 Americans died in that week alone.57 Numbers, though,
cannot reflect the true horror of the time.

“They died in heaps and were buried in heaps.”
—Daniel Defoe, 1665
Mass graves being dug in 1918
One survivor remembers the children. “We had little caskets for the
little babies that stretched for four and five blocks, eight high, ten
high.”58 Soon, though, city after city ran out of caskets.59 People
were dying faster than carpenters could make them.60 The dead lay in
gutters.61 One agonized official in the stricken East sent an urgent
warning West: “Hunt up your wood-workers and set them to making
coffins. Then take your street laborers and set them to digging
graves.”62 When New York City ran out of gravediggers, they had to
follow Philadelphia’s example and use steam shovels to dig trenches
for mass graves.63 Even in timber-rich Sweden, the dead were interred
in cardboard boxes or piled in mass graves because they simply ran out
of nails.64

Another survivor recalls:

A neighbor boy about seven or eight died and they used to just pick
you up and wrap you up in a sheet and put you in a patrol wagon. So
the mother and father are screaming, “Let me get a macaroni
box”—macaroni, any kind of pasta, used to come in this box, about 20
pounds of macaroni fit in it— “please, please let me put him in a
macaroni box, don’t take him away like that….”65
One nurse describes bodies “stacked in the morgue from floor to
ceiling like cordwood.” At the peak of the epidemic, she remembers
toe-tagging and wrapping more than one still-living patient in winding
sheets. In her nightmares, she wondered “what it would feel like to be
that boy who was at the bottom of the cordwood in the morgue.”66

They brought out their dead. Corpses were carted away in anything,
wheelbarrows—even garbage trucks.67 Often, though, the bodies were
just pushed into corners and left to rot for days. People too sick to
move were discovered lying next to corpses.68

All over the country, farms and factories shut down and schools and
churches closed. Homeless children wandered the streets, their parents
vanished.69 The New York Health Commissioner estimated that in New
York City alone, 21,000 children lost both parents to the pandemic.70

Around the world, millions were left widowed and orphaned.71 The New
York Times described Christmas in Tahiti.72 “It was impossible to bury
the dead,” a Tahitian government official noted. “Day and night trucks
rumbled throughout the streets filled with bodies for the constantly
burning pyres.”73 When firewood to burn the bodies ran out in India,
the rivers became clogged with corpses.74 In the remote community of
Okak, in northern Labrador, an eight-year-old girl reportedly survived
for five weeks at 20 below zero—among the corpses of her family. She
kept herself alive by melting snow for water with the last of her
Christmas candles while she lay listening to the sound of dogs outside
feasting off the dead.75 Colonel Victor Vaughan, acting Surgeon
General of the Army and former head of the AMA, lived through the
pandemic. “If the epidemic continues its mathematical rate of
acceleration,” Vaughan wrote in 1918, “civilization could easily
disappear from the face of the earth.”76

But the virus did stop. It ran out of human fuel; it ran out of
accessible people to infect. Those who lived through it were immune to
reinfection, so many populations were, in many respects, either immune
or dead. “[I]t’s like a firestorm,” one expert explained. “[I]t sweeps
through and it has so many victims and the survivors developed
immunity.”77 Influenza is “transmitted so effectively,” reads one
virology textbook, “that it exhausts the supply of susceptible
hosts.”78

As soon as the dying stopped, the forgetting began. As Arno Karlen
wrote in Man and Microbes, “Many Americans know more about mediaeval
plague than about the greatest mass death in their grandparents’
lives.”79 Commentators view the pandemic as so traumatic that it had
to be forced out of our collective memory and history. “I think it’s
probably because it was so awful while it was happening, so
frightening,” one epidemiologist speculates, “that people just got rid
of the memory.”80

For many, however, the virus lived on. As if the pandemic weren’t
tragic enough, in the decade that followed, a million people came down
with a serious Parkinson’s-like disease termed “encephalitis
lethargica,” the subject of the book and movie Awakenings.81 Some
researchers now consider this epidemic of neurological disease to be
“almost certainly” a direct consequence of viral damage to the brains
of survivors.82 The latest research goes a step further to suggest the
pandemic had ripples throughout the century, showing that those in
utero at the height of the pandemic in the most affected areas seemed
to have stunted lifespans and lifelong physical disability.83

“This is a detective story. Here was a mass murderer that was around
80 years ago and who’s never been brought to justice. And what we’re
trying to do is find the murderer.”
—Jeffery Taubenberger, molecular pathologist and arche-virologist84
Johan Hultin and Mary
Where did this disease come from? Popular explanations at the time
included a covert German biological weapon, the foul atmosphere
conjured by the war’s rotting corpses and mustard gas, or “spiritual
malaise due to the sins of war and materialism.”85 This was before the
influenza virus was discovered, we must remember, and is consistent
with other familiar etymological examples—malaria was contracted from
mal and aria (“bad air”) or such quaintly preserved terms as catching
“a cold” and being “under the weather.”86 The committee set up by the
American Public Health Association to investigate the 1918 outbreak
could only speak of a “disease of extreme communicability.”87 Though
the “prevailing disease is generally known as influenza,” they
couldn’t even be certain that this was the same disease that had been
previously thought of as such.88 As the Journal of the American
Medical Association observed in October 1918, “The ‘influence’ in
influenza is still veiled in mystery.”89

In the decade following 1918, thousands of books and papers were
written on influenza in a frenzied attempt to characterize the
pathogen. One of the most famous medical papers of all time, Alexander
Fleming’s “On the Antibacterial Actions of Cultures of Penicillium,”
reported an attempt to isolate the bug that caused influenza. The full
title was “On the Antibacterial Actions of Cultures of Penicillium,
with Special Reference to Their Use in the Isolation of B.
Influenzae.” Fleming was hoping he could use penicillin to kill off
all the contaminant bystander bacteria on the culture plate so he
could isolate the bug that caused influenza. The possibility of
treating humans with penicillin was mentioned only in passing at the
end of the paper.90

The cause of human influenza was not found until 1933, when a British
research team finally isolated and identified the viral culprit.91
What they discovered, though, was a virus that caused the typical
seasonal flu. Scientists still didn’t understand where the flu virus
of 1918 came from or why it was so deadly. It would be more than a
half-century before molecular biological techniques would be developed
and refined enough to begin to answer these questions; but by then
where would researchers find 1918 tissue samples to study the virus?

The U.S. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology originated almost 150
years ago. It came into being during the Civil War, created by an
executive order from Abraham Lincoln to the Army Surgeon General to
study diseases in the battlefield.92 It houses literally tens of
millions of pieces of preserved human tissue, the largest collection
of its kind in the world.93 This is where civilian pathologist Jeffery
Taubenberger first went to look for tissue samples in the mid ’90s. If
he could find enough fragments of the virus he felt he might be able
to decipher the genetic code and perhaps even resurrect the 1918 virus
for study, the viral equivalent of bringing dinosaurs back to life in
Jurassic Park.94

He found remnants of two soldiers who succumbed to the 1918 flu on the
same day in September—a 21-year-old private who died in South Carolina
and a 30-year-old private who died in upstate New York. Tiny cubes of
lung tissue preserved in wax were all that remained. Taubenberger’s
team shaved off microscopic sections and started hunting for the virus
using the latest advances in modern molecular biology that he himself
had helped devise. They found the virus, but only in tiny bits and
pieces.95

The influenza virus has eight gene segments, a genetic code less than
14,000 letters long (the human genome, in contrast, has several
billion). The longest stands of RNA (the virus’s genetic material)
that Taubenberger could find in the soldiers’ tissue were only about
130 letters long. He needed more tissue.96

The 1918 pandemic littered the Earth with millions of corpses. How
hard could it be to find more samples? Unfortunately, refrigeration
was essentially nonexistent in 1918, and common tissue preservatives
like formaldehyde tended to destroy any trace of RNA.97 He needed
tissue samples frozen in time. Expeditions were sent north, searching
for corpses frozen under the Arctic ice.

Scientists needed to find corpses buried below the permafrost layer,
the permanently frozen layer of subsoil beneath the topsoil, which
itself may thaw in the summer.98 Many teams over the years tried and
failed. U.S. Army researchers excavated a mass grave near Nome,
Alaska, for example, only to find skeletons.99 “Lots of those people
are buried in permafrost,” explained Professor John Oxford, co-author
of two standard virology texts, “but many of them were eaten by the
huskies after they died. Or,” he added, “before they died.”100

On a remote Norwegian Island, Kirsty Duncan, a medical geographer from
Canada, led the highest profile expedition in 1998, dragging 12 tons
of equipment and a blue-ribbon academic team to the gravesite of seven
coal miners who had succumbed to the 1918 flu.101 Years of planning
and research combined with surveys using ground-penetrating radar had
led the team to believe that the bodies of the seven miners had been
buried deep in the eternal permafrost.102 Hunched over the unearthed
coffins in biosecure space suits, the team soon realized their search
was in vain.103 The miners’ naked bodies, wrapped only in newspaper,
lay in shallow graves above the permafrost. Subjected to thawing and
refreezing over the decades, the tissue was useless.104

Nearly 50 years earlier, scientists from the University of Iowa,
including a graduate student recently arrived from Sweden named Johan
Hultin, had made a similar trek to Alaska with similarly disappointing
results.105 In the fall of 1918, the postal carrier delivered the
mail—and the flu—via dogsled to a missionary station in Brevig,
Alaska.106 Within five days, 72 of the 80 or so missionaries lay
dead.107 With help from a nearby Army base, the remaining eight buried
the dead in a mass grave.108 Governor Thomas A. Riggs spent Alaska
into bankruptcy caring for the orphaned children at Brevig and across
the state. “I could not stand by and see our people dying like
flies.”109

Learning of Taubenberger’s need for better tissue samples, Johan
Hultin returned to Brevig a few weeks before his 73rd birthday.110
Hultin has been described as “the Indiana Jones of the scientific
set.”111 In contrast to Duncan’s team, which spent six months just
searching for the most experienced gravediggers, Hultin struck out
alone.112 Hultin was “there with a pickaxe,” one colleague relates.
“He dug a pit though solid ice in three days. This guy is
unbelievable. It was just fantastic.”113

Among the many skeletons lay a young woman whose obesity insulated her
internal organs. “She was lying on her back, and on her left and right
were skeletons, yet she was amazingly well preserved. I sat on an
upside-down pail, amid the icy pond water and the muck and fragrance
of the grave,” Hultin told an interviewer, “and I thought, ‘Here’s
where the virus will be found and shed light on the flu of 1918.’”114
He named her Lucy. A few days later, Taubenberger received a plain
brown box in the mail containing both of Lucy’s lungs.115 As Hultin
had predicted, hidden inside was the key to unlock the mystery.

Many had assumed that the 1918 virus came from pigs. Although the
human influenza virus wasn’t even discovered until 1933, as early as
1919 an inspector with the U.S. Bureau of Animal Industry was
publishing research that suggested a role for farm animals in the
pandemic. Inspector J.S. Koen of Fort Dodge, Iowa wrote:
The similarity of the epidemic among people and the epidemic among
pigs was so close, the reports so frequent, that an outbreak in the
family would be followed immediately by an outbreak among the hogs,
and vice versa, as to present a most striking coincidence if not
suggesting a close relation between the two conditions. It looked like
“flu,” and until proven it was not “flu,” I shall stand by that
diagnosis.116
According to the editor of the medical journal Virology, Koen’s views
were decidedly unpopular, especially among pig farmers who feared that
customers “would be put off from eating pork if such an association
was made.”117 It was never clear, though, whether the pigs were the
culprits or the victims. Did we infect the pigs or did they infect us?

With the entire genome of the 1918 virus in hand thanks to Hultin’s
expedition, Taubenberger was finally able to definitively answer the
Holy Grail question posed by virologists the world over throughout the
century: Where did the 1918 virus come from? The answer, published in
October 2005,118 is that humanity’s greatest killer appeared to come
from avian influenza—bird flu.119

Evidence now suggests that all pandemic influenza viruses—in fact all
human and mammalian flu viruses in general—owe their origins to avian
influenza.120 Back in 1918, schoolchildren jumped rope to a morbid
little rhyme:

I had a little bird,
Its name was Enza.
I opened the window,
And in-flu-enza.121

The children of 1918 may have been more prescient than anyone dared
imagine.

Resurrection
Dr. Taubenberger attempts to map out the 1918 virus
Sequencing the 1918 virus is one thing; bringing it back to life is
something else. Using a new technique called “reverse genetics,”
Taubenberger teamed up with groups at Mount Sinai and the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and set out to raise it from
the dead.122 Using the genetic blueprint provided by Lucy’s frozen
lungs, they painstakingly recreated each of the genes of the virus,
one letter at a time. Upon completion, they stitched each gene into a
loop of genetically manipulated bacterial DNA and introduced the DNA
loops into mammalian cells.123 The 1918 virus was reborn.

Ten vials of virus were created, each containing 10 million infectious
virus particles.124 First they tried infecting mice. All were dead in
a matter of days. “The resurrected virus apparently hasn’t lost any of
its kick,” Taubenberger noted. Compared to a typical non-lethal human
flu strain, the 1918 virus generated 39,000 times more virus particles
in the animals’ lungs. “I didn’t expect it to be as lethal as it was,”
one of the co-authors of the study remarked.125

The experiment was hailed as a “huge breakthrough,”126 a “tour de
force.”127 “I can’t think of anything bigger that’s happened in
virology for many years,” cheered one leading scientist.128 Not
knowing the true identity of the 1918 flu had been “like a dark angel
hovering over us.”129

Critics within the scientific community, however, wondered whether the
box Taubenberger had received from Hultin might just as well have been
addressed to Pandora. One scientist compared the research to “looking
for a gas leak with a lighted match.”130 “They have constructed a
virus,” one biosecurity specialist asserted, “that is perhaps the most
effective bioweapon known.”131 “This would be extremely dangerous
should it escape, and there is a long history of things escaping,”
warned a member of the Federation of American Scientists’ Working
Group on Biological Weapons.132 Taubenberger and his collaborators
were criticized for using only an enhanced Biosafety Level 3 lab to
resurrect the virus rather than the strictest height of security,
Level 4. Critics cite three recent examples where deadly viruses had
escaped accidentally from high-security labs.133

In 2004, for example, a strain of influenza that killed a million
people in 1957 was accidentally sent to thousands of labs around the
globe within a routine testing kit. Upon learning of the error, the
World Health Organization called for the immediate destruction of all
the kits. Miraculously, none of the virus managed to escape any of the
labs. Klaus Stöhr, head of the World Health Organization’s global
influenza program, admitted that it was fair to say that the
laboratory accident with the unlabeled virus could have started a flu
pandemic. “If many bad-luck things had come together, it could have
really caused a global health emergency.”134 “We can’t have this
happen,” remarked Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for
Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
“Who needs terrorists or Mother Nature, when through our own
stupidity, we do things like this?”135

Not only was the 1918 virus revived, risking an accidental release
from the lab, but in the interest of promoting further scientific
exploration, Taubenberger’s group openly published the entire viral
genome on the internet, letter for letter. This was intended to allow
other scientists the opportunity to try to decipher the virus’s
darkest secrets. The public release of the genetic code, however,
meant that rogue nations or bioterrorist groups had been afforded the
same access. “In an age of terrorism, in a time when a lot of folks
have malicious intent toward us, I am very nervous about the
publication of accurate [gene] sequences for these pathogens and the
techniques for making them,” said a bioethicist at the University of
Pennsylvania.136 “Once the genetic sequence is publicly available,”
explained a virologist at the National Institute for Biological
Standards and Control, “there’s a theoretical risk that any molecular
biologist with sufficient knowledge could recreate this virus.”137

Even if the 1918 virus were to escape, there might be a graver threat
waiting in the wings. As devastating as the 1918 pandemic was, on
average the mortality rate was less than 5%.138 The H5N1 strain of
bird flu virus now spreading like a plague across the world currently
kills about 50% of its known human victims, on par with some strains
of Ebola,139 making it potentially ten times as deadly as the worst
plague in human history.140,141 “The picture of what the [H5N1] virus
can do to humans,” said the former chief of infectious disease at
Children’s Hospital in Boston, “is pretty gruesome in terms of its
mortality.”142

Leading public health authorities, from the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention to the World Health Organization, fear that
this bird flu virus is but mutations away from spreading efficiently
though the human population, triggering the next pandemic. “The lethal
capacity of this virus is very, very high; so it’s a deadly virus that
humans have not been exposed to before. That’s a very bad
combination,” says Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for
Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University.143 Scientists have
speculated worst-case scenarios in which H5N1 could end up killing a
billion144 or more145 people around the globe. “The only thing I can
think of that could take a larger human death toll would be
thermonuclear war,” said Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow
Laurie Garrett.146 H5N1 could potentially become a virus as ferocious
as Ebola and as contagious as the common cold.

© BirdFluBook.com | Home | Website by Lantern Media

Jim Webster
2007-06-10 04:57:07 EST
On Sun, 10 Jun 2007 09:51:40 +0100, Aunt Sally <aunt@sally.com> wrote:

>"You are what you eat" has never been more true. Filthy treatment of
>animals, countryside and humans is killing us, isn't it about time we
>put two and two together?
>
>http://birdflubook.com/g.php?id=5
>
>“Humanity has but three great enemies: fever, famine and war; of these
>by far the greatest, by far the most terrible, is fever.”
>—Sir William Osler3
>
>It started, harmlessly enough, with a cough drowned out by the raging
>world war. It was known as Spanish influenza only because censorship
>by the warring governments wouldn’t allow reports of the spreading
>illness for fear it would damage morale.4 However, Spain, being
>neutral, allowed its press to publicize what was happening. The first
>cable read, “A STRANGE FORM OF DISEASE OF EPIDEMIC CHARACTER HAS
>APPEARED IN MADRID.” Because of the censors, even as millions were
>dying around the globe, the world press was apt to report little about
>the pandemic beyond what the Spanish King Alfonzo’s temperature was
>that morning.5 In Spain they called it the French flu.6
>
>“The year 1918 has gone,” the editors of the Journal of the American
>Medical Association wrote in the Christmas issue, “a year momentous as
>the termination of the most cruel war in the annals of the human race;
>a year which marked the end, at least for a time, of man’s destruction
>of man; unfortunately a year in which developed a most fatal
>infectious disease….”7 That most fatal disease killed about 10 times
>more Americans than did the war.8 In fact, according to the World
>Health Organization (WHO), “The 1918 influenza pandemic killed more
>people in less time than any other disease before or since,”9 the
>“most deadly disease event in the history of humanity….”10
>
>The word “epidemic” comes from the Greek epi, meaning “upon,” and
>demos, meaning “people.” The word “pandemic” comes from the Greek word
>pandemos, meaning “upon all the people.”11 Most outbreaks of disease
>are geographically confined, just like most disasters in general.
>Wars, famines, earthquakes, and acts of terror, for example, tend to
>be localized both in time and space. We look on in horror, but may not
>be affected ourselves. Pandemics are different. Pandemics are
>worldwide epidemics. They happen everywhere at once, coast to coast,
>and can drag on for more than a year.12 “With Hurricane Katrina,
>people opened their homes, sent checks and people found safe havens,”
>writes a global economic strategist at a leading investment firm, but
>with a pandemic, “there is nowhere to turn, no safe place to
>evacuate.”13
>
>The word “influenza” derives from the Italian influentia, meaning
>“influence,” reflecting a medieval belief that astrological forces
>were behind the annual flu season.14 In 1918, though, the Germans
>called it Blitzkatarrh.15 To the Siamese, it was Kai Wat Yai, The
>Great Cold Fever.16 In Hungary, it was The Black Whip. In Cuba and the
>Philippines, it was Trancazo, meaning “a blow from a heavy stick.” In
>the United States, it was the Spanish Lady, or, because of the way
>many died, the Purple Death.
>
>Purple Death
> Influenza ward in army general hospital, Fort Porter, New York
>(National Archives, 165-WW-269-B-4)
>What started for millions around the globe as muscle aches and a fever
>ended days later with many victims bleeding from their nostrils, ears,
>and eye sockets.17 Some bled inside their eyes;18 some bled around
>them.19 They vomited blood and coughed it up.20 Purple blood blisters
>appeared on their skin.21
>
>The Chief of the Medical Services, Major Walter V. Brem, described the
>horror at the time in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
>He wrote that “often blood was seen to gush from a patient’s nose and
>mouth.”22 In some cases, blood reportedly spurted with such force as
>to squirt several feet.23 “When pneumonia appeared,” Major Brem
>recounted, “the patients often spat quantities of almost pure
>blood.”24 They were bleeding into their lungs.
>
>As victims struggled to clear their airways of the bloody froth that
>poured from their lungs, their bodies started to turn blue from the
>lack of oxygen, a condition known as violaceous heliotrope cyanosis.25
>“They’re as blue as huckleberries and spitting blood,” one New York
>City physician told a colleague.26 U.S. Army medics noted that this
>was “not the dusky pallid blueness that one is accustomed to in
>failing pneumonia, but rather [a] deep blueness…an indigo blue
>color.”27 The hue was so dark that one physician confessed that “it is
>hard to distinguish the colored men from the white.”28 “It is only a
>matter of a few hours then until death comes,” recalled another
>physician, “and it is simply a struggle for air until they
>suffocate.”29 They drowned in their own bloody secretions.30
>
>“It wasn’t always that quick, either,” one historian adds. “And along
>the way, you had symptoms like fingers and genitals turning black, and
>people reporting being able to literally smell the body decaying
>before the patient died.”31 “When you’re ill like that you don’t
>care,” recalls one flu survivor, now 100 years old. “You don’t care if
>you live or die.”32
>
>Major Brem described an autopsy: “Frothy, bloody serum poured from the
>nose and mouth when the body was moved, or the head lowered…. Pus
>streamed from the trachea when the lungs were removed.”33 Fellow
>autopsy surgeons discussed what they called a “pathological
>nightmare,” with lungs up to six times their normal weight, looking
>“like melted red currant jelly.”34 An account published by the
>National Academies of Science describes the lungs taken from victims
>as “hideously transformed” from light, buoyant, air-filled structures
>to dense sacks of bloody fluid.35
>
>There was one autopsy finding physicians reported having never seen
>before. As people choked to death, violently coughing up as much as
>two pints of yellow-green pus per day,36 their lungs would sometimes
>burst internally, forcing air under pressure up underneath their skin.
>In the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, a British
>physician noted “one thing that I have never seen before—namely the
>occurrence of subcutaneous emphysema”—pockets of air accumulating just
>beneath the skin—“beginning in the neck and spreading sometimes over
>the whole body.”37 These pockets of air leaking from ruptured lungs
>made patients crackle when they rolled onto their sides. In an unaired
>interview filmed for a PBS American Experience documentary on the 1918
>pandemic, one Navy nurse compared the sound to a bowl of Rice
>Krispies. The memory of that sound—the sound of air bubbles moving
>under people’s skin—remained so vivid that for the rest of her life,
>she couldn’t be in a room with anyone eating that popping cereal.38
>
>“[A] dead man has no substance unless one has actually seen him dead;
>a hundred million corpses broadcast through history are no more than a
>puff of smoke in the imagination.”
>—Albert Camus, The Plague39
> Percent of population dying in U.S. cities
>In 1918, half the world became infected and 25% of all Americans fell
>ill.40 Unlike the regular seasonal flu, which tends to kill only the
>elderly and infirm, the flu virus of 1918 killed those in the prime of
>life Public health specialists at the time noted that most influenza
>victims were those who “had been in the best of physical condition and
>freest from previous disease.”41 Ninety-nine percent of excess deaths
>were among people under 65 years old.42 Mortality peaked in the 20- to
>34-year-old age group.43 Women under 35 accounted for 70% of all
>female influenza deaths. In 1918, the average life expectancy in the
>United States dropped precipitously to only 37 years.44
>
>Calculations made in the 1920s estimated the global death toll in the
>vicinity of 20 million, a figure medical historians now consider
>“almost ludicrously low.”45 The number has been revised upwards ever
>since, as more and more records are unearthed. The best estimate
>currently stands at 50 to 100 million people dead.46 In some
>communities, like in Alaska, 50% of the population perished.47
>
>The 1918 influenza pandemic killed more people in a single year than
>the bubonic plague (“black death”) in the Middle Ages killed in a
>century.48 The 1918 virus killed more people in 25 weeks than AIDS has
>killed in 25 years.49 According to one academic reviewer, this
>“single, brief epidemic generated more fatalities, more suffering, and
>more demographic change in the United States than all the wars of the
>Twentieth Century.”50
>
>In September 1918, according to the official published American
>Medican Association (AMA) account, the deadliest wave of the pandemic
>spread over the world “like a tidal wave.”51 On the 11th, Washington
>officials disclosed that it had reached U.S. shores.52 September 11,
>1918—the day Babe Ruth led the Boston Red Sox to victory in the World
>Series—three civilians dropped dead on the sidewalks of neighboring
>Quincy, Massachusetts.53 It had begun.
>
>When a “typical outbreak” struck Camp Funston in Kansas, the
>commander, a physician and former Army Chief of Staff, wrote the
>governor, “There are 1440 minutes in a day. When I tell you there were
>1440 admissions in a day, you realize the strain put on our Nursing
>and Medical forces….”54 “Stated briefly,” summarized an Army report,
>“the influenza…occurred as an explosion.”55
>
>October 1918 became the deadliest month in U.S. history56 and the last
>week of October was the deadliest week from any cause, at any time.
>More than 20,000 Americans died in that week alone.57 Numbers, though,
>cannot reflect the true horror of the time.
>
>“They died in heaps and were buried in heaps.”
>—Daniel Defoe, 1665
> Mass graves being dug in 1918
>One survivor remembers the children. “We had little caskets for the
>little babies that stretched for four and five blocks, eight high, ten
>high.”58 Soon, though, city after city ran out of caskets.59 People
>were dying faster than carpenters could make them.60 The dead lay in
>gutters.61 One agonized official in the stricken East sent an urgent
>warning West: “Hunt up your wood-workers and set them to making
>coffins. Then take your street laborers and set them to digging
>graves.”62 When New York City ran out of gravediggers, they had to
>follow Philadelphia’s example and use steam shovels to dig trenches
>for mass graves.63 Even in timber-rich Sweden, the dead were interred
>in cardboard boxes or piled in mass graves because they simply ran out
>of nails.64
>
>Another survivor recalls:
>
>A neighbor boy about seven or eight died and they used to just pick
>you up and wrap you up in a sheet and put you in a patrol wagon. So
>the mother and father are screaming, “Let me get a macaroni
>box”—macaroni, any kind of pasta, used to come in this box, about 20
>pounds of macaroni fit in it— “please, please let me put him in a
>macaroni box, don’t take him away like that….”65
>One nurse describes bodies “stacked in the morgue from floor to
>ceiling like cordwood.” At the peak of the epidemic, she remembers
>toe-tagging and wrapping more than one still-living patient in winding
>sheets. In her nightmares, she wondered “what it would feel like to be
>that boy who was at the bottom of the cordwood in the morgue.”66
>
>They brought out their dead. Corpses were carted away in anything,
>wheelbarrows—even garbage trucks.67 Often, though, the bodies were
>just pushed into corners and left to rot for days. People too sick to
>move were discovered lying next to corpses.68
>
>All over the country, farms and factories shut down and schools and
>churches closed. Homeless children wandered the streets, their parents
>vanished.69 The New York Health Commissioner estimated that in New
>York City alone, 21,000 children lost both parents to the pandemic.70
>
>Around the world, millions were left widowed and orphaned.71 The New
>York Times described Christmas in Tahiti.72 “It was impossible to bury
>the dead,” a Tahitian government official noted. “Day and night trucks
>rumbled throughout the streets filled with bodies for the constantly
>burning pyres.”73 When firewood to burn the bodies ran out in India,
>the rivers became clogged with corpses.74 In the remote community of
>Okak, in northern Labrador, an eight-year-old girl reportedly survived
>for five weeks at 20 below zero—among the corpses of her family. She
>kept herself alive by melting snow for water with the last of her
>Christmas candles while she lay listening to the sound of dogs outside
>feasting off the dead.75 Colonel Victor Vaughan, acting Surgeon
>General of the Army and former head of the AMA, lived through the
>pandemic. “If the epidemic continues its mathematical rate of
>acceleration,” Vaughan wrote in 1918, “civilization could easily
>disappear from the face of the earth.”76
>
>But the virus did stop. It ran out of human fuel; it ran out of
>accessible people to infect. Those who lived through it were immune to
>reinfection, so many populations were, in many respects, either immune
>or dead. “[I]t’s like a firestorm,” one expert explained. “[I]t sweeps
>through and it has so many victims and the survivors developed
>immunity.”77 Influenza is “transmitted so effectively,” reads one
>virology textbook, “that it exhausts the supply of susceptible
>hosts.”78
>
>As soon as the dying stopped, the forgetting began. As Arno Karlen
>wrote in Man and Microbes, “Many Americans know more about mediaeval
>plague than about the greatest mass death in their grandparents’
>lives.”79 Commentators view the pandemic as so traumatic that it had
>to be forced out of our collective memory and history. “I think it’s
>probably because it was so awful while it was happening, so
>frightening,” one epidemiologist speculates, “that people just got rid
>of the memory.”80
>
>For many, however, the virus lived on. As if the pandemic weren’t
>tragic enough, in the decade that followed, a million people came down
>with a serious Parkinson’s-like disease termed “encephalitis
>lethargica,” the subject of the book and movie Awakenings.81 Some
>researchers now consider this epidemic of neurological disease to be
>“almost certainly” a direct consequence of viral damage to the brains
>of survivors.82 The latest research goes a step further to suggest the
>pandemic had ripples throughout the century, showing that those in
>utero at the height of the pandemic in the most affected areas seemed
>to have stunted lifespans and lifelong physical disability.83
>
>“This is a detective story. Here was a mass murderer that was around
>80 years ago and who’s never been brought to justice. And what we’re
>trying to do is find the murderer.”
>—Jeffery Taubenberger, molecular pathologist and arche-virologist84
> Johan Hultin and Mary
>Where did this disease come from? Popular explanations at the time
>included a covert German biological weapon, the foul atmosphere
>conjured by the war’s rotting corpses and mustard gas, or “spiritual
>malaise due to the sins of war and materialism.”85 This was before the
>influenza virus was discovered, we must remember, and is consistent
>with other familiar etymological examples—malaria was contracted from
>mal and aria (“bad air”) or such quaintly preserved terms as catching
>“a cold” and being “under the weather.”86 The committee set up by the
>American Public Health Association to investigate the 1918 outbreak
>could only speak of a “disease of extreme communicability.”87 Though
>the “prevailing disease is generally known as influenza,” they
>couldn’t even be certain that this was the same disease that had been
>previously thought of as such.88 As the Journal of the American
>Medical Association observed in October 1918, “The ‘influence’ in
>influenza is still veiled in mystery.”89
>
>In the decade following 1918, thousands of books and papers were
>written on influenza in a frenzied attempt to characterize the
>pathogen. One of the most famous medical papers of all time, Alexander
