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Swine Flu Genetics Suggest a Vaccine Is Possible

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the shhh-no-one's-calling-it-that-any-more dept.

Biotech 116

Kristina at Science News writes "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced findings May 1 from genetic studies of swine flu virus from six different countries. A strong similarity from country to country suggests all the infections are from one strain, making a vaccine a strong possibility. It will be several months at least before such a vaccine would be developed, though."

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116 comments

LOL @ http://lol.pigf.lu (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27801647)

lol.pigf.lu [lol.pigf.lu]

Funny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27801805)

Re:Funny? (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802127)

Last one disallows hotlinking you have to go to the site (nsfw) before you can visit that url.

Re:Funny? (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802209)

It works fine if you copy the URL and paste it into a new window, rather than click the link (as that won't send the HTTP REFERER field)

Re:Funny? (2, Funny)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803469)

The Gizmodo version of the first one is even better...

http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/gizmodo/2009/05/pig-kisser.jpg [gawker.com]

Re:Funny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803519)

That one /is/ better! It was the one I was looking for, but couldn't dig up the link.

Hah! Try this one. Is that all you guys have? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27804265)

The following URL's aren't dangerous [youtube.com]

`ere Miss Piggy, ye all henceforth! [onejerusalem.com]

Nothing beats ol' Rosie than Al-CIAeda photo prop's to all my dead homiez on planet Iraqqis.

Good news (1)

mapuche (41699) | more than 5 years ago | (#27801663)

This is great news because gives time to laboratories when the virus returns next fall.

H1N1 A flu, please (2, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#27801665)

Let's keep things straight, this misnaming has already caused too much harm.

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (4, Funny)

Kligat (1244968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27801775)

I think we should rename AIDS so as to placate the hearing aids industry. We could call it Sean, or Christine.

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (0)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#27801847)

Wouldn't it make more sense to name it after Tom Cruise or John Travolta?

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27802045)

The Xenu flu. Dianetics disease. Thetan-itis.

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27801999)

Connery!

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (4, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#27801823)

Too late for that. Everyone knows it as swine flu... having the media call it something else won't change a thing.

The real thing that the media needs to be putting straight is just how little of a threat this flu is. It hasn't been any more lethal than seasonal flu, nor is it really spreading as fast as was originally believed.

The media is causing a panic simply for ratings, which is quite despicable when you think about it.

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802153)

Do you think anyone will remember the Swine Flu in 10 years? It will only be seen in old printed media aka media archives. So yes the media calling it something else will change what history calls it.

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (1, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802235)

What does that have to do with anything? The whole reason for people wanting to change the name is to convince the populace that it's safe to buy and eat pork.

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802677)

There's a second reason: muslims and jews don't eat pork. I say, fuck them and fuck the pig farmers. It's swine flu.

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (0)

blueskies (525815) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802549)

It hasn't been any more lethal than seasonal flu, nor is it really spreading as fast as was originally believed.

ORLY? So you are saying more than 1000 people have been infected and less than one has died?

In the US it has still been about 10x more fatal than seasonal flu. I'm not sure what seasonal flu you are talking about.

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802725)

It's still a wet fart compared to fatal car accident numbers. Why isn't anyone going bananas when he sees a car?

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (0, Redundant)

pnuema (523776) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803783)

Because the last time we saw a flu with this mortality rate, it killed between 20 and 100 million. Back then, we had a sixth of the world's current population. So, taking into account modern medicine (the following is just a wild ass guess), let's say it only kills 10% of what it would have in 1918. That's half a million dead in the US alone (300 million people * .4 infection penetration * .04 mortality * .1 = 480,000 dead.) That's more than Katrina, 9/11, the tsunami, and all of the earthquakes for the last 10 years combined. In the US alone. Can you imagine Mumbai?

That's a whole lot of fucking car accidents. Our information has improved in the last week, but what we knew last Monday looked positively apocalyptic. We still don't have enough information to rule this thing out as a major plague. So, given the stakes, I think a little careful scrutiny is warranted. You don't mess around with plague, man. Out of all the natural disasters humans face, it is absolutely the most deadly, and most certain. It will happen. Maybe not this time, but it will.

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803943)

How about you quit copying and pasting your pointless fearmongering and go/return to the peak oil idiots over at doomers.us or something?

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27804027)

> Because the last time we saw a flu with this mortality rate, it killed between 20 and 100 million.

Citation needed.

We have no idea of the mortality rate of this flu. We don't even have reliable ways of distinguishing it from run-of-the-mill flu on any significant scale. Nobody knows the infection rate.

