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WHO Declares H1N1's Spread Officially a Pandemic

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the didn't-you-see-pandemic-in-concert-with-sepultura? dept.

Medicine 368

juggledean writes "The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global flu pandemic after holding an emergency meeting, according to reports. It means the swine flu virus is spreading in at least two regions of the world with rising cases being seen in the UK, Australia, Japan and Chile." Whether it's called a pandemic or not, there's a hopeful note in the story about H1N1's spread: "...there were people who believed we might be in a kind of apocalyptic situation and what we're really seeing now with H1N1 is that in most cases the disease is self-limiting."

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Let's play a word game (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28296685)

Mad cow == bird flu == swine flu == HORSESHIT.

Re:Let's play a word game (3, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297029)

While we're talking about animal diseases, what about german measles?

...That wasn't really fair, I apologize in advance to any germans who may have been offended by that.

Out of the firedemic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28296687)

and into the pandemic! (I made that up myself!)

Re:Out of the firedemic (1)

SkyDude (919251) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296757)

We need to see a post from the guy who's sig is "Pigs can't fly but swine flu.."

Obvious (5, Funny)

smcn (87571) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296689)

WHO Declares H1N1's Spread Officially a Pandemic

I don't know, I'm asking YOU!

Re:Obvious (1, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297429)

It must have been Dr. WHO, since he obviously has medical education.

WHAT's on second (3, Funny)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296695)

... and I DON'T KNOW is on third.

Let's just get that out of the way first and foremost.

Re:WHAT's on second (5, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296863)

... and I DON'T KNOW is on third.

Let's just get that out of the way first and foremost.

But what's the name of the band on stage?

Who.

The name of the band.

Who.

No, I want to know who's on stage.

Yes.

So you're saying Yes is on stage?

No, Yes isn't even at this concert.

Re:WHAT's on second (3, Funny)

cheezitman2001 (1397905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297049)

Wait, let's try this again. Do you see the band on stage?

No I don't see The Band, that's a different group entirely.

On stage, Skippy. Look, see the band?

No I don't.

Get rid of those John Lennon glasses and look! There, there's the band!

No, that's not The Band. The Band is performing later on. Who's on stage.

Re:WHAT's on second (1)

Povno (1460131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297113)

I was about to post the obscure Slappy Squirrel reference when I saw you had already beat me to it.
Quick thinking.

Re:WHAT's on second (5, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297451)

Obscure? Nothing's obscure on slashdot.

Re:WHAT's on second (1)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297315)

WHat no Guess Who jokes?

Re:WHAT's on second (2, Funny)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296911)

If I'm not thinking about it, my immediate response to these stories has been, "Why are we listening to what Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey have to say about viruses?"

Re:WHAT's on second (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296939)

Let's just get that out of the way first and foremost.

Why?

"H1N1" (5, Insightful)

plus_M (1188595) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296737)

I admit I'm not the most knowledgeable about this topic, but I *do* know that H1N1 is not a very specific name [wikipedia.org] for this influenza strain. In the past, we have named influenza outbreaks such as these after their country of origin (see Spanish Flu, Hong Kong Flu, Asian Flu), and in light of this I think a more appropriate name would be "Mexican Flu".

Re:"H1N1" (4, Funny)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296745)

I want it to be called swine flu again. That way bacon will be super cheap again.

Re:"H1N1" (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296847)

I want it to be called swine flu again. That way bacon will be super cheap again.

That's genius! I live in a small town, so the supermarket's always out of the bacon I like.

*Logs in to facbeook, and starts spamming about swine flu to local friends and family in a gloomy tone*

Re:"H1N1" (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297405)

I will do my best to support you; occasionally my local Grocery Outlet gets a case or two of some no-nitrate/nitrite bacon, I can only imagine driving down the demand in the primary market will increase the supply at my local one...

Re:"H1N1" (0, Flamebait)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296749)

"Mexican Flu".

With the politically correct liberal media, we can't have that name or it will possibly hurt the tourism in Mexico.

Re:"H1N1" (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296793)

With the politically correct liberal media, we can't have that name or it will possibly hurt the tourism in Mexico.

You mean more than their continual reporting of violence including beheadings in Mexico, which has claimed only one tourist life... and there are indications that he was actually there on some sort of nefarious business?

The liberal news media is a conservative myth.

Re:"H1N1" (0)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296843)

"The liberal news media is a conservative myth" is a liberal media myth.

Re:"H1N1" (5, Funny)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296951)

"The liberal news media is a conservative myth" is a liberal media myth.

The "liberal media news is a conservative myth is a liberal media myth" is a conservative myth.

OH NO! WE'VE ENTERED INFINITE RECURSION!

Re:"H1N1" (5, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296957)

The news media is an entertainment media myth.

Re:"H1N1" (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297359)

The news media is an entertainment media myth.

Sir, I doff my hat to thee.

In response to those who say that reporters self-identifying as liberal is relevant, please consider the economic reality of what is published and how it is edited before making ignorant remarks like that... as I failed to do when I referred to the 'news media' as if it were there to report the news or something.

Re:"H1N1" (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296967)

"The liberal news media is a conservative myth is a liberal media myth" is a conservative myth.

Fun! Who's got the next one?

Re:"H1N1" (5, Insightful)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297045)

>> Fun! Who's got the next one?

No. Who Declared H1N1's Spread Officially a Pandemic.

Pay attention!

        -dZ.

Re:"H1N1" (0, Redundant)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297239)

The liberal news media is a conservative myth

Just ask the majority of reporters and news producers, who explicitly identify themselves as left-leaning and left-voting. They'll tell you it's not a myth. But they'll try to make every feel better about it by mentioning that, of course, their own world view and the way they want things like elections to wind up would never influence their editorial and reporting decisions, ever, ever, ever. No sirree.

Re:"H1N1" (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297399)

But they'll try to make every feel better about it by mentioning that, of course, their own world view and the way they want things like elections to wind up would never influence their editorial and reporting decisions, ever, ever, ever. No sirree.

And they'd Rather quit than have it influence their fact-checking too.

Re:"H1N1" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28297487)

Liberals claim conservative bias and conservatives claim liberal bias. That said, I really, truly believe that the majority of news media outlets lean left, but then we must examine the chicken-egg-farmer argument to determine which came first: left leaning populace, left-leaning politicians, or left-leaning media. I think they form a feedback loop where limited conjecture on one node starts the whole mess a-twirling. I'm fairly certain we'll see a right-shift in the near future as the three can only keep the ball in the air for so long before they drop it and start sucking each other off.

And then repeat. Always repeat.

Re:"H1N1" (1)

plus_M (1188595) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296807)

I don't think naming it the "Mexican Flu" is going to hurt the tourism to Mexico any more than the knowledge that the strain did, in fact, originate in Mexico and the massive number of reported cases in Mexico already have. And besides, as I mentioned, there is a precedent.

Re:"H1N1" (5, Insightful)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296973)

I don't think naming it the "Mexican Flu" is going to hurt the tourism to Mexico any more than the knowledge that the strain did, in fact, originate in Mexico and the massive number of reported cases in Mexico already have. And besides, as I mentioned, there is a precedent.

plus_M, I've talked to people who still think that you can get it from eating pork products. People in general are stupid, and these same people are the ones who avoided Toronto when SARS hit.

Re:"H1N1" (2, Funny)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297149)

Yeah, you don't get it by eating pork. that's how you get tapeworms. you get swine flu by porking pigs.

Re:"H1N1" (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297313)

Yeah, you don't get it by eating pork. that's how you get tapeworms. you get swine flu by porking pigs.

Giggity.

Ya well (2, Funny)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296809)

I am still heading down to cabo next week for some fishing....I plan on imbibing enough sterilizing fluid to kill any rouge viruses coming into my system. Those that survive my Digestive system wont survive my bloodstream.

Re:Ya well (0, Troll)

plus_M (1188595) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296885)

Perhaps you should more thoroughly research the difference between virus and bacteria before you submit yourself to the risks of both alcohol poisoning and the Mexican Flu simultaneously.

Re:Ya well (4, Funny)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296985)

Although it will probably hurt your chances of getting some thick Mexican pipe, consider avoiding the virus entirely and not applying rouge.

Re:"H1N1" (4, Funny)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296917)

Not to mention, didn't the virus origionaly originate in the US?

I vote we call it 'Freedom Flu'. :)

Re:"H1N1" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28297017)

Ah, Slashdot. I can always rely on you to provide more examples of the sheer banality of paranoid conservative crazy.

Re:"H1N1" (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297119)

Yea, that's why we called it "swine flu" even through it wasn't present in swine at the time (or, from what I read, transmittable by ingestion). After all, it's not like it could possibly cause a baseless backlash against the pork [news.com.au] industry [msn.com] .

Um... what? (1)

Estanislao Martnez (203477) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297179)

"Mexican Flu". With the politically correct liberal media, we can't have that name or it will possibly hurt the tourism in Mexico.

Let us grant, very strictly for the sake of argument, that the fact that the virus isn't being called "Mexican Flu" (a name that has never been in widespread use for it, but I digress) is because the media, which is, again for the sake of argument is in fact liberal and "politically correct," doesn't want to hurt tourism in Mexico.

Now, what exactly is supposed to be wrong with that goal? Isn't it a virtue to help other people? Are you actually telling us that we should instead change the name of the current H1N1 flu outbreak to "Mexican Flu" in order to hurt tourism to Mexico? Why would anybody want to do this?

Re:"H1N1" (5, Informative)

werfu (1487909) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296811)

Naming it Mexican flu wouldn't not be right, because, for now, the strain is not higly virulent and doesn't kill really much. The WHO as declared it pandemic, but it's more in a move to try to stop the viral spread and help reduce the chance of a mutation. If the virus mutate and mix with H5N1, then we could be in serious trouble. And even then, lets just hope it doesn't mix with something even more deadly.

Re:"H1N1" (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296935)

> I *do* know that H1N1 is not a very specific name ...
> in light of this I think a more appropriate name would be "Mexican Flu".

DOES NOT COMPUTE

Re:"H1N1" (1, Informative)

dk90406 (797452) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297003)

The full name is "Infuenza A H1N1" which is specific (and boring). You are right about H1N1 being a being generic for the proteins in the family Influenza A H1N1 belongs to.

Re:"H1N1" (2, Funny)

StackedCrooked (1204878) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297227)

Here in Belgium it's called Mexican flu.

BIO TREK II: The Wrath of Chan (1)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297293)

I say we call it the "Wrath of Chan" [photobucket.com]

Chhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re:BIO TREK II: The Wrath of Chan (2, Informative)

Publikwerks (885730) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297417)

Ricardo Montalbán did hail from Mexico, died, and like a month later, bam, h1n1! Swine flu should be renamed "The Wrath of Khan"!

Re:"H1N1" (2, Insightful)

Count of Montecristo (626894) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297379)

Indeed it would be appropriate, although human idiocy knows no bounds. H1N1 is a neutral, politically correct, idiocy-avoiding name. There you have the Egyptian Government culling a ridiculous number of swine, just to show that the government was doing something, but hey, its "Swine Flu", swines must die! , Not to mention the Chinese Government confining Mexican Tourists -healthy Mexican Tourists, mind you- just because they were Mexican.

The reasoning was similar, "Hey, its the Mexican Flu, let's quarantine Mexicans!"... There are other examples of Xenophobia being triggered by associating Mexico with the desease, not to mention the disaster in the Tourism industry in Mexico.

So, while i concurr that previous practice was acceptable (Spanish Flu, et al), the current near-instantaneous information transfer and given the unlimited ability for human idiocy, A/H1N1 Influenza, is quite acceptable. After All, if you call it Human Influenza will any government risk culling humans? how about getting rid of the pesky furry H1N1s? oh, wait! H1N1 actually designates the virus... guess it is as correct as any name.

/. vs. WHO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28296799)

I am glad /. thinks so highly of itself to tag this announcement by the WHO as 'overreaction.' I suppose I should have seen that coming.

Overreaction (5, Interesting)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297047)

But it IS an overreaction. It's only NOT an overreaction if you're: a politician who is desperately trying to get the public to look the other way, to funnel more public money into private hands... a bureaucrat who is trying to get a promotion by "doing something" and is also very concerned about being labeled as passive if the final tally is 1% higher than normal... or a scientist who is desperately trying to grab more funding or a contract for his very own vaccine-making company.

It's a paradise for self-interest (and OF self-interest, as well).

With something like less than 500 deaths worldwide, this is the average equivalent of 3 days worth of seasonal flu... and considering that this virus has had a chance to spread for the past 2 months, I simply cannot fathom it being any more damaging than whatever seasonal flu strain is circulating in the world right now.

Yet all we get are headlines such as "27'000 infected". Well... how about 500'000 dead?! Cause that's what seasonal flu did last year. Put that in a headline and smoke it.

Re:Overreaction (5, Insightful)

Allicorn (175921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297169)

"Pandemic" is not a word which implies anything about lethality or how "damaging" the strain is.

The WHO declaring H1N1 pandemic is not overreaction, hyperbole or scaremongering. The particular strain has reached a specified spread at which point it qualifies for that label.

Now, the news media's choice of tone and language in reporting on H1N1 is another matter entirely.

Re:Overreaction (1)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297225)

Fair point. The problem is that sometimes language can be a little funny in that the public understanding of a certain word becomes so heavily diluted with popular stigma, that it loses its descriptiveness. For reference, we can consider the word "theory".

TheMeuge, what about? (1)

Sybert42 (1309493) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297479)

The Singularity? Post-DNA living (possibly on computer chips like the analog FACETS) would mean no more influenza. Is that an overreaction to Swine flu? It's also for cancer.

Re:/. vs. WHO (4, Interesting)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297213)

The WHO claims they are making this level 6 because it is spreading globally and it has nothing to do with the severity. So why don't they do this for any seasonal flu that spreads globally every year?

If you read the legal definitions of what the WHO can do when it is level 6 is very scary. They can take your property, forcibly vaccinate you, quarantine you for an indefinite amount of time all with zero proof of anything.

The few people who have actually died and had swine flu were all very ill before they were infected.

Now for some comedy. [photobucket.com]

funny (1)

markringen (1501853) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296819)

after it hit europe it's a pandemic. india/china aren't pandemic worthy?

Poster Declares WHO's Credibility Officially Dead (0)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296825)

..

Think of the Trees... (3, Interesting)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296827)

For years, and years in the United States we fought forest fires in an absolute manner. When you see a fire, put it out completely, ASAP. And slowly fuel that should have burned built up. Until eventually the fires that did break out were so intense that they couldn't fight them anymore. Now that the world population is approaching 7 billion, am I the only one who finds this analogy terrifying?

Re:Think of the Trees... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28297067)

Its the worst in California with all the lawyers masquerading as environmentalists.

Honestly the best thing for the environment is the CONSERVATIONISTS rather than the environmentalists who live in LA or San Francisco and take weekend trips to the napa valley to "be one with nature", nevermind the fact that the "No tree should be cut ever, no brush should be cleared ever" policy they screech and sue for has cost millions of dollars of taxpayer money (the money California spends fighting the yearly fires caused by uncleared brush is staggering, and if we used 1/10th of that to clear the aforementioned brush and prevent the majority of fires all together) and lives.

Totally lost my train of thought.

Personally, I think its all a dystopian plot - If the fires burn hot enough it'll literally just glass the forestland and then nothing will grow there for 5-10 years, I saw this once growing up - scary. When it was glassed it was suddenly not considered forestland anymore and the developers can move right on in with no meaningful environmental impact report required.

Thank god for the do-gooders at the sierra club.

Re:Think of the Trees... (2, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297189)

For years, and years in the United States we fought forest fires in an absolute manner. When you see a fire, put it out completely, ASAP. And slowly fuel that should have burned built up. Until eventually the fires that did break out were so intense that they couldn't fight them anymore. Now that the world population is approaching 7 billion, am I the only one who finds this analogy terrifying?

If we left our dead to rot at our feet, I might be concerned. Yes, I know, we're the fuel, and viruses the fire; but we're like dry brush and tinder that can move, wet itself down when it sees fire in the distance, build firewalls, make back-fires, etc.

Re:Think of the Trees... (0, Troll)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297363)

No, the idea I find terrifying is that we should deliberately let millions of humans (presumably, if your aim is to make a noticeable dent in the world population) die from a preventable disease. If that's your aim then presumably you would support using gas chambers for the same purpose since it would achieve the same result but in a more humane way?

Weird.... (1)

Drone69 (1517261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296851)

When I first read the subject line I had a sudden hankering for some pork chops and apple sauce. Mmmm.

Swine flu rap. (1, Funny)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296875)

Today when I awakened, I saw something that had me shake'n; the WHO was warning of da flu, something new, this strange new Swine flu; now this big 'ol pandemic is causing quite a panic; the media is trip'n, help'n the economy keep slip'n; dum dee dee dum dum; I don't know where to run, so I'll sit here on my bum sip'n on sum rum; dum dee dee dum dum.

Re:Swine flu rap. (3, Funny)

Eddy Luten (1166889) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297073)

Someone get this delirious person a flu shot.

Re:Swine flu rap. (1)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297319)

The WHO was on the ball, keeping this outbreak small; I was scared a lot, until I got this shot; now I'm sleep'n sound, 'cause the Swine flu ain't come'n around; bum dum dump dump.

WHO?... (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296905)

...Mike Jones

I tell people this (1)

samexner (1316083) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296909)

I tell people that freak out about swine flu this:
- You can get infected when it sinks through your skin
- If you catch it, it will give you an aneurysm

Symptoms (5, Funny)

WillKemp (1338605) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296919)

You can tell if you've got swine flu, because you come out in rashers.

Re:Symptoms (1)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297333)

I smell European insidfe joke here... explain...

Re:Symptoms (1)

WillKemp (1338605) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297455)

Oh. Maybe. It's Australian. But i guess "rasher" doesn't mean anything in some English speaking countries. A "rasher" is a slice of bacon.

2010 - Year of the **** (4, Funny)

JustASlashDotGuy (905444) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296969)

Don't know if this is just a sick coincidence but....

2007 - Chinese year of the Chicken - Bird Flu Pandemic devastates parts of Asia
2008 - Chinese year of the Horse - Equine Influenza decimates Australian racing
2009 - Chinese year of the Pig - Swine Flu Pandemic kills hundreds of pigs around the globe.

Has any one else noticed this?

It gets worse........

next year......

2010 - Chinese year of the Cock - what could possibly go wrong?

Re:2010 - Year of the **** (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28297057)

Fuck, H5N1 will be back :-(

Re:2010 - Year of the **** (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28297091)

2050 - Year of the Linux Desktop - oh shit...

Re:2010 - Year of the **** (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28297145)

2006 Dog Fire 9 Feb 2006 28 Jan 2007
2007 Pig Fire 29 Jan 2007 16 Feb 2008
2008 Rat Earth 17 Feb 2008 5 Feb 2009
2009 Ox Earth 6 Feb 2009 26 Jan 2010
2010 Tiger Metal 27 Jan 2010 14 Feb 2011

Re:2010 - Year of the **** (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28297173)

So 2010 will be bird flu again? oh wait... its a penis joke...

Re:2010 - Year of the **** (5, Informative)

Convector (897502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297217)

That would be a great observation except that:

2007 - Chinese year of the Boar
2008 - Chinese year of the Rat
2009 - Chinese year of the Ox

So next year, we should be worried about Tiger Flu.

Re:2010 - Year of the **** (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297337)

Not to mention there is no year of the chicken, apart from the rooster/cock. Other than that, though, it was brilliant.

MODS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28297233)

mod parent up for conspiracy theory!

Re:2010 - Year of the **** (1)

Fanro (130986) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297269)

Would be interesting IF that actually was the cycle of the chinese year.

However, as an AC already pointed out, this is the year of the ox, last year was rat, next is tiger.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_astrology [wikipedia.org]

don't let facts interrupt your humor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28297305)

that was funny, but...

2007 Pig
2008 Rat
2009 Ox
2010 Tiger

Re:2010 - Year of the **** (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297335)

I am -so- looking forward to the year of the Dragon now.

Re:2010 - Year of the **** (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297351)

and guess what 2012 is? Yeah, Year of the Dragon. The Mayan's were right, we're all fucked... well, maybe not depending on what the Year of the Cock has in store :/

News for alarmist douches... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28296995)

Douches,

Pandemics refer to a disease's spread, not its severity.

The common cold is also a pandemic.

Editing for alarmists (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297033)

Whether it's called a pandemic or not, [...] we might be in a kind of apocalyptic situation and what we're really seeing now with H1N1 is that in most cases the disease is [...]."

Fun with selective editing!

FOR HELLS SAKE ALREADY (1)

KingPin27 (1290730) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297065)

Jumping the gun (1, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297123)

Compared to REAL pandemics like the black death [wikipedia.org] , the 1918 flu pandemic [wikipedia.org] , etc. they are REALLY screaming wolf on this one. I think WHO is more interested in covering their asses than giving useful information. If they're not careful, they're going to set off a panic like the "pandemic" of 1976 [wikipedia.org] (that led to more deaths from the inoculations than the disease).

Re:Jumping the gun (1)

OriginalSolver (552648) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297309)

The problem is that the definition of pandemic used by WHO is different to the one that you and I might use in common speech. By the WHO definition they are correct in calling this a pandemic. The WHO definition itself needs to change.

Re:Jumping the gun (1)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297361)

wasn't the black plague an epidemic?

I work at a hospital... (2, Insightful)

greenguy (162630) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297135)

... and the nurses spend a lot of time rolling their eyes about this. Or as one of the doctors put it, "Replace 'H1N1' with 'bad cold.'"

