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The way this story is going to unfold I really think it warrants its own thread...

 

It's interesting (scary?) that the UK cases who have been confirmed with swine flu have all returned from recent holidays in Mexico.

 

There can't be that many UK residents who holiday in Mexico, and when they do probably only for an average of a couple of weeks; if in that couple of weeks they have a fair chance of catching the flu, how many Mexicans are catching it and passing it around? How long is the incubation period? I can't see how long ago the UK cases were in Mexico but if it is a couple of weeks then it could quite easily have gone around the globe by now leaving the human population of the planet at extreme risk.

 

Reports from Mexico indicate that of the 160 already dead, 3 were Doctors who had been treating patients suffering with it...

 

If that is true then we are in big deep shit. :scared:

 

Survivors, 28 Days later, I Am Legend and all that could be about to become reality....

 

Be scared, be very scared.

 

ITEOTWAWKI.

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Since I'm supposed to stay indoors for the next two weeks and rest my only problems might come with any visitors. So as from now I think I'll ban visitors!

 

On the other hand, don't we all just have to take life as it comes. We know the powers that be will not act quickly enough to contain anything like a pandemic and the individual will have to just be as careful as he or she can.

 

I can see communications through websites becoming much the safest place to be at this time. ;)

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Oh, goody!

Another optimistic and encouraging thread to match this one :rolleyes:

I must admit I did wonder whether anyone would start a thread on this and I guessed it would be you RR, so I had to smile when I saw this.

 

Should be interesting to follow though. I'm finding myself ensuring I listen to the news to catch the latest updates.

 

I can see communications through websites becoming much the safest place to be at this time.
Absolutely :D

 

The most reliable place for info on this is here:

 

http://www.hpa.org.uk/webw/HPAweb&Page&HPAwebAutoListName/Page/1240812233855?p=1240812233855

 

The Health Protection Agency will collate info from the NHS, Public Health etc etc.

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I got drawn in to following your links, Swirls, and have been amused by the irony of this answer from the NHS website Q&A:

 

 

Is the National Flu Line ready for use? If not, why not?

 

The National Framework for responding to a flu pandemic set out the government's plans to introduce a telephone and web-based system to enable patients to obtain antivirals without needing to see their GP during a pandemic.

 

The contract for the development of this system was signed with British Telecom in December 2008. The UK is breaking new ground in the development of this system but unfortunately it will not be completed until later this year. It is such a novel apporach to authorising of antivirals that it would be too risky to try to introduce it without having completed the development and full testing of the system.

 

Always one step too far behind!

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Until recently, I hadn't realised that Mexico was a popular honeymoon place. Several of my daughters' friends chose to go there. One couple is even there at the moment, on their second week, and another is booked to go on Saturday.

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It's interesting (scary?) that the UK cases who have been confirmed with swine flu have all returned from recent holidays in Mexico.
SLightly of topic. These people didn't really go to Mexico; they went to Cancun. This resort could be anywhere in the world it just happens to be in Mexico. Perhaps we can revisit this when this is all over.
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Indications are that it must be very virulent / contagious. (One or both?)

 

It all started in Mexico / Cancun where 200 people have so far died from the illness, the first of which was only a week ago - now isolated cases are popping up all over the world, all of which, it seems, as a result of a trip to Mexico / Cancun, so it is pretty safe to assume, because each of these travellers will have been through international airports, that pretty soon the entire population of the planet will have been exposed to it.

 

We don't know what percentage carry natural immunity or how successful drugs and immunisation programmes will be against what is presumably an evolving virus, but if the incubation period is a couple of weeks, (no-one seems to be saying anything about that), it seems a reasonable bet that the worldwide recession won't actually make front page news for a long while, if ever, again.

 

Illions will be wiped out by this, the only question is whether it begins with m or b.

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That's appalling Meg :P

 

...I'm trying not to worry about this one. I understand how the media works and how alarm can spiral out of control in a way that is almost viral BUT...

 

I have a trip back to the UK planned for early June. I am sleeping with my fingers crossed, swallowing echinacea like mad (and giving it to my boys) and cooking all the garlic and tomatoes and immunity-stimulating things that I can possibly find.

 

I'm not panicking, these things seem to come around. But vitamins and garlic can't hurt ;)

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I'm sorry to see that RR has gone down with a particularly virulent case of tungincheequitis...

 

;)

 

In all seriousness, though, this is the sort of story that demonstrates so clearly to me all the things I loathe about the modern media. At the drop of a hat the tabloids and the television news that has increasingly turned into tablovision (ITV in particular) will crank the hysteria lever to maximum. I suspect that's what RR is satirising.

 

Only a few years ago we had bird flu (...or we didn't, as it turned out). The country started hyperventilating at the appearance of a swan in Scotland (your boys are more clued-up than you think, Hazel!). It was the top headline. Cue national disaster - all the pandemic analysis was rolled out again, we were told to forget any idea of turkeys for Christmas, etc., etc.

 

And of course it came to nowt.

 

Yet the fact remains that at some point the world will suffer another terrible outbreak of flu that will indeed kill millions. That's the nature of the disease. The question is simply when.

 

So at the start of all this I was very sceptical because we've been there before, yet the WHO has been very concerned so perhaps it is indeed more serious.

 

Nevertheless, people outside of Mexico have not died from the disease as yet (I believe the girl in America was actually Mexican), so perhaps there is something unusual in the pathology of the disease. Maybe it is weakening as it progresses.

 

In short, we just don't don't know and even if it does turn out to be very serious in world terms I still think the opening coverage was way over the top. There have been the barest handful of cases here and yet we're all being told how to prevent ourselves catching it - to the extremes of sorting out a buddy who can go to the shops for you to stock up on self-quarantine provisions.

 

It will be interesting to see just how ill that Scottish couple were. They've been plastered over all the media; we've been to their street; talked to their neighbours. Yet every bulletin has to admit sheepishly in a small codicil at the end that actually they're doing very well. They've never in fact been presented as seriously ill.

 

Still, hang on a mo... that swan, it was in Scotland. And that couple, they're from Scotland too!! I demand that we close the border immediately!!

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Still, hang on a mo... that swan, it was in Scotland. And that couple, they're from Scotland too!! I demand that we close the border immediately!!

At least it'll keep you English from stealing our natural resources. ;)
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I am sleeping with my fingers crossed, swallowing echinacea like mad (and giving it to my boys) and cooking all the garlic and tomatoes and immunity-stimulating things that I can possibly find.

I have been told that deaths from Swine 'Flu are caused by a Cytokine Storm, so a strong immune system would seem to be a bad thing.

 

edit: The Scottish couple have now been allowed to go home.

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I have been told that deaths from Swine 'Flu are caused by a Cytokine Storm, so a strong immune system would seem to be a bad thing.

There was a fascinating programme about this a few years ago and that's absolutely right. The normal flu we tend to get is particularly bad for the elderly whilst the young fight it off. The reverse is true for these 'pandemic' types because they tend to be lethal through causing massive over-reaction by the immune system. Ironically, the younger and stronger your immune system is the more dangerous the virus is likely to be.

 

edit: The Scottish couple have now been allowed to go home.

Wouldn't it be ironic if they were now mortally injured in a scrum of photographers?

 

Y'know, in a tragic but nonetheless satirically illustrative way...

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A guy I know works in a drug research lab and he has been brushing it all off as another SARS exaggeration, but he just had a chat with the head of the Health Protection Agency's Modelling Risk Assessment team who, he was surprised to discover, is actually "a tad concerned".

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