In fact this is nothing at all like 1918. That flu killed young, and old alike, and everyone in between. Strong young adults died by the thousands.

This flu kills small children and the aged only. anyone over 5 and under 70 in reasonably good health will shake it off just like normal seasonable flu.

Fear monger much?

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (1)

XnavxeMiyyep (782119) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802727)

In the US it has still been about 10x more fatal than seasonal flu. I'm not sure what seasonal flu you are talking about.

In the US, one baby died from the swine flu. That's not really enough for a statistical analysis.

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (1)

James Skarzinskas (518966) | more than 5 years ago | (#27805697)

Furthermore, the single US death (that 23-month old Mexican child) was reported by health officials to already have been afflicted by a number of underlying conditions prior to his swine flu exposure.

But hey, that information doesn't sound nearly frightening enough, so let's just shove it off to the footnotes, yes?

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802689)

The media is causing a panic simply for ratings, which is quite despicable when you think about it.

There is a vacuum to fill (started by CNN decades ago), so it gets filled. With what, they don't really care.

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802705)

You know what bothers me the most? That it's invariably people who don't give a shit about the "common flu" who go headless chicken over this craze.

There's no vaccine. Yes. Did you get inoculated against the normal flu? No? THEN WHY THE FUCK DO YOU CARE?

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (0, Redundant)

pnuema (523776) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803843)

Because the last time we saw a flu with this mortality rate, it killed between 20 and 100 million. Back then, we had a sixth of the world's current population. So, taking into account modern medicine (the following is just a wild ass guess), let's say it only kills 10% of what it would have in 1918. That's half a million dead in the US alone (300 million people * .4 infection penetration * .04 mortality * .1 = 480,000 dead.) That's more than Katrina, 9/11, the tsunami, and all of the earthquakes for the last 10 years combined. In the US alone. Can you imagine Mumbai?

As of Monday of last week, we knew two things that this flu had in common with the Spanish flu of 1918: that this flu killed healthy adults between 20 and 40, and that the mortality rate given the information at the time was between 4 and 5 percent. In the last week, those mortality figures have not held up, but what we knew last Monday looked positively apocalyptic. We still don't have enough information to rule this thing out as a major plague because we know of less than a thousand cases outside of Mexico. We just don't have a large enough sample, and in 1918, it started out weak in the spring, and slaughtered in the fall. So, given the stakes, I think a little careful scrutiny is warranted. You don't mess around with plague, man. Out of all the natural disasters humans face, it is absolutely the most deadly, and most certain. It will happen. Maybe not this time, but it will.

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27804037)

One copy of this fear mongering nonsense per SlashDot story is enough. You had your say up-thread.

Stop your fear mongering and go have a beer.

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (4, Interesting)

MrMarket (983874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803431)

The drift from pigs to humans (and therefore no vaccine in production) caused the initial concern. Furthermore, this could come back more virulent in the winter. The 1918 flu was also H1N1, and it had three waves [wikipedia.org] . The second wave was the big killer.

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (0, Troll)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803809)

The drift from pigs to humans (and therefore no vaccine in production) caused the initial concern.

You can't be serious...can you???

I am safe in my bunker. Fsck the 2nd and 3rd waves that your hypothetical scenarios proscribe due to your limited imagination.

I anticipated this airborne vector unlike any other entity could do. You are doomed. I will counter attack from my vault when your stupidity evaporates.

Drift from pigs to humans?
Duke Nukem Forever has not been released yet, so ....WTF?

It was not the 'drift from pigs to humans' that was the concern, it was the ease that it was transmitted from human to human that was/is the big deal.

Go ahead and keep knee-jerking shit, and deny what is actually happening...don't want to upset your agenda.

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803677)

Here in NL people have been calling it Mexican Flu for a while now. Works fine.

Pass the pork, please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27804501)

I prefer it as "swine flu", means cheap pork!

In fact, they should call it "pork flu".

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (4, Informative)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 5 years ago | (#27801859)

Actually the H1N1 does not mean what you think it means.

The H stands for Hemagglutanin, a glycoprotein; the N stands for Neuraminidase, a glycosilated enzyme. Both are found on the surface of the virus which can expose them as a good target to use. There are actually other abbreviations referring to different parts of the influenza A RNA based genome.

H1N1 just indicates the type of Hemagglutanin and Neuraminidase... There are other H1N1 flu viruses as well, like the so called spanish flu which actually originated in the USA. H1N1 doesn't specify a strain originating from pigs and so swine flu might even be a better denomination.

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (2, Interesting)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 5 years ago | (#27801899)

Also now having rtfa, I noticed this is even mentioned:

influenza comes in many strains, each a slightly different version of the flu virus. The new flu strain infecting people around the globe is unique in that, although it has a well-known surface protein combination, H1N1, the H in this protein pairing has swine origins. Whether this trait will give this strain of flu virus unusual characteristics remains to be seen."

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (1)

alfs boner (963844) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802335)

Fuck you asshole, I'll call it whatever I want.

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (1)

Wansu (846) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802541)

What should we call it then? ... the other white flu?

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27802719)

The flu formerly known as 'Swine'

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803887)

We should not 'call' it anything, and just get the fuck on with our lives.
  Let who ever, wherever, and whenever label it as they see fit.
Let 'Demographics' determine what is relevant, maybe?

P.S. you 'epic failed' on your 'funny' attempt.

..the other white flu?

That should have been: 'the other, other white flu'.

Turn in your geek card on the way out.
Don't let the door hit you on the ass. (yeah, I noticed your 3 digit UID)

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (1)

solweil (1168955) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802933)

right, so much harm.

Re:H1N1 A flu, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803641)

Fsck you, and the white mule you rode in on.

It's swine flu whether you like it or not!!

Genetics suggest CmdTaco... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27801693)

is a bitch.

Stop the madness (4, Insightful)

wondercool (460316) | more than 5 years ago | (#27801721)

Sofar it looks like this is just another influenza variant.

Stop panicking, it's really not interesting enough. What has taken us? Some irrational fear of death? No other news? Organisations beating their drum for self preservation?

Please?!

Re:Stop the madness (1)

MollyB (162595) | more than 5 years ago | (#27801837)

Yes, but "just another variant" with one or two added amino acids (statistically almost inevitable?)* from mutation might have made this a Big Deal. We can't know in advance which variant will 'poop out' or which might bring about the next lethal pandemic. We got lucky, so far...
I agree the takeaway is less dramatic than the story has been hyped to date. Maybe this is just a Good Thing, even if the news is anticlimactic?

*IANAn Epidemiologist.

Re:Stop the madness (2, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#27801947)

What's interesting is:

(a) The total lack of action by the Mexican Government, when it was still considered entirely possible that it was going to be extremely dangerous.

(b) The totally inappropriate responses by most of the other world Governments, and

(c) The very slow and questionable response by health care officials who have been preparing for a major flu epidemic for some time now and AUGHT to have much better procedures by this time.

This particular strain looks like it's relatively mild. It is missing a protein that is carried by the deadlier strains, for a start. However, what this experience tells us is that those ultimately responsible for handling epidemics and pandemics are incompetent and/or corrupt, and will be utterly ineffective should a pandemic actually occur.

If this ineptness is repeated when a deadly flu virus outbreak does happen, we will see an outcome not much different from 1918 or any other such disaster. THAT is what we should be worried about.

(Not that this is new. After Y2K, did we see any effort to fix the 2038 bug? Nooooo. It's a long time off and we'll have replaced all our software by then, just like we did with our two-digit-date software before 2000.)

Re:Stop the madness (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27801979)

What world governments responded inappropriately?

Re:Stop the madness (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802493)

Well, Egypt had basically a national slaughtering of pigs in order to "combat" the flu....

Re:Stop the madness (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802599)

Sure, but that is obvious and boring to complain about, I want to know what 'most' he is talking about, not about the radical reaction in Egypt that pretty clearly has an ulterior motive.

Basically, as far as I can figure, he thinks that there should have been a much harder travel shutdown (to control things as much as possible), or there should have been much less public disclosure about things (because the public reaction has been far beyond what would be justified by the situation).

It is tough to evaluate something like this, where government responses have had a significant impact on how things have played out; given the small number of infected, it is a little silly to complain about the reaction being too mild, but I guess it depends on your attitude regarding the economic damage done by reaction to severely. And then there is still room to argue that actions where inappropriate without being too severe or too mild, but my impression is that the government response has been reasonable and proactive (but I don't expect them to get it exactly perfect).

Re:Stop the madness (2, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802699)

Well, no. It's pointless shutting down the transit system, and sticking infrared cameras everywhere (as oa few places did) was unlikely to produce results either.

Britain ordered hundreds of thousands of filtered masks. Which might stop patients from being infected by health-care workers, but would not have stopped the health-care workers from being infected. They did not order much in the way of antivirals, which were known to be effective.

