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We're Safe From the Latest SARS-Like Disease...For the Moment

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the but-feel-free-to-panic-anyway dept.

Medicine 106

KentuckyFC writes "Back in 2002, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS killed about 10 per cent of the 8,000 people it infected in southern China and Hong Kong. The severity of the disease and its high death rate triggered panic in many countries where health agencies worked feverishly to prevent its further spread, largely successfully. Then in September 2012, a virologist working in Saudi Arabia noticed a similar virus in a patient suffering from acute pneumonia and renal failure. Since then, so-called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS has also begun to spread. The World Health Organization says it knows of 63 deaths from only 149 cases, a death rate that seems to dwarf that of SARS. So how worried should we be? Now epidemiologists who have modeled how the disease spreads have some reassuring news. They say MERS is unlikely to cause a global pandemic. But with Saudi Arabia expecting the imminent arrival of millions of pilgrims for the 2013 Hajj, there are still good reasons to be concerned."

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106 comments

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The Second (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45417901)

Greetings, insects. I am... The Second legendary magical pedophile! My legend knows no bounds! Bow to my cheeks!

SARS 2: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45417937)

Revenge of the Sar Chasm.

Re:SARS 2: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418093)

If Rob Malda would stop fucking monkeys maybe this would stop happening.

Re:SARS 2: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418493)

If Rob Malda would stop fucking monkeys maybe this would stop happening.

Look man, that's just plain offensive. Calling them monkeys is totally not cool and uncalled for. We prefer to call them niggers. Sheesh, learn a little decency.

Re:SARS 2: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418199)

but Apple consumers are definitely NOT safe from the AIDS disease... heh heh ... cuz they take it up the butt ... "it" meaning "cock" ..

Healthcare Quality (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about 9 months ago | (#45417959)

Im thinking the death toll has more to do with the quality of healthcare in Saudi Arabia than to the severity of the disese.

Re:Healthcare Quality (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418127)

It could be something genetically engineered by Israel that only affects Muslims and has accidentally escaped into the wild.

Re:Healthcare Quality (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 9 months ago | (#45418197)

That is not dissimilar to an actual MI6 conspiracy - on a TV show. I think it was China/Europe thing in the show.

Re:Healthcare Quality (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 9 months ago | (#45418517)

I hate to tell it to you, but inborn cognitive disability way predates both Israel and Muslims.

Re:Healthcare Quality (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 9 months ago | (#45419113)

Because what, viruses can tell your religion?

Re:Healthcare Quality (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 9 months ago | (#45421383)

Depends, is your religion Judism? Then there is a distinct possibility, since Jews also typically (not converts) share a specific genetic line and there are viruses known to be targeted towards them.

Re:Healthcare Quality (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | about 9 months ago | (#45421463)

Because what, viruses can tell your religion?

Only if god made em in his image!

Re:Healthcare Quality (1)

pluther (647209) | about 9 months ago | (#45418251)

Im thinking the death toll has more to do with the quality of healthcare in Saudi Arabia than to the severity of the disese.

Based on?

Re:Healthcare Quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418311)

You should look at the statistics on http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/mers/

Granted some these are not statistically significant sample sizes, but I don't think of the UK and France as having substandard care.

Can you smell my sarcasm or should I spell it out? (1)

rainmouse (1784278) | about 9 months ago | (#45418509)

Seen as its not easy to judge a countries health care with limited information, I looked instead at life expectancy instead to get a vague idea and your right... only countries like the USA have real health care. Why on this link the average American male lives two full years longer than the average Saudi male. Imagine that!
Of course the typical American male lives about 3 - 4 years less than someone in Europe due to their primitive health care system so I guess they are also screwed if this thing gets out.

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

Re:Can you smell my sarcasm or should I spell it o (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 9 months ago | (#45419105)

Ou need to take into account where the start life expectancy. Some countries start it at birth, some a few week after birth.

Re:Can you smell my sarcasm or should I spell it o (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 9 months ago | (#45419313)

So that explains discrepancies of years just how?

Time is not linear during infancy? I thought that was limited to adolescent years. Specifically high school.

Re:Can you smell my sarcasm or should I spell it o (3, Insightful)

ChromaticDragon (1034458) | about 9 months ago | (#45419513)

Not sure how this actually affects the statistics these days...

But HOW it causes discrepancies is incredibly straightforward.

The issue is not counting lives at all if they don't reach a particular point. If country A and B have identical birth rates and identical death rates (not just rates - the full blown distributions of such, etc.) but country A counts lives from birth and country B starts lives from 3 weeks after birth, this means country B has completely removed from consideration every infant that died prior to age 3 weeks. You can imagine this would lead to different "life expectancies".

Indeed, this works in different ways. This is one reason the ancient world had life expectancies that were really low and yet had quite a few old geezers around. The fact was that it was HARD to live to ten. But for those who did, living as long as fold do today wasn't so strange.

Re:Can you smell my sarcasm or should I spell it o (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 9 months ago | (#45423329)

Actually, your right. Didn't think about that.

Thanks

Re:Can you smell my sarcasm or should I spell it o (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45424718)

only countries like the USA have real health care

Only if you can afford it. Otherwise the US is like a 3rd world country.

You want real healthcare, look at the countries which have universal coverage, and a single payer system --and not a bunch of greedy corporations trying to figure out how to deny covering someone.

Re:Healthcare Quality (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 9 months ago | (#45425736)

Im thinking the death toll has more to do with the quality of healthcare in Saudi Arabia than to the severity of the disese.

The Saudis have single-payer health care and are a rich country, so I seriously doubt that's the case.

I remember sars (4, Insightful)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 9 months ago | (#45417975)

That disease everybody was so panicked over because you had only a 97% chance of survival.

Re:I remember sars (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418013)

I have about 500 people in my company's office building. If only a third of them get sick that's still 5 people that die.

Re:I remember sars (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418161)

As long as none of them were the CEO, capitalist america doesn't care. Everyone else is a nameless replaceable cog.

Re:I remember sars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418325)

3% is not "a third".

Re:I remember sars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418561)

1/3 of 500 is approximately 166. 3% of that is around 5. Please try and keep up.

Re:I remember sars (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 9 months ago | (#45419329)

But it isn't exactly airborne hepatitis C or anything. If you notice, my comment was mainly taking a whack at the overreaction of the media, ("only 97%") putting some people in a panic over nothing.

If you get sick, yeah then you and people around you should probably take proactive measures, and chances are you'll come out of it fine, and at the worst maybe one or two of those 500 people you mention even get exposed to the disease, possibly infected, and extremely unlikely actually die from it.

If you aren't sick and nobody around you is sick either then there's no point even thinking about it, and having the news media go around overstating the situation doesn't help.

Re:I remember sars (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 9 months ago | (#45419975)

I have a jar with 30 jelly beans. 1 contains cyanide. Would you eat one of those jelly beans?

Re:I remember sars (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 9 months ago | (#45420421)

Sure.

We know which jar contains a cyanide pill don't we? So we isolate it from the rest, test each bean in that jar for significant cyanide contamination, throw out the pill, eat jelly beans.

On the other hand, saying "oh my god, there's a cyanide pill" doesn't accomplish anything.

Re:I remember sars (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about 9 months ago | (#45423784)

I have a jar with 30 jelly beans. 1 contains cyanide. Would you eat one of those jelly beans?

This is the typical panicked response that the media depends upon. Your chances of contracting the disease isn't anywhere near 1 in 30, and your chance of dying is much smaller still. Learn what the real numbers are, and you can pay attention to the things that really matter in life instead of what you've heard on the boob tube. Relatively speaking, a much higher number (and percentage) of the population died in auto accidents. Should everyone stay home?...maybe not because more people died in home fires (10-14 per million in the U.S over the last ten years).

Re:I remember sars (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 9 months ago | (#45424176)

I based that on the parent's assumption that a 3% mortality was a 97% survival, which he said did not justify the media's "panic."

The truth is, we don't know exactly how many people this year's flu is going to kill. It usually kills between 20,000 and 40,000 people a year in the U.S., which is about equal to the automobile fatalities, which is also a major cause of death.

There are only about 2,500 deaths a year from home fires http://www.usfa.fema.gov/statistics/estimates/index.shtm [fema.gov]

Because it causes so many deaths, there are things you should do about it. You should get vaccinated, to prevent yourself and everyone else from getting it. You should stay home for a few days if you have the flu, so that you don't go around infecting everybody else with it. That's what you call "panic."

But the real worry about the flu and SARS is that it may be more lethal than the usual flu. The flu of 1917-18 caused 650,000 deaths in the U.S., and maybe 40 million worldwide. That's more than the first world war. The 1917-18 flu was unusual in that it attacked mostly young people.

Nobody knows how lethal the latest flu and the latest viruses will be. They could cause another 650,000 deaths in the U.S. Scientists have created viruses in the laboratory that are capable of that many deaths, and they're trying to figure out how to prevent it.

What you call panic is what they call intelligent preparations.

As the old joke goes, if you're calm when everyone is running around in panic, maybe you don't understand the seriousness of the situation.