>Fleming’s “On the Antibacterial Actions of Cultures of Penicillium,”
>reported an attempt to isolate the bug that caused influenza. The full
>title was “On the Antibacterial Actions of Cultures of Penicillium,
>with Special Reference to Their Use in the Isolation of B.
>Influenzae.” Fleming was hoping he could use penicillin to kill off
>all the contaminant bystander bacteria on the culture plate so he
>could isolate the bug that caused influenza. The possibility of
>treating humans with penicillin was mentioned only in passing at the
>end of the paper.90
>
>The cause of human influenza was not found until 1933, when a British
>research team finally isolated and identified the viral culprit.91
>What they discovered, though, was a virus that caused the typical
>seasonal flu. Scientists still didn’t understand where the flu virus
>of 1918 came from or why it was so deadly. It would be more than a
>half-century before molecular biological techniques would be developed
>and refined enough to begin to answer these questions; but by then
>where would researchers find 1918 tissue samples to study the virus?
>
>The U.S. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology originated almost 150
>years ago. It came into being during the Civil War, created by an
>executive order from Abraham Lincoln to the Army Surgeon General to
>study diseases in the battlefield.92 It houses literally tens of
>millions of pieces of preserved human tissue, the largest collection
>of its kind in the world.93 This is where civilian pathologist Jeffery
>Taubenberger first went to look for tissue samples in the mid ’90s. If
>he could find enough fragments of the virus he felt he might be able
>to decipher the genetic code and perhaps even resurrect the 1918 virus
>for study, the viral equivalent of bringing dinosaurs back to life in
>Jurassic Park.94
>
>He found remnants of two soldiers who succumbed to the 1918 flu on the
>same day in September—a 21-year-old private who died in South Carolina
>and a 30-year-old private who died in upstate New York. Tiny cubes of
>lung tissue preserved in wax were all that remained. Taubenberger’s
>team shaved off microscopic sections and started hunting for the virus
>using the latest advances in modern molecular biology that he himself
>had helped devise. They found the virus, but only in tiny bits and
>pieces.95
>
>The influenza virus has eight gene segments, a genetic code less than
>14,000 letters long (the human genome, in contrast, has several
>billion). The longest stands of RNA (the virus’s genetic material)
>that Taubenberger could find in the soldiers’ tissue were only about
>130 letters long. He needed more tissue.96
>
>The 1918 pandemic littered the Earth with millions of corpses. How
>hard could it be to find more samples? Unfortunately, refrigeration
>was essentially nonexistent in 1918, and common tissue preservatives
>like formaldehyde tended to destroy any trace of RNA.97 He needed
>tissue samples frozen in time. Expeditions were sent north, searching
>for corpses frozen under the Arctic ice.
>
>Scientists needed to find corpses buried below the permafrost layer,
>the permanently frozen layer of subsoil beneath the topsoil, which
>itself may thaw in the summer.98 Many teams over the years tried and
>failed. U.S. Army researchers excavated a mass grave near Nome,
>Alaska, for example, only to find skeletons.99 “Lots of those people
>are buried in permafrost,” explained Professor John Oxford, co-author
>of two standard virology texts, “but many of them were eaten by the
>huskies after they died. Or,” he added, “before they died.”100
>
>On a remote Norwegian Island, Kirsty Duncan, a medical geographer from
>Canada, led the highest profile expedition in 1998, dragging 12 tons
>of equipment and a blue-ribbon academic team to the gravesite of seven
>coal miners who had succumbed to the 1918 flu.101 Years of planning
>and research combined with surveys using ground-penetrating radar had
>led the team to believe that the bodies of the seven miners had been
>buried deep in the eternal permafrost.102 Hunched over the unearthed
>coffins in biosecure space suits, the team soon realized their search
>was in vain.103 The miners’ naked bodies, wrapped only in newspaper,
>lay in shallow graves above the permafrost. Subjected to thawing and
>refreezing over the decades, the tissue was useless.104
>
>Nearly 50 years earlier, scientists from the University of Iowa,
>including a graduate student recently arrived from Sweden named Johan
>Hultin, had made a similar trek to Alaska with similarly disappointing
>results.105 In the fall of 1918, the postal carrier delivered the
>mail—and the flu—via dogsled to a missionary station in Brevig,
>Alaska.106 Within five days, 72 of the 80 or so missionaries lay
>dead.107 With help from a nearby Army base, the remaining eight buried
>the dead in a mass grave.108 Governor Thomas A. Riggs spent Alaska
>into bankruptcy caring for the orphaned children at Brevig and across
>the state. “I could not stand by and see our people dying like
>flies.”109
>
>Learning of Taubenberger’s need for better tissue samples, Johan
>Hultin returned to Brevig a few weeks before his 73rd birthday.110
>Hultin has been described as “the Indiana Jones of the scientific
>set.”111 In contrast to Duncan’s team, which spent six months just
>searching for the most experienced gravediggers, Hultin struck out
>alone.112 Hultin was “there with a pickaxe,” one colleague relates.
>“He dug a pit though solid ice in three days. This guy is
>unbelievable. It was just fantastic.”113
>
>Among the many skeletons lay a young woman whose obesity insulated her
>internal organs. “She was lying on her back, and on her left and right
>were skeletons, yet she was amazingly well preserved. I sat on an
>upside-down pail, amid the icy pond water and the muck and fragrance
>of the grave,” Hultin told an interviewer, “and I thought, ‘Here’s
>where the virus will be found and shed light on the flu of 1918.’”114
>He named her Lucy. A few days later, Taubenberger received a plain
>brown box in the mail containing both of Lucy’s lungs.115 As Hultin
>had predicted, hidden inside was the key to unlock the mystery.
>
>Many had assumed that the 1918 virus came from pigs. Although the
>human influenza virus wasn’t even discovered until 1933, as early as
>1919 an inspector with the U.S. Bureau of Animal Industry was
>publishing research that suggested a role for farm animals in the
>pandemic. Inspector J.S. Koen of Fort Dodge, Iowa wrote:
>The similarity of the epidemic among people and the epidemic among
>pigs was so close, the reports so frequent, that an outbreak in the
>family would be followed immediately by an outbreak among the hogs,
>and vice versa, as to present a most striking coincidence if not
>suggesting a close relation between the two conditions. It looked like
>“flu,” and until proven it was not “flu,” I shall stand by that
>diagnosis.116
>According to the editor of the medical journal Virology, Koen’s views
>were decidedly unpopular, especially among pig farmers who feared that
>customers “would be put off from eating pork if such an association
>was made.”117 It was never clear, though, whether the pigs were the
>culprits or the victims. Did we infect the pigs or did they infect us?
>
>With the entire genome of the 1918 virus in hand thanks to Hultin’s
>expedition, Taubenberger was finally able to definitively answer the
>Holy Grail question posed by virologists the world over throughout the
>century: Where did the 1918 virus come from? The answer, published in
>October 2005,118 is that humanity’s greatest killer appeared to come
>from avian influenza—bird flu.119
>
>Evidence now suggests that all pandemic influenza viruses—in fact all
>human and mammalian flu viruses in general—owe their origins to avian
>influenza.120 Back in 1918, schoolchildren jumped rope to a morbid
>little rhyme:
>
>I had a little bird,
>Its name was Enza.
>I opened the window,
>And in-flu-enza

Gosh I remember that one up until a few decades back.

>
>The children of 1918 may have been more prescient than anyone dared
>imagine.
>
>Resurrection
> Dr. Taubenberger attempts to map out the 1918 virus
>Sequencing the 1918 virus is one thing; bringing it back to life is
>something else. Using a new technique called “reverse genetics,”
>Taubenberger teamed up with groups at Mount Sinai and the U.S. Centers
>for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and set out to raise it from
>the dead.122 Using the genetic blueprint provided by Lucy’s frozen
>lungs, they painstakingly recreated each of the genes of the virus,
>one letter at a time. Upon completion, they stitched each gene into a
>loop of genetically manipulated bacterial DNA and introduced the DNA
>loops into mammalian cells.123 The 1918 virus was reborn.
>
>Ten vials of virus were created, each containing 10 million infectious
>virus particles.124 First they tried infecting mice. All were dead in
>a matter of days. “The resurrected virus apparently hasn’t lost any of
>its kick,” Taubenberger noted. Compared to a typical non-lethal human
>flu strain, the 1918 virus generated 39,000 times more virus particles
>in the animals’ lungs. “I didn’t expect it to be as lethal as it was,”
>one of the co-authors of the study remarked.125
>
>The experiment was hailed as a “huge breakthrough,”126 a “tour de
>force.”127 “I can’t think of anything bigger that’s happened in
>virology for many years,” cheered one leading scientist.128 Not
>knowing the true identity of the 1918 flu had been “like a dark angel
>hovering over us.”129
>
>Critics within the scientific community, however, wondered whether the
>box Taubenberger had received from Hultin might just as well have been
>addressed to Pandora. One scientist compared the research to “looking
>for a gas leak with a lighted match.”130 “They have constructed a
>virus,” one biosecurity specialist asserted, “that is perhaps the most
>effective bioweapon known.”131 “This would be extremely dangerous
>should it escape, and there is a long history of things escaping,”
>warned a member of the Federation of American Scientists’ Working
>Group on Biological Weapons.132 Taubenberger and his collaborators
>were criticized for using only an enhanced Biosafety Level 3 lab to
>resurrect the virus rather than the strictest height of security,
>Level 4. Critics cite three recent examples where deadly viruses had
>escaped accidentally from high-security labs.133
>
>In 2004, for example, a strain of influenza that killed a million
>people in 1957 was accidentally sent to thousands of labs around the
>globe within a routine testing kit. Upon learning of the error, the
>World Health Organization called for the immediate destruction of all
>the kits. Miraculously, none of the virus managed to escape any of the
>labs. Klaus Stöhr, head of the World Health Organization’s global
>influenza program, admitted that it was fair to say that the
>laboratory accident with the unlabeled virus could have started a flu
>pandemic. “If many bad-luck things had come together, it could have
>really caused a global health emergency.”134 “We can’t have this
>happen,” remarked Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for
>Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
>“Who needs terrorists or Mother Nature, when through our own
>stupidity, we do things like this?”135
>
>Not only was the 1918 virus revived, risking an accidental release
>from the lab, but in the interest of promoting further scientific
>exploration, Taubenberger’s group openly published the entire viral
>genome on the internet, letter for letter. This was intended to allow
>other scientists the opportunity to try to decipher the virus’s
>darkest secrets. The public release of the genetic code, however,
>meant that rogue nations or bioterrorist groups had been afforded the
>same access. “In an age of terrorism, in a time when a lot of folks
>have malicious intent toward us, I am very nervous about the
>publication of accurate [gene] sequences for these pathogens and the
>techniques for making them,” said a bioethicist at the University of
>Pennsylvania.136 “Once the genetic sequence is publicly available,”
>explained a virologist at the National Institute for Biological
>Standards and Control, “there’s a theoretical risk that any molecular
>biologist with sufficient knowledge could recreate this virus.”137
>
>Even if the 1918 virus were to escape, there might be a graver threat
>waiting in the wings. As devastating as the 1918 pandemic was, on
>average the mortality rate was less than 5%.138 The H5N1 strain of
>bird flu virus now spreading like a plague across the world currently
>kills about 50% of its known human victims, on par with some strains
>of Ebola,139 making it potentially ten times as deadly as the worst
>plague in human history.140,141 “The picture of what the [H5N1] virus
>can do to humans,” said the former chief of infectious disease at
>Children’s Hospital in Boston, “is pretty gruesome in terms of its
>mortality.”142
>
>Leading public health authorities, from the U.S. Centers for Disease
>Control and Prevention to the World Health Organization, fear that
>this bird flu virus is but mutations away from spreading efficiently
>though the human population, triggering the next pandemic. “The lethal
>capacity of this virus is very, very high; so it’s a deadly virus that
>humans have not been exposed to before. That’s a very bad
>combination,” says Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for
>Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University.143 Scientists have
>speculated worst-case scenarios in which H5N1 could end up killing a
>billion144 or more145 people around the globe. “The only thing I can
>think of that could take a larger human death toll would be
>thermonuclear war,” said Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow
>Laurie Garrett.146 H5N1 could potentially become a virus as ferocious
>as Ebola and as contagious as the common cold.
>
>© BirdFluBook.com | Home | Website by Lantern Media


Considering we're supposed to be the most intelligent species on
earth, we're amazingly dumb. Millions died yet we still don't heed the
warning!

We wonder why our children don't listen to us, as the voice of
experience. Why should they?

Dutch
2007-06-10 06:28:17 EST
"Jim Webster" <Jim.Webster@PageBankFarm.com> wrote
> Considering we're supposed to be the most intelligent species on
> earth, we're amazingly dumb.

You mean like repeating 32kb of cut & paste hysterics to make a meaningless
reply?


ItsMe_wtwjgc
2007-06-10 06:35:20 EST
On 10/06/2007 11:28, Dutch scribbled:
> "Jim Webster" <Jim.Webster@PageBankFarm.com> wrote
>> Considering we're supposed to be the most intelligent species on
>> earth, we're amazingly dumb.
>
> You mean like repeating 32kb of cut & paste hysterics to make a
> meaningless reply?

Or even cross-posting to many inappropriate groups?

--
ItsMe wtwjgc
http://www.localcooling.com/ref/?type=link&id=26575

Bigbazza
2007-06-10 06:47:31 EST

"Aunt Sally" <aunt@sally.com> wrote in message
news:uden63hpip0ck8rs8vr0huri0a9ndih850@4ax.com...
> "You are what you eat" has never been more true. Filthy treatment of
> animals, countryside and humans is killing us, isn't it about time we
> put two and two together?
>
> http://birdflubook.com/g.php?id=5
>
You have X-POSTED this to so many groups...Give up, Aunt Sally...32 k to all
you can think of....

PLEASE ..Do not crosspost to uk.people.silversurfers And remove the
address from your posts !!


Bigbazza





Bigbazza
2007-06-10 06:57:12 EST

"Jim Webster" <Jim.Webster@PageBankFarm.com> wrote in message
news:71fn635tvnfpdu8907lpaihvm8q3btp77l@4ax.com...
> On Sun, 10 Jun 2007 09:51:40 +0100, Aunt Sally <aunt@sally.com> wrote:
>
>>"You are what you eat" has never been more true. Filthy treatment of
>>animals, countryside and humans is killing us, isn't it about time we
>>put two and two together?


>
> Considering we're supposed to be the most intelligent species on
> earth, we're amazingly dumb. Millions died yet we still don't heed the
> warning!
>
> We wonder why our children don't listen to us, as the voice of
> experience. Why should they?


And ...WHY do you have to send the whole 31 kb + your 1 kb = 32 kb... And
X-POSTED all over all those groups..You're as bad as Aunt Sally...Haven't
you heard of 'Trimming' your posts and... NOT X-Post !!..

Bigbazza



Jim Webster
2007-06-10 07:04:22 EST

"Dutch" <not@home.com> wrote in message
news:5nQai.10729$NV3.666@pd7urf2no...
> "Jim Webster" <Jim.Webster@PageBankFarm.com> wrote

no
pete, granny reburier wrote it
he just hasn't the courage to post under his own name



FACE
2007-06-10 14:57:17 EST
On Sun, 10 Jun 2007 20:47:31 +1000, in uk.politics.misc "Bigbazza"
<*a@Invalid_Address.com>, wrote

>You have X-POSTED this to so many groups...Give up, Aunt Sally...32 k to all
>you can think of....

It isn't NEARLY that bad, Agent says it's only 29.3KB.

Ta,

FACE


Dutch
2007-06-10 15:27:04 EST
"ItsMe_wtwjgc" <itsmejgc+spam@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:ItQai.2547$p8.1843@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk...
> On 10/06/2007 11:28, Dutch scribbled:
>> "Jim Webster" <Jim.Webster@PageBankFarm.com> wrote
>>> Considering we're supposed to be the most intelligent species on
>>> earth, we're amazingly dumb.
>>
>> You mean like repeating 32kb of cut & paste hysterics to make a
>> meaningless reply?
>
> Or even cross-posting to many inappropriate groups?

I don't care a whole lot about crossposts, I don't do it deliberately, but I
don't generally remove them either. People are complex beings who at times
even take a brief interest in topics they don't normally think about.


Jim Webster
2007-06-10 16:26:34 EST

"Dutch" <not@home.com> wrote in message
news:cgYai.12386$1i1.6454@pd7urf3no...
> "ItsMe_wtwjgc" <itsmejgc+spam@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:ItQai.2547$p8.1843@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk...
>> On 10/06/2007 11:28, Dutch scribbled:
>>> "Jim Webster" <Jim.Webster@PageBankFarm.com> wrote
>>>> Considering we're supposed to be the most intelligent species on
>>>> earth, we're amazingly dumb.
>>>
>>> You mean like repeating 32kb of cut & paste hysterics to make a
>>> meaningless reply?
>>
>> Or even cross-posting to many inappropriate groups?
>
> I don't care a whole lot about crossposts, I don't do it deliberately, but
> I don't generally remove them either. People are complex beings who at
> times even take a brief interest in topics they don't normally think
> about.

and others are just AR wannabees who are too embarassed to post under their
own name


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