America closed some schools down, which did indeed shut down the vector of kid-to-kid transmission. As sick kids often end up going to work with their parents, it did however mean that you exposed adults to any potential infection, and kids would get infected from their parents. So it didn't actually do anything useful. Again, antivirals were not being ordered.

Canada took several weeks (maybe closer to a month) to isolate the flu virus from the first-known case. Well, in all probability, they got the sample, ignored it for ages, checked it, sat on the results for a long time, and then got round to telling someone. Active they were not. When they did inform the Mexicans, they obviously didn't inform the Americans as the CDC had no information on the flu in Mexico until the Mexicans sent them the data. So we can conclude the Canadian Government - even once the concerns started coming in - sat on their own data from Mexico. If this had been something dangerous, this political foppery could have been disastrous, and the Canadians couldn't have known at that point if it was going to be a nasty situation or not.

That should be enough examples to be getting on with.

Re:Stop the madness (0, Troll)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802863)

The British mask thing doesn't really seem to matter (I mean, it can't have cost a great deal, so the impact just isn't there; it might be ridiculous, but it simply isn't damaging).

Doesn't the U.S. have relatively large stocks of antivirals just sitting around? This is the impression that I am under; from what I can tell, Roche produces a fairly large amount of Tamiflu for government stockpiling, and new orders wouldn't significantly impact the amount of drug available for treatment in the U.S. (I.e., thar be plenty for the moment). By means of plenty, my understanding is that there are millions of courses on the shelf in the U.S.

The Mexican/Canadian song and dance isn't something I am familiar with, so I have no idea. Hopefully your impression of the Canadian reaction being incompetent is wrong. Clearly, the Mexican reaction was not ideal.

There is some upside to the current situation, as there is a chance to use it as a smoke test and take action to improve things (a simple step would be for the CDC to commit a few million towards establishing a quiet monitoring system in Mexico, claims on their sovereignty be damned).

Re:Stop the madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27804167)

Canada took several weeks (maybe closer to a month) to isolate the flu virus from the first-known case. Well, in all probability, they got the sample, ignored it for ages, checked it, sat on the results for a long time, and then got round to telling someone. Active they were not. When they did inform the Mexicans, they obviously didn't inform the Americans as the CDC had no information on the flu in Mexico until the Mexicans sent them the data. So we can conclude the Canadian Government - even once the concerns started coming in - sat on their own data from Mexico.

Where did you get this information? It seems to be incorrect... or perhaps simply wild speculation?
It is not consistent with the published record or the account given by Canada's top public health officer Dr. David Butler-Jones.

Re:Stop the madness (2, Interesting)

zoney_ie (740061) | more than 5 years ago | (#27804611)

Sick kids going to work with their parents? What on earth? If that is common in your area, it's fairly awful! Sick kids here in Ireland mostly rightly get to stay at home, either with a parent already at home (raising a family, running a household) or with a parent who simply takes time off work (certain occupations would be tricky for that, but it would seldom be both parents with such a job). Sometimes the employer might insist on annual leave being used (there is a statutory minimum of 21 days in addition to the public holidays).

If the parents can't even get time off from work to mind a sick child, one has to wonder if they really should have undertaken to raise children with both parents working. It also raises questions about there being sufficient regulation to ensure worker's rights.

Re:Stop the madness (1)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 5 years ago | (#27805377)

They did not order much in the way of antivirals, which were known to be effective.

I don't know where you got your information from, but you are misinformed.

http://www.healthcarerepublic.com/news/index.cfm?fuseaction=HCR.News.GP.LatestNews.Article&nNewsID=901865&sHashCode=#AddComment [healthcarerepublic.com]

The UK has a large stock of anti-virals, and has ordered more - they're now up to 50 million doses of Tamiflu ordered, which is quite good coverage given the population is around 60m. The masks are of debatable utility, but may help healthcare workers if coupled with goggles and other precautions like washing hands frequently.

Re:Stop the madness (0)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802173)

I for one am glad they don't waste a few hundred million on derailing drug labs and other emergency control every time there's a media panic.

Re:Stop the madness (1)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802737)

Look at all the genetic genealogy and genetic disease labs around the world - many going out of business from having too few orders. It would have derailed no-one if one or two Governments had decided the smart thing would be to do a complete analysis of the virus - and a vulnerability test on those who died vs. those who recovered, to see if there was any obvious indication of why there was a difference between Mexico and everywhere else.

Re:Stop the madness (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802281)

(Not that this is new. After Y2K, did we see any effort to fix the 2038 bug? Nooooo. It's a long time off and we'll have replaced all our software by then, just like we did with our two-digit-date software before 2000.)

Actually, yes. Or, at least, there's a reason for that 64-bit time_t in modern Unixes.

Re:Stop the madness (1)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802711)

And how many people use a modern Unix? Remember, Linux (the most modern *ix out there) has only reached 1% uptake. And even then, it won't help if the apps are only using 32-bit time_t structures.

Re:Stop the madness (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802759)

Speaking as someone in the trenches during Y2K, having to do that again really doesn't worry me. For most of us, it was just another task, and for some COBOL programmers, it let them make a shitload extra on contracting fees.

Re:Stop the madness (2, Insightful)

KevinIsOwn (618900) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803165)

What an incredible bunch of nonsense. The response by governments so far has actually be surprisingly good- the disease barely spread outside of North America so far, and even within North America its reach is rather limited. Had governments not acted this wouldn't be the case at all. The infections in New York City alone would have spread out of control.

Where do you come off accusing the officials of being inept or corrupt (or slow despite preparations)? You give absolutely no examples, but there are plenty of examples of officials rising to the challenge (Quickly closing schools in New York that were effected by the virus to stop the spread, quickly quarantining people who had visited Mexico who were ill with the disease and notifying passengers near them that they are at risk, having stocks of tamiflu and other drugs ready for distribution)

While the health response in Mexico clearly leaves a lot to be desired, they did eventually act, and it appears they were at least somewhat effective. If anything this indicates the need for the US to do more to ensure countries who don't have as well funded disease control centers have the resources necessary to identify these sorts of diseases before they spread all over the place.

And so although it appears the whole ordeal with this strain of flu was fairly overblown, it offered (and continues to offer) a training exercise for officials for when the real thing happens. Of course mistakes were made, but at least they can identify them and try to fix them so that we are better prepared should a pandemic come our way in the future.

(And for all the talk about how "mild" this strain is, sure it won't kill you, but having the flu with the added bonus of potential vomiting and diarrhea don't sound all that fun to me, so I'm quite happy with the continued vigilance in stopping the spread of the disease)

Rather, stop the bullshit (1)

mungtor (306258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803507)

No, pretty much all of your "points" are incorrect or misleading. You're just an attention whore.

Let this be a lesson to all readers. A low /. ID doesn't confer any special reasoning powers on anybody. It just means that there were morons with internet access from the beginning.

Re:Rather, stop the bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27804455)

It's pretty clear he's just some troll that just recently purchased a 4-digit UID. Ignore him.

Re:Stop the madness (1)

canuck08 (1421409) | more than 5 years ago | (#27804023)

Nonsense.

(a) Mexico's response.
Detection and tracking of the outbreak has been better than ever before thanks to the new arrangements and co-operation between national governments and the WHO.
Co-operation and diligence has resulted in what may be the fastest detection and response to a new virus in history.

(b) Other government responses.
I am only closely tracking the response of Canada's public health agency and that of America's CDC.
They have been doing all the right things.
Testing, tracking, sequencing the genome and developing the feed stock for the vaccine.
Communicating with the public to help people protect themselves effectively.

From what I read in the news, China and Russia are another story.
Egypt has aparrently gone insane.

(c) Health care response.
Your point here is rather vague. I have no idea what you are talking about.
Who did what that you did not like? Who did not do something you wanted them to do? Who are you talking about?

You know who IS responding inapporopriately and making things worse? The people shouting incoherent and nonsensical messages of panic.

If you want to do something to help... Wash your hands and remind others to do the same.
If you've got some skills and inspiration then please come up with a faster method of growing vaccines.

Re:Stop the madness (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802381)

1. but but but the mass media whores need something to sensationalize.
2. the government needs another excuse to spend billions of tax dollars.
A. this flu story is just another load of bullcrap shoved in front of the clueless television zombies that buy everything that is broadcast in front of them, its no worse than any other flu bug that goes around every year...

Re:Stop the madness (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802799)

We are irrationally afraid of death. Because we expect to live long.

I think it can be summed up like that. We kinda expect that we'll reach retirement age, watch our grandchildren grow up and generally don't die unless we're like 80, at the very least. So anything that we can't really prepare for and that threatens this plan, no matter how insignificant the odds, creates a panic.