Re:I remember sars (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about 9 months ago | (#45426054)

Okay, well maybe I misunderstood you, but I'm still missing it as the discussion is about SARS, not influenza. And, for that my comparison is still accurate. Your numbers for fires are the same as mine, only stated differently.

Re:I remember sars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418195)

The survival rate for a U.S. soldier in combat is probably higher you know.

Re:I remember sars (1)

aynoknman (1071612) | about 9 months ago | (#45418365)

That disease everybody was so panicked over because you had only a 97% chance of survival.

You also have to ask what permanent damage is done to the survivors.

Re:I remember sars (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 9 months ago | (#45419343)

You also have to ask what percentage of people even got infected to begin with (hint: not many.) My post was mainly a snark against the overstatement of the media needlessly inciting panic in some people.

Re:I remember sars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418369)

Realistically, the days of a plague or pandemic are well over. If it starts, it would be put down before it ever got any chance to spread into any large population. Swine Flu, anyone? H1N1, H5N1, etc. Just like smallpox, the flu might kill someone elderly or already sick, but realistically, anything more than a sniffle or a few sick days is behind us, as a population.

Re:I remember sars (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 9 months ago | (#45419439)

Keep telling yourself that. There's a reason that every major country in the world has dedicated disease control / pandemic monitoring type groups. In the last century we haven't had much in the way of dangerous infectious diseases in the developed world, largely because we managed to stamp out the really nasty ones that have plagued us for millenia. Smallpox was a LOT worse than the flu, but through heroic international efforts is now extinct except for a few laboratory samples. Polio is really nasty, but for the moment has been largely stamped out in the developed world, though the "anti-vax" crowd is doing their best to undo that victory. Tuberculosis is getting scary - we treated it aggressively but never made a concerted attempt to exterminate it, and now it's evolved to be immune to all our most effective medications.

Then we have the random tropical diseases that tend to crop up on a semi-regular basis, Ebola being one of the milder ones. Most of them are not too terribly dangerous precisely because they're *too* virulent - nobody survives long enough to escape the remote jungle village where it evolved and so it goes extinct shortly after the villagers.

Or for something closer to home, a while back some (Australian was it?) researchers introduced just a handful of rodent influenza mutations to create a variant that was extremely contagious and nearly 100% lethal, and there's no reason to assume that similar mutations in human influenza wouldn't be similarly lethal, or for that matter that those mutations don't all already exist within the global viral population, and simply haven't all come together in the same virus.

That's actually the reason so much attention is paid to H1N1, etc. We know influenza is potentially FAR more dangerous than anything we've seen in recent centuries, and if two or more different species of influenza viruses infect the same host (quite common in developing nations where people live alongside their livestock and exchange infections with them) then they tend to produce all sorts of random recombinations of the parent viruses. In fact that's why you need a new flu shot every year - this year's flu is essentially a whole new species whose protein shell doesn't match any of those "on record" from previous years. Statistically speaking it's only a matter of time before a variant pops up that's every bit as dangerous to us as that Australian rat flu, and with modern transportation networks it will be *everywhere* almost before we can react.

Re:I remember sars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45422025)

Sounds like fear-mongering from people who are worried about having grants renewed. Realistically, if it infects and kills rats, it isn't going to jump to people anytime soon. The fast-acting type has been talked about for ages, but so has the boogeyman under the bed. This stuff doesn't happen in real life.

Wish the government would just let the private sector deal with this and not waste taxpayer dollars on yet another boogeyman. Realistically, the flu isn't a threat. Every year we read about how we are doomed, and every spring, there is nowhere near the threat people fearmonger about.

The CDC and such makes for great Hollywood movies, but in real life, it is just another taxpayer boondoggle further expanding US debt to China. Might as well have a government organization looking for Sasquatch while we are at it.

Re:I remember sars (5, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about 9 months ago | (#45418545)

3% mortality is horrific; if 20% (typical "bad" flu infection rate) of the USA population got the disease, and 97% survived... that would still be 1.8million corpses in the USA alone.

That's more dead American's in one go than all American casualties of war since (and including) the revolution.

World War I & II, the Civil War, the Revolution, Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, and all the little ones combined is only 1.3M dead, (with another 1.5M wounded).

1.8M dead is pretty horrific.

Yes, its not civilization crushing levels of horrific like a new black plague would be, but it's still pretty horrifying.

Re:I remember sars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45419025)

if 20% (typical "bad" flu infection rate) of the USA population got the disease, and 97% survived... that would still be 1.8million corpses in the USA alone.

A lot of people die every year, and flu death are not random. The people most likely to die anyway are the typical fatalities. I'm not saying everything is hunky dory, but just cranking out the raw numbers distorts the story.

Re:I remember sars (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about 9 months ago | (#45419175)

A lot of people die every year, and flu death are not random. The people most likely to die anyway are the typical fatalities. I'm not saying everything is hunky dory, but just cranking out the raw numbers distorts the story.

Sure, any disease culls the weak and sick first. But a typical bad flu season is less than 50,000. So if we subtract that number out of the 1.8 million... well... its still 1.8 million since that figure wasn't precise enough to meaningfully subtract ~50,000 from it.

Re:I remember sars (1)

ameen.ross (2498000) | about 9 months ago | (#45420917)

What? 50.000 / 1.800.000 sounds like 3%

Re:I remember sars (1)

ameen.ross (2498000) | about 9 months ago | (#45420923)

Sorry, I missed the proper meaning of that 1.8 million figure.

Re:I remember sars (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 9 months ago | (#45419461)

A lot of people die every year, and flu death are not random. The people most likely to die anyway are the typical fatalities.

Not necessarily. Some of the most frightening recent variants are those that overstimulate the immune system and turn it against the body. In which case the healthiest young adults with the strongest immune systems are also the ones most at risk. Or was that not an influenza variant? I admit my memory is fuzzy on the details.

Re:I remember sars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45420681)

In which case the healthiest young adults [are] the ones most at risk.

Hah! I've prepared my whole life for this!

Re:I remember sars (1)

archen (447353) | about 9 months ago | (#45422207)

You're likely thinking of the 1918 flu pandemic. It's still a good illustration that it's something can take out more than sickly people who were likely to go anyway.

Re:I remember sars (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 9 months ago | (#45422215)

Flu deaths are excellent. They cull the elderly off social security and medicare and cull the weak children out of our gene pool. Still waiting for a disease that selectively targets the stupid and the criminally insane.

Re:I remember sars (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about 9 months ago | (#45423880)

Flu deaths are excellent. They cull the elderly off social security and medicare and cull the weak children out of our gene pool. Still waiting for a disease that selectively targets the stupid and the criminally insane.

It's not working, you're still here.

Re:I remember sars (1)

delt0r (999393) | about 9 months ago | (#45420857)

3% mortality is also mostly bullshit. Guess how many people had SARS but didn't feel sick and didn't go to the hospital? We don't know because people that where already sick enough to get admitted where the only ones tested. Even then quite a few of those "tested" where only tested in the sense that a doctor decided they had it from symptoms. Our old group worked on the genetics of this. We say the data, or lack of thereof first hand.

H1N1 was similar. In NZ if you had flu like symptoms you went down into the WHO database as another H1N1 case. Doctors simply didn't test because "This year its all H1N1". Now consider how many things give the same symptoms as the flu?

Re:I remember sars (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 9 months ago | (#45421413)

Hint: Most years, not every year, but most years ... its H1N1 ... that doesn't MEAN anything. Its an entire CLASS of viruses, not a specific strain. The most common class is ... H1N1 and has been for as long as we've had a identifier for it.

Whats better is that in the US, during the big flu scars in recent years ... while people are ranting and raving about how bad it is on TV (including CDC reps ) ... a look at the CDCs statistics, you know, the ones that are generated automatically and not biased by scare mongering ... those statistics indicated a LOWER THAN NORMAL year for both infections AND mortality.

These people need to be taught the lesson of the Boy who cried Wolf BEFORE something bad ACTUALLY happens.

Re:I remember sars (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 9 months ago | (#45419135)

This one looks more like 42%. That's assuming of course that there aren't low grade infections that aren't even diagnosed.

Re:I remember sars (1)

WhatHump (951645) | about 9 months ago | (#45419589)

Were you living in one of the affected areas? I lived in Toronto at the time, and yes, there was panic. When you had health professionals - doctors and nurses - who were getting sick even though they were wearing outfits that were supposed to protect you against any infection, there was good reason to panic. There were a lot of unknowns surrounding SARS and the fear was very justifiable.

Re:I remember sars (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 9 months ago | (#45422107)

The hilarious thing about SARS and MERS and H1N1 Swineflu is they're so ridiculously impotent. SARS will fucking kill you! ... it infected 8,000 people over like 15 years. H1N1 Swineflu infected 30,000 people in its peak run over 3 years--you know, when they then decided vaccines were bad for you--and killed very few. That same year, H3N5 and whatnot infected tens of millions and killed hundreds of thousands. H1N1 Bristol did about the same. The vaccination for H1N1 Swineflu was available separate for marketing purposes; but if you got a flu shot, you got H1N1 vaccine that year.

On the plus side if it does spread... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45417983)

...maybe our batteries will become more efficient?

I dont kiss camels very often (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 9 months ago | (#45417993)

For a while there they were talking about camels as a repository for MERS. I dont know the latest.

Re:I dont kiss camels very often (3, Funny)

rubycodez (864176) | about 9 months ago | (#45419567)

there were night vision youtube videos taken by some of our soldiers, let's just say arabs weren't kissing their camels or giving them any other kind of foreplay

Pet camels (3, Funny)

dgatwood (11270) | about 9 months ago | (#45417995)

From the article:

Indeed, virologists announced earlier this week that a camel owned by a victim of MERS also had the disease, the first evidence of this kind of transmission so far. So if you don’t own a pet camel, you’re probably safe.

Sorry, Drommy. Guess I'm gonna have to put you down.

Re:Pet camels (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418109)

.

From the article:

Indeed, virologists announced earlier this week that a camel owned by a victim of MERS also had the disease, the first evidence of this kind of transmission so far. So if you don’t own a pet camel, you’re probably safe.

Don't even pretend your very first thought when you read this wasn't "STD?"

.

Re:Pet camels (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 9 months ago | (#45419159)

That assumes that camel and the man didn't both get it from the same place.

2013 Hajj? That's long gone (5, Informative)

gordo3000 (785698) | about 9 months ago | (#45418059)

the Hajj finished almost a month ago, is the summary implying a >1 month gestation for the virus or are we just horribly out of date?

Re:2013 Hajj? That's long gone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418185)

This is slashdot, Hajj will be upcoming for the next two reposts then next week we'll get an article about how nobody died at it.

Re:2013 Hajj? That's long gone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418419)

Funny thing you say that......

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303309504579185742774050348

Just Don't Call it Swine Flu (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418065)

It would be impossible to immunize against the swine flu in Middle Eastern countries because they would refuse to have anything "pig" put in them. So we will call it MERS. Carry on.

Re:Just Don't Call it Swine Flu (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418513)

It would be impossible to immunize against the swine flu in Middle Eastern countries because they would refuse to have anything "pig" put in them

Sounds like natural selection to me

Re:Just Don't Call it Swine Flu (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418949)

let's hope for 100% mortality rate and make sure they all have one way tickets.

it seems that (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418177)

Surprise, surprise, the chinks didn't design their viral revenge against the west correctly.

Which is no surprise, they shouldn't have tried it from the ground up but gone their usual route... steal a working western model and copied it, reiteration for reiteration, moving it up from selling it at the dollar store, to Walmart, to Target, to JC Penny, until it becomes a boutique weapon of mass destruction.

Yawn (-1)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 9 months ago | (#45418255)

We all know flu shots are just a way to put money in the medical communities pocket. My worst illnesses immediately followed getting the Flu Mist while in the Military. Eventually I realized if I said I was "Allergic" they would waive me from it generally without question. There is not a chance in hell of me EVER taking ANY flu shot or mist again.

Re:Yawn (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 9 months ago | (#45419099)

"We all know flu shots are just a way to put money in the medical communities pocket.
SInce it cost Dr. Office more then they get, and the compnay that make it make so little money they need gaurnettes form the government.
WHat, exactly, do you base you line of BS on?

" My worst illnesses immediately followed getting the Flu Mist while in the Military.
Coincidence. Can Not Happen from the Flu shot. Can Not.

"Eventually I realized if I said I was "Allergic" they would waive me from it generally without question."
So your unfounded belief let you excuse away putting others at risk. You are a dick.

" There is not a chance in hell of me EVER taking ANY flu shot or mist again."
The please stay out of the public you pathetic ignorant SOB.

Re:Yawn (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 9 months ago | (#45419335)

To be completely fair, you can get sick [flumistquadrivalent.com] from Flumist. It's supposed to be a mild illness, but it's an attenuated live virus and should not be given to someone with a weakened immune system. Likely not Cheezburger's problem (causal relationships seem to be a bigger issue) but it's possible.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45420471)

It is possible to be allergic to the preservatives of the flu-shot. When I got my first one the doctor asked me to stay for 5 minutes, I guess it is really fast working and you can get into anaphylactic shock from it.

I sometimes also get mild flu-like symptoms from the shot in the two weeks following it,this time it wasn't that bad at all.

I take them because I have a small risk of getting asthmatic bronchitis complications if I attract the flu.

Although you are only protected from a flu shot for the 4 most likely flu candidates for that year, the immunity for those 4 strains is permanent. So every year I may get immunitized for hopefully another full set of strains (I guess they may repeat strains from previous years).

Re:Yawn (0)

BitZtream (692029) | about 9 months ago | (#45421445)

SInce it cost Dr. Office more then they get, and the compnay that make it make so little money they need gaurnettes form the government.
WHat, exactly, do you base you line of BS on?

Bullshit. Walgreens doesn't offer flu vaccines because they have big hearts, the do it because its a profit center. What moronic bullshit are you on?

Coincidence. Can Not Happen from the Flu shot. Can Not.

Bullshit. Even your doctor will warn you that it can and does happen as your body reacts to the vaccine. Ideally it wouldn't happen, but it most certainly DOES happen.

So your unfounded belief let you excuse away putting others at risk. You are a dick.

And you're a hypochondriac nutjob. Most of the time, the flu vaccine is the wrong one and doesn't even work for the most common strain going around that year. 'They' guess on which one is going to be common, most years that guess is wrong, only occasionally is it right. Entire communities have opted out of getting the flu vaccine due to being religious nut jobs (not so different than yourself, just different worship) and on average, they see about a 10% increase in flu cases on SOME years, not every year.

The please stay out of the public you pathetic ignorant SOB.

Go fuck yourself you ignorant cunt ;) My wife ... a medical doctor, won't get a flu shot. After the reaction our son just had to his, he'll never get another one either since every instance we've had in the past of actually getting the flu has actually been less consistent than the days of feeling like shit after getting the vaccine.

The flu vaccine is fucking stupid unless you're in a high risk group which is a small limited part of the population. Its questionable to those high risk groups as well, but at least there is some potential benefit. Giving it to all healthy adults is just fucking retarded since their immune systems are already fully capable of fighting it off and we don't really need to be creating the perfect breeding environment for an actual super flu bug rather than that scare mongering used to get people like you to panic.

death rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418363)

So 63 deaths out of 149 known cases; that seems like a statistically small sample. What's the infection rate; how many people were exposed to those 149 and did not get infected? How many people had symptoms, assumed it was the common cold, and stayed home and didn't die from it and thus not be counted?

I think this is somewhat overblown.

Re:death rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45419081)

Let's say they sampled 14,900 cases and only the same 63 persons died. That's less than the death rate from traffic accidents. Screw this site, I'm going back to Reddit.

KentuckyFC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418423)

Is slashdot representative for american ignorance?

http://islam.about.com/od/calendar/f/2013hajj.htm

Hajj is expected to fall between October 13-18, 2013

It's that's a month ago exactly. We'd be panicking now if it was an issue and MERS spreading all over the world.

Spraying the masses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418451)

Lets find out who is spraying these viruses and biological filiments high into the atmosphere and experimenting on the masses around the world as if it was their playground and string them up.

Not aware we said SARS was not a threat (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 9 months ago | (#45418483)

I must have missed the part where we announced that SARS was no longer a threat.

So long as people and animals live in close proximity with birds, it is a threat.

And, quite frankly, that has for the most part not changed, in terms of behavior or consumer attitudes in Asia.

Re:Not aware we said SARS was not a threat (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 9 months ago | (#45421659)

SARS was never 'a threat', just the battle cry of a bunch of people wanting more funding.

If you were worried about SARS you must have all sorts of anxiety issues since there are easily a billion things more likely to kill you in the next year.

Re:Not aware we said SARS was not a threat (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 9 months ago | (#45424628)

It did kill lots of people, just not in the US.

LOL, FEAR!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418507)

The 2000's will be known as the irrational fear of terrorists decade. The 2010's will be known as the irrational fear of infectious diseases decade.

Sheesh, the people in power really have you over a barrel, don't they?

Yes! f4? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45418597)

If *BSD is to Percent of the *BSD was at the same AMERICA) might be

Re:Yes! f4? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45421395)

BSD IS DEAD. I saw it shot down in downtown Minneapolis. A hail of bullets from two black Cadillacs. The license plates were out of state. RIP BSD. The Bad-ass Sexy Dude Society will host a concert in your memory.

Remember. Remember. John Dillinger died for your sins!

I think we're also safe from "the sky is falling"? (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 9 months ago | (#45419385)

SARS - 8000 people dead!

The latest 'possible' pandemic - 150 people dead!

I think more people are probably killed by frisbees.

ho hum (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about 9 months ago | (#45419417)

A man once said, "There are lies, damned lies and statistics." However, Fukushima(the planet killer) will make all of this disease talk, healthcare talk moot.

Re:ho hum (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 9 months ago | (#45419597)

oh my god you're right, let's look at the latest Fukushima Diachi radiation death toll.........zero. let's look at those radiation poisoned: zero. Let's look at the contamination on the west coast of the USA, one radiactive Xenon atom per cubic meter attributed to Fukushima soon after the accident. Why, the death count might even double over the next five years!

Are SARS statistics really true? (3, Informative)

jasax (1728312) | about 9 months ago | (#45419611)

By chance, a few weeks ago I saw a documentary about SARS in China.

Remember that the 2008 Olympics were to be in Beijing, and so Chinese authorities in 2002 tried everything to avoid inflicting any tiny bit of fear in the tourists coming to China. They tried at first to admit there was an epidemics, and along the way declared many SARS fatalities as due to other causes. The things become more transparent (i.e. the official numbers were more realistic) when the medical community all over the country began to put a strong pressure. Many doctors were victims because when SARS started the hospitals didn't have equipment to protect them conveniently. But today no one really can tell the "true" number of SARS victims (and also of infected people) in China, and that biases the global SARS statistics, of course.

But the documentary was not about the deaths: it was about the survivors that have been treated in hospitals. In fact, the standard treatment was to deploy huge amounts of cortisone in the infected and that, AFAIR, stops blood flow in bones (among other secondary effects) and so many bone parts died in the patients in the forthcoming months and years. Some people have already gone into surgery many times (up to a dozen or so, in some cases) to patch those dead bones and other injuries in joints, many are in wheelchairs and in some cases they are sorts of abandoned by family and authorities. Some have already died, or even committed suicide.

It was said that the "cortisone" treatment was in China only, other countries (such as Canada, which had a bunch of deaths) didn't follow those medical guidelines.

Couldn't google the documentary name but just found an article about the issue: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-01/07/content_9276884.htm [chinadaily.com.cn]

Final words: many survivors are still severely crippled from SARS. For them the SARS epidemics didn't end in a few months. And local medical practices still make a strong impact in the quality of life of the patients.

Re:Are SARS statistics really true? (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about 9 months ago | (#45421175)

Why you're not modded informative is beyond me. The possibilities of MERS are frightening, given what I've read on it the past six months. The Saudi secrecy is unforgiveable. There are too many unknowns and too little data.

Funny thing: we're inundated every waking moment by stuff; when we go looking, say for news, it's worse. If we can contrive for ourselves filters that at least seem reasonable, balanced, unbiased enough to have a chance to keep our prejudices challenged, our intellects stimulated, our lives perhaps edified, we will always filter out some things that, did we know of them we'd regret having filtered, and always also not filter many things that at minimum distract and steal our time - and at worst abuse us by manipulating, or trying to influence, perception and thought.

After all that's done, if there's a story or three we think of import, there all too often seems to be no follow-up, or way of finding such, even if we can remember - or trouble to make a note of them and set up a tickler file on a calendar.

On top of that, I note that many of the searches I do on a goodly variety of things seem to return less useful results these days compared to even a few years ago. Between "improvement to our search algorithms", SEO, and crafted ad results, it's getting right annoying. My search-fu was never that great to begin with.

Sorry, but one more thing. I wonder just how much our increasing electronic involvement - the devices, the wondrous Internet, etc. is distancing us and distorting our perceptions and judgements of the natural world we live in. I mean, when was the last time you spent a few hours looking at the stars? If that's even possible, given the horrid light pollution where so many of us live. I haven't been able to take a good look at the night sky in more than twenty years, and I submit that one of the problems with city folks is they can't see the stars and thus have no sense of awe or source for humility.

Re:Are SARS statistics really true? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 9 months ago | (#45421685)

Neither yourself or your cohort are modded insightful because nothing insightful was said. You're doing the typical anti-science way to deal with issues that you don't know anything about, blow them out of proportion, assume the worst and that tomorrow the Earth will stand still.

And for reference, you can still see stars from the rooftop of any reasonable tall building in NYC on a clear night. Your perception of the world is sadly out of touch with reality, like so many. Thats the fear you should have for humanity.

so let's talk about infection rate (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 9 months ago | (#45419639)

half a billion chinese in south china and hong kong, and 8,000 get the disease, and 800 die. So hardly anyone even gets SARS. 50 million people in saudi arabia and surrounding countries, and only 149 get infected and only 63 die? that tells me most people get the sniffles and brush it off

Anibotic Resistance. (1)

iiiears (987462) | about 9 months ago | (#45420117)

From the Center for Disease Control.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpKZvnJwicA [youtube.com]

It wasn't profitable to continue research ahead of disaster. Shareholders demanded a better return. (Though Pfizer felt obligated to their history in this area did maintain a small program.)
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-03-19/health/ct-met-antibiotics-pipeline-20130319_1_drug-resistant-tuberculosis-resistant-bacteria-ketek [chicagotribune.com]

How did we get here?
It's likely that we wern't careful to preserve the efficacy of antibiotics. Using wide spectrum antibiotics instead of $$ testing and treating for a specific organism. Surely livestock didn't need it for faster weight gain.

http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/our-failing-food-system/industrial-agriculture/prescription-for-trouble.html [ucsusa.org]

Bacteria have "learned" to share resistance thus increasing the threat to us.

http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/antibiotic-resistance-mutation-rates-and-mrsa-28360 [nature.com]

Time to move... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45420259)

...to Madagascar, while there is still time.

Dance around a metorite praying to invisible sky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45420411)

Beings you get what you get.
It is sad you have to kill others with your crazy.

Carlo Urbani (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45420577)

Can we please take this moment to remember Carlo Urbani, the man who discovered SARS, continued treating his patients in full knowledge of the danger and kicked off the WHO response which potentially saved millions of lives. He died of the same disease, and his final act before he passed away was to sign away his organs to medical science to try help people find a cure.

People should know his name. There should be a statue of him outside the WHO. It is a travesty that more people know the name Paris Hilton than his.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlo_Urbani

But what shall we do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45420659)

I need my yearls fix of NxHy-induced certain doom that will absolutely kill us all; again.

Numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45420661)

When I hear numbers and panic about a high ratio of fatalities from known cases. But then the known cases are because they showed symptoms and were diagnosed. How many people were exposed to the virus and it had no ill effect? Say 1 in 3 die, but the other 1 billion exposed to it were not effected in a negative way by it. Then who cares? (and you wouldn't know about the 1 in 1 billion since they had no need to seek out a doctor)

easy solution (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 9 months ago | (#45420761)

Nuke Saudi Arabia in the middle of the Haj

SARS and air travel .. (1)

codeusirae (3036835) | about 9 months ago | (#45421137)

While there is such a close proximity between the avian population and humans in certain societies, we can expect to see more of the same. That and air travel and I don't mean of the avian kind ref [ctvnews.ca] .

Death Rates (1)

miketheanimal (914328) | about 9 months ago | (#45421517)

"Back in 2002, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS killed about 10 per cent of the 8,000 people it infected in southern China and Hong Kong" I asked the following question about H5N1, it seems to be just as relevent to SARS: When H5N1 was doing the rounds in the UK, I, and my wife, and a lot of other people I knew, had long running and/or recurrent chest infections over a couple of months or so. None of us was ill enough to bother to go to the doctor, and there were enough people about with the same symptoms that we were still working, so we didn't need a medical report to miss work. So, we never got on any statistics for having something. My feeling (and my wife's, who is a biologist) is that its quite likely that a lot of people got H5N1 but were never diagnosed nor counted. This makes the claimed "H5N1 killed n% of people it infected" (whatever n% was) totally specious. And I'd bet that the same is true of SARS. Unless there is random testing then nobody knows what the death rate is, and all these death rates are scare mongering by governments and the drugs industry,

Re:Death Rates (1)

shikaisi (1816846) | about 9 months ago | (#45422981)

When H5N1 was doing the rounds in the UK, I, and my wife, and a lot of other people I knew, had long running and/or recurrent chest infections over a couple of months or so. None of us was ill enough to bother to go to the doctor, and there were enough people about with the same symptoms that we were still working, so we didn't need a medical report to miss work. So, we never got on any statistics for having something. My feeling (and my wife's, who is a biologist) is that its quite likely that a lot of people got H5N1 but were never diagnosed nor counted. This makes the claimed "H5N1 killed n% of people it infected" (whatever n% was) totally specious. And I'd bet that the same is true of SARS.

I lived in China throughout the SARS outbreak. Your idea would be plausible in a Western country, but not in China during SARS. Every workplace took the temperatures of everyone turning up for work every day. If you had any fever, you were isolated and had to see a doctor. Little old ladies from the Communist party social welfare organization did the rounds of every house and apartment regularly to check whether anyone had fever or flu-like symptoms. Anyone travelling by air or train had their temperature taken. In some cases, whole quarters of cities where a case was reported were cordoned off and no one went in or out. The country was pretty much locked down, which is why the spread was as little as it was.

No doubt ... (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about 9 months ago | (#45422543)

... they'll let this chance slip away and we'll still have to wait for the zombie outbreak to use the nukes.

we're safe... (1)

NikeHerc (694644) | about 9 months ago | (#45423363)

Don't hold your breath.
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