Yes, it's killed a number of people. But not as many (in the same timespan) as, say, cars, or industrial accidents, or smoking, or cancer, or heart disease, or drug violence, or drugs themselves, or the US military, or suicide, or old age, or AIDS, or plane crashes, or....

Re:I work at a hospital... (1)

n30na (1525807) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297243)

Yeah, this is what i always tell friends that freak out about this. The disease isnt all that bad, they're just worrying about possible mutation. So we're freaking out over a new cold.

Re:I work at a hospital... (1)

oneirophrenos (1500619) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297465)

Yes, it's killed a number of people. But not as many (in the same timespan) as, say, cars, or industrial accidents, or smoking, or cancer, or heart disease, or drug violence, or drugs themselves, or the US military, or suicide, or old age, or AIDS, or plane crashes, or....

...or your regular yearly flu epidemic... [cnn.com]

Weakens Pandemic (2, Informative)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297161)

I think this completely diminishes the "severity" of a pandemic.

In the technical sense it is a disease that is widespread and uncontained; but if this is the benchmark then the common cold and normal flu ought to be raised to this level too, because they have the same wide spreadness and are most dangerous to the same classes of people, the elderly, children and those with immune issues. Every single year the "poultry (normal)" flu kills many, many more people in the exact same way and in the exact same circumstances.

This is only getting attention because of the media hype. The left wants more money to expand government to deal with it, and the right wants money to build a fence to keep things like this from coming from Mexico into the US, and the media is psyched because it's new, has political tie-ins, and came when the meltdown was becoming old-news.

Not only that, are we really surprised? Pigs are biologically similar enough to humans that we use pig organs for some transplants. Having infections that cross the species barrier in this way seem blatantly obvious.

Re:Weakens Pandemic (1)

n30na (1525807) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297283)

But... we EAT pigs.... are you saying we're cannibals?

Re:Weakens Pandemic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28297485)

Not only that, are we really surprised? Pigs are biologically similar enough to humans that we use pig organs for some transplants. Having infections that cross the species barrier in this way seem blatantly obvious.

The reason for pigs being used as transplant supplies is not so much the histocompatibility (most mammals would be equally suitable); but rather it's the size and availability. Simply put, pig organs are about the same size, shape and configuration as human ones. Also, they're readily available.
 
  Disease transmission between species (especially with viruses) has a lot more to do with cell surface receptor specificity. Due to the fact that the virus has crossed the species barrier, you have correctly ascerted that there's sufficient biologic similarity between us and pigs. Still, that same similarity exists with many other mammals, making us just as likely to get cat flu, dog flu, mouse flu, etc... as we are to get swine flu.

CANADA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28297177)

Sorry, nobody mentionned us in the last few topics, we're lonely up here.

In honour of the Pandemic (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297297)

A link to Pandemic 2 the game.
http://www.crazymonkeygames.com/Pandemic-2.html [crazymonkeygames.com]
Celebrate the promotion of H1N1 to Pandemic status by trying to wipe out the human race. Fun for the whole family.

Stop being such whiny babies (5, Insightful)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297355)

Is it a pandemic in the disease spread methodology? Yes.

Is it killing millions of people each year? No.

Is it killing thousands of people each year? No.

Is it killing slightly more than any typical flu does? Yes.

Solution? Wash your hands with hot water (not scalding) and non-antibiotic soap (e.g. Ivory hand soap). Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze, using a sleeve if you have no tissue.

That literally cuts the infection rate dramatically.

Now, if you don't mind, I'm going back to my medical research.

Some Legitemate Worry (2, Informative)

smallferret (946526) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297419)

In all of the planning that's been going on in my public health work, the big worry is that this will repeat the pattern of the 1918 pandemic: - The disease shows up in a weak form in the spring, makes some people mildly ill, kills some people who are traditionally susceptible to influenza (very young, elderly, and people with chronic disease) - The disease mostly disappears through the summer--not entirely, but becomes much less common - The disease shows up again in the fall in a new, much more virulent form, and has a much higher mortality rate, especially among healthy adults. See this graph [wikipedia.org] , which shows how the mortality among different ages was very different from traditional influenza. There is no guarantee that this would happen, and no guarantee that it won't peter out like the 1976 fiasco. But we see it as a better bet to risk the accusation of an overreaction than to risk not being prepared.

I for one welcome .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28297445)

our new swine overlords.

Plot? (1)

edivad (1186799) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297453)

Drug companies, making disease and cure? Or is it too conspiracy theory-ish even for a boring Thursday morning?
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