Terrorism. Your chances to die in a terrorist attack are one tenth of a percent. The annual death rate in the US is 8.27/1000, with 300 Million people living there, that means that in the last 10 years about 2.5 Million people died. About 3000 thereof in terrorist attacks. Or 0.1 percent. So 99.9 percent of the people that died in the last ten years died of other causes. Heart attacks, cancer, traffic accidents, gunshots, drowning or, hell, some freak accidents that you find later on the Darwin Awards. Yet we're not afraid of fatty food, smoking, cars, guns, swimming or putting them all together to "try somthing we always wanted to do".

Yet, those are threats we know and we can handle. We're used to guns and cars. And we know well that it's not healthy to eat lots of fat and inhale the fumes of burning tobacco. Yet we use and consume that. We use cars and guns because we can handle them, or at least we think we can. We eat fatty and smoke because, hey, it's enjoyable! Terrorism is something we neither consider controllable nor something we enjoy.

The whole flu craze is due to the same mechanism. We're used to living long. We don't expect sicknesses to be "uncurable".

Go back 200 years and people would have shrugged it off with a "meh". What gives, you have smallpox and cholera and malaria, one more disease that might kill me before my time? Meh.

Re:Stop the madness (1)

MidnightBrewer (97195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803355)

I agree. To me the headline says "Swine flu really is just the flu, go get your flu vaccine as usual". The whole point of going to get flu vaccines until now has been the exact same reason: influenza kills people in any form.

Re:Stop the madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27805385)

You're right.. nothing to worry about. The last time this happened [wikipedia.org] , it only killed 20-100 million people, almost all of them healthy, young individuals (the one it attacks the most, via a cytokine storm [wikipedia.org] ).

Nothing to see here, just a typical deadly virus strain that jumped from porcine to humans, and has the potential to wipe out a significant percentage of the country's population, without a vaccine available.

lol check it (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27801725)

lol.pigf.lu [lol.pigf.lu]

        rofl lololol omg

Ooh, a swine flu vaccine! (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27801727)

How exciting! Because, you know, it's really dangerous, and well worthy of all the attention in the media. Isn't it? It's going to kill millions of people around the world, right? The 191..uh, make that 101 people in Mexico is just the start. Once it kicks in, the millions of (insert currency) it'll cost to develop a vaccine is going to be well worth it.

Re:Ooh, a swine flu vaccine! (4, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 5 years ago | (#27801779)

I'm pretty sure it will kill millions around the world... eventually. Flu kills hundreds of thousands worldwide every year, and this novel flu virus will be around for tens or even hundreds of years. If this strain is responsible for a few percent of flu deaths and is around for only 100 years, that can easily add up to millions... eventually.

Re:Ooh, a swine flu vaccine! (1)

blueskies (525815) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802567)

What's your point? Eventually given enough time a million people will die? That's amazing.

If that is the case, who cares if a milion die in one year from the flu?

Re:Ooh, a swine flu vaccine! (1)

Undefined Parameter (726857) | more than 5 years ago | (#27804031)

Flu kills hundreds of thousands worldwide every year

[Citation Needed]

Re:Ooh, a swine flu vaccine! (1)

mangamuscle (706696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803219)

Get your facts, the number of fatalities in Mexico so far is 19 (yesterday was 16), not 191 nor 101. Oh, you could add the baby that died in Texas to thw total if you want (since they came and lived in Mexico) for a whooping total of 20 deaths.

Re:Ooh, a swine flu vaccine! (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27804809)

I did get my facts - I got them from sites such as these:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090502.wflusat0502/BNStory/International/?page=rss&id=RTGAM.20090502.wflusat0502 [theglobeandmail.com]

"Mexican authorities cut their suspected death toll to up to 101 from as many as 176 as more test samples came back negative."

So....We've all forgotten (5, Interesting)

filmmaker (850359) | more than 5 years ago | (#27801771)

about those torture memos with all this swine flu brouhaha, haven't we?

Re:So....We've all forgotten (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27802499)

And the blatant socialization of the private sector in the U.S. Oh wait, half the population was cheering that on anyway.

Re:So....We've all forgotten (3, Insightful)

KliX (164895) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803281)

No, we never really cared.

What torture memos? (2, Interesting)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803295)

Surely you mean global economic crisis?

Re:So....We've all forgotten (1)

Sir_Real (179104) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803375)

Another three banks shut down today. Long term treasury rates are rising in spite of Fed policy. There is an ammo shortage (bare shelves at wall mart). The GOP is essentially dead.

Scientifically, yes (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 5 years ago | (#27801977)

Someone should do a study to see if it is socially possible to stop it with vaccinations. Something [vaclib.org] tells me [whale.to] that is [thinktwice.com] a better [ageofautism.com] question. [generationrescue.org]

Science includes toxicology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27802005)

Yeah, it really sucks that some individuals prefer to not be injured for the good of the imaginary herd.

Re:Science includes toxicology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27802285)

No, what really sucks is that those who prefer not to get vaccinated because of imaginary injury are still protected from disease by the 'herd' they like to look down upon.

Re:Science includes toxicology (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802809)

No, what really sucks is that the people who choose to avoid vaccines because of these far-fetched and thoroughly debunked fantasies provide hosts for these viruses and thus provide an opportunity for them to mutate into new strains that the vaccines do not protect against.

I'm not saying that flu would be eradicated if everyone got vaccinated, but it would be greatly diminished, and more to the point, the rise of unexpected new strains would be much more easily detected if everyone were largely immune to the predicted primary seasonal strains.

This new flu strain would almost certainly not have become a pandemic if we had near-universal flu vaccination. The first person would have shown flu-like symptoms and doctors would have quickly studied it to figure out what they were dealing with rather than assuming it was just seasonal flu until after several weeks of unusual death rates.

That multi-week delay in realizing that there was an emergent strain is the sole reason that containment was impossible. Had this been detected quickly and mandatory quarantines been put into effect within 24 hours after the emergence of the strain, there is every reason to believe that the outbreak could have been contained at worst to a single country, and in all likelihood, to a small region within that country. Thus, the lack of vaccination for seasonal flu is the primary cause of this pandemic in spite of the fact that it doesn't confer any protection against this strain itself.

Vaccines are a waste of time. Stop your satire ok? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803859)

There are many remedies that a vaccine doesn't cover, not to mention that the mercury preservation in the vaccine delivery mechanism is The leading cause of auto-immune response inherent in ADD and ADHD.

(7)Monitor the PH level of your saliva and urine with a digital PH meter, and know that an alkaly level (7.4) renders one's body uninhabitable by cancers and virus.

(1)Doing studies on immune system therapies, the Chinese have learned that the antigens ejected from the body in the urine would yield a stimulant to fortify the immune system by immediate ingestion: try mixing 1 ounce of your immediate urine to 7 ounces of water with a tea-spoon of sodium bicarbonate (Baking Soda). Keep refrigerated and used between 1 month and 3 months is the best results;

(2)Avoid anything thought to be dairy;

(3)Avoid carbonated beverages (these cause oxygen depletion in the body, myoxia, leading symptom X of the buzzward "fibromyalgia" that has built more a livelyhood for drug companies and its whores than a remedy);

(4)Avoid processed (white) sugars, non-sea (white) salts, and (white) "enriched" flour;

(5)Avoid preservatives (citric acid), toxic industrial dopamine manipulators/flavor-enhancers (aspartame), and GMO'd non-foods marketed as organic grains and staples (rice, corn, beans).

(6)Consume natural grown food, the closer to you the better, raw vegetables with "oxalyic acid" and seeds with "nitrilocydes."

Re:Scientifically, yes (1)

Chlorine Trifluoride (1517149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802573)

Well, global statistics for immunizations are in the 80s, with developed countries up in the low 90s, (WHO), so they aren't a big factor.

Remember, the idiocy of a group is inversely proportional to its loudness.

Re:Scientifically, yes (1)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802811)

That is the hardest sentence in the world to read. apt-get vaclib? Whales? Autism generation? Your non-sequitor was drowned out by my overactive imagination, you insensitive clod!

Oh, and a sentence of links will never be browsed. Ever. Except by weird things like the Fasterfox plugin.

Futility (1)

DefenseSupportParty (1545613) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802273)

That's just because I've been letting it spread. Once I invest my mutation points into drug resistance, it's over. I'm just waiting for it to infect Madagascar first; I don't want them closing their sea port.

Fast action! (1)

CyberDong (137370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802577)

Interestingly, on the day that the CDC decided it was possible to craft a vaccine, these guys [prweb.com] issued a press release saying they have one ready for testing...

Re:Fast action! (1)

indi0144 (1264518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802853)

Hi Fellow American Concerned Citizen
What you're talking about sounds too much just like a conspiracy theory and just because of that you know that everyone reading your post will say "OMG it can be truth but talking about it would make other people lose any credibility on me, better hush. Now, curse that damn Mexicans" Is that what you want? Huh? Sounds a little racist for me so stop wasting everyone's time and just gather somewhere with other people, go to a baseball park, or basketball arena, don't forget to breath very deep once you're there and if by any chance you see someone sneezing just go a kiss him/her! Why not? These are great times! Let's all enjoy our achievement bonus che.. eh your bonus points if you go without a jacket or coat.

Yours

Pedro Sanchez
viral marketing
Baxter International Mexico
Mexico D.F

Shhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27802825)

I'm watching Fox News.

A Pandemic Monitoring System... (1)

I)_MaLaClYpSe_(I (447961) | more than 5 years ago | (#27802947)

...can be found here: RSOE EDIS - Pandemic Monitoring System [idemc.org] . Looks quite scary.

FYI, they also happen to have a Disaster and Emergency AlertMap [hisz.rsoe.hu] .

It is only scary as long... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803347)

...you don't realize that if it was syphilis, gonorrhea or even AIDS - that there would be MANY more red flags.
Most of the map would probably be red.

think people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27803013)

The government is making the virus and media do this to see how viruses spread, not only that, but also how people will react to the hysteria. Think about it.. how many people have died from it? Really? So why is it a big deal?

Why does it only kill Mexicans? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803353)

Can a doctor explain this? Only Mexicans seem to die from this influenza strain. The one baby that died in the USA was a Mexican child. Other people don't even get particularly ill from it and it seems to be milder than more common strains of flu. WTF?

Re:Why does it only kill Mexicans? (1)

zxjio (1475207) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803577)

It was said in a BBC News article a few days ago, which I can't find at the moment, that Mexico has so many deaths because there is a culture that you go to the doctor only as a last resort, and by then the infected people are really bad.

Re:Why does it only kill Mexicans? (1)

ChibiOne (716763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803719)

It doesn't take a doctor to explain this. Any Mexican, like myself, can tell you

The Mexican public health system sucks.
The private health system is great, but expensive, especially for a country where minimum wage is 5 USD per day. Not hour, day.
This has created a culture in which most people avoid going to the doctor unless it is absolutely necessary. For example, say, when you have been experiencing a 40 C (104 F) degree fever for two or three days. By this time, it's been said, antivirals are not as effective. The result: 19 confirmed deaths in Mexico.

Re:Why does it only kill Mexicans? (1)

rve (4436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27804185)

Can a doctor explain this?

Only Mexicans seem to die from this influenza strain. The one baby that died in the USA was a Mexican child. Other people don't even get particularly ill from it and it seems to be milder than more common strains of flu. WTF?

There are only two logical explanations:

1 - The Mexican flu is a lot more contagious and less lethal than initially thought. Perhaps there are tens of thousands of people in Mexico sick with this flu, with a mortality of less than 1 in 100. In that case there haven't been enough cases outside Mexico for a lot of deaths yet.

2 - Advanced medical care is keeping critically ill patients in the US alive

The suggestion that a virus can only kill Mexicans is just retarded.

Re:Why does it only kill Mexicans? (1)

canuck08 (1421409) | more than 5 years ago | (#27804213)

There is as yet no explanation for this.
There is some speculation but for the moment we cannot say with any confidence why there have been no deaths outside of Mexico.

It is worth noting that the number of infections outside of Mexico is not yet high enough to provide a reliable statistical sample.

The sequencing of the complete genome may yield some clues.

Re:Why does it only kill Mexicans? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27805719)

Most of the deaths so far have been caused not by flu itself, but by secondary infections that are able to invade the body once the flu has weakened the immune system. If you are given antibiotics early on, then this is much, much, less likely to happen. Once the initial scare happened, everyone with flu-like symptoms started rushing to their doctor and was treated correctly. Before then, people just did what you normally do with flu and tried to wait it out.

Facts please - Has anyone you know had this flu? (1)

JavaManJim (946878) | more than 5 years ago | (#27803633)

Has anyone you know had this flu? If so what were the symptoms? Also list city and state. Would be interesting if /. bettered Google Flu.

Cough cough,
Jim

I wasn't feeling well (1)

coryking (104614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27805735)

Nor was my ladyfriend, who works with the public every day. Last week both of us were achy, runny nose, and had a sore throat. Mostly gone now. Wonder if we got this dreaded swine flu? Wonder how many people had it or are having it right now, but just don't have any symptoms that merit anything more than a hot shower, ibuprofen, and tea?

Vaccine development (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 5 years ago | (#27805031)

This is a fascinating concept, come to think of it. Individually, we have been using an adaptive immune system for millions of years.

Now we can isolate the virus in a lab, create a vaccine for it, and spread it all around the world. Civilization itself is an organism with its own immune system.

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