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Flu Bird Flu Jumps To Seals, Could Threaten Humans

Discussion in 'Survival Medicine' started by tulianr, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey


    Four times in the past century, a new strain of flu has emerged that can spread quickly in humans. One of those strains, which emerged in 1918, killed an estimated 50 million people.

    All human flu strains evolved from flu viruses that live in birds. To understand how these transitions happen, scientists have recently been tinkering with a strain of bird flu to see how many mutations it takes until its spreads from mammal to mammal.

    When news of their efforts emerged last fall, a fierce debate broke out about the wisdom of publishing the experiments in full.
    Scientists may respect moratoriums, but nature does not. Evolution recently carried out an influenza experiment of its own on the coast of New England. Last fall, 162 dead harbor seal pups washed up on the beaches of New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
    Dr. Holmes believes the new virus needs to be carefully monitored to see what sort of threat, if any, it poses. “The question mark is what it means for seals, and what it means for us,” he said.
    In September 2011, beachgoers noticed dead seal pups on New Hampshire beaches. “Surfers were surfing into seals floating in the water,” said Katie Pugliares, a senior biologist with the New England Aquarium’s rescue program.
    Unlike typical seal cadavers, the seals were not malnourished, suggesting they had died suddenly.
    A new strain that can spread among seals is a reason for serious concern, Dr. Anthony said. “What we fear is that it would allow the virus to persist within the seal population,” he said. “And if it persists, who knows what other changes may accumulate over time?”

    “If it adapts better to mammal hosts, it may well start to move into humans,” Dr. Lipkin said. “This is clearly a virus for which we need some surveillance.”

    Pigs, Dr. Lipkin noted, are especially good at producing new flu strains because they can be infected by bird flu and mammal flu at the same time. Two kinds of virus can combine, giving rise to new hybrid strains.

    Dr. Lipkin and his colleagues found evidence that seal cells can also be invaded by both kinds of viruses — raising the possibility that they could produce new hybrid flu strains as well.
  2. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Thanks for the info

    tulianr likes this.
  3. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    Scientists think they're smarter than everyone else (and they generally are) so they feel the need to be the filter of knowledge. Instead of explaining the science and letting people decide for themselves (which generally has led to knee-jerk reactions), they keep knowledge that should be disseminated. ...just another form of the nanny-state. But, we partly have ourselves to blame...we don't really want to know that stuff...do we? If it doesn't affect me today or tomorrow, don't tell me.

    I was involved in some work one time that showed if you ingested alcohol during a meal, it served to protect you against a certain kind of illness you got from eating unclean food. The finding, which was irrefutable, was buried with the explanation that "it would send the wrong message" to publish those results. And this goes on way more than you think......
    TwoCrows likes this.
  4. mysterymet

    mysterymet Monkey+++

    What illness? It might be time to stock up on wine!
  5. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    It's always time to stock up on wine! And beer, and bourbon, and .....

    This flu thing bothers me. I can prepare for almost anything, and stock up on food, and weapons, and ammo; but this little bug that I can't see can wipe out my entire family in the blink of an eye. I'm into genealogy, and I have run across quite a few people in my line, and in my wife's line, who perished during the 1918 flu epidemic. My great grandmother and her nineteen year old son died of that flu, after they had traveled to another son's home to nurse him back to health after he had contracted the flu.

    That flu strain, mistakenly called the "Spanish Flu", killed more people than World War I did. Towns ran out of coffins, and had to bury people in mass graves. The "Spanish Flu" was an avian flu that jumped to mammals, just like the strains that are being discussed now. Anybody who isn't worried about the possibility of this happening again just isn't paying attention.

    Disease doesn't care how many bush craft skills you have mastered, it doesn't care about how many rolls of toilet paper you have amassed, it doesn't care whether you're on the grid or off. It just indiscriminately kills you.
  6. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Tulinar, You are right, it doesn't care about ANYTHING except ISOLATION, and that can, and will, save those that have the Preps, to stay isolated until it burns itself out..... Been reading about an Ebola Outbreak in Africa... they didn't recognize that that is what it was right off, at the village clinic, and two of the workers left to take sample to the Capital, and one was infected and brought it back with them, and started a secondary outbreak in the Capital.... No isolation was deadly for15 of those folks, so far.... with an extremely active, and virulent virus.... very Bad News.... I am just happy Alaskachick is NOT deploying to Africa, again this fall....
    tulianr likes this.
  7. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    Very true, and preppers like yourself certainly have a leg up on those of us who cannot as easily raise the drawbridge. I wish I could, but my job puts me into contact with retail sales people, who come into contact with a LOT of people.

    I worry that myself and others won't recognize the danger, and withdraw into whatever isolation we can manage, in time to avoid disaster. Most of us who still work in the public arena have to balance our sense of caution against earning a living. You can't just say, "Well, the flu is going around, so I'm not going to work." The flu may not get you, but you may wish it had, after you lose your job and your finances crumble. By the time that you realize that this one is for real, it may be too late. That one last day at work, or your spouse's one last trip to the grocery store, might be the fatal mistake.

    When cold and flu season comes around, it's always a wake up call to me to double check what I've put away, and assure myself that there isn't some gap in my preparations that would tempt me into making that one last trip to the grocery store. I want to know that even though I can't isolate me and mine to the degree I would like to, in the event of a pandemic, I won't tempt fate by running to the store for a stick of butter.

    The Spanish Flu, the common flu, killed more people in twenty four weeks than AIDs has killed in twenty four years. It killed more people over the course of a few months than the bubonic plague, the Black Death, killed in a hundred years. It has been estimated that the Spanish Flu killed twenty five million people in the first twenty five weeks. I have great respect for anything with that sort mortality capacity.

    It has been surmised that the devastating effects of the 1918 Flu outbreak is the primary reason why so many Americans know so little about that pandemic - the cumulative public consciousness wanted to bury the memory of the horror of 1918. It was okay to remember World War I, but not illness that ravaged not only the soldiers who had gone overseas to fight, but the home front too.
    TheEconomist and BTPost like this.
  8. mysterymet

    mysterymet Monkey+++

    Yeah pandemic flu is very scary because deciding when to just stay home is so critical. Miss it by a day or so and you and your family are toast. Illness is a great equalizer between us and the sheeple.
    tulianr and oldawg like this.
  9. TheEconomist

    TheEconomist Creighton Bluejay Site Supporter+

    tulianr likes this.
  10. TheEconomist

    TheEconomist Creighton Bluejay Site Supporter+

  11. mysterymet

    mysterymet Monkey+++

    That is some scary stuff.
  12. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    Everyone should read 'The Jakarta Pandemic." Food + water + plastic sheeting + shotgun = survival odds up.

    You should also become a site supporter......more info there
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