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January 30th, 2014
The avian flu virus, which up until last year infected poultry exclusively, has now mutated and crossed over to humans.
What’s even scarier is the fact that the Chinese have been unable to contain the novel H7N9 strain of the virus and health officials the world over are getting ready for the worst. It’s spreading and we now have confirmation that the virus has begun appearing in other countries.
On Thursday, billions of Chinese will be on the move to celebrate the Lunar New Year, creating ripe conditions for the spread of the influenza virus from those already infected. And many of those celebrations will include chickens, the primary carriers of H7N9. In addition, with the Winter Olympics, one of the world’s largest sporting events, just two weeks away, the virus could find the ideal conditions for breaking out.
And that means the next plane could bring a pandemic to the U.S. or anywhere else around the world. “The bottom line is the health security of the U.S. is only as strong as the health security of every country around the world,” says Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
“We are all connected by the food we eat, the water the drink and the air we breathe.”
But that’s not the worst of it. Last year the World Health Organization warned that H7N9 is one of the most lethal influenza strains ever identified.
Of the nearly 250 officially confirmed reports of human infection since last year, a quarter of those infected have died.
Those are the official numbers, but it is likely that the number of active infections could be a hundred-fold (or more) higher.
Moreover, like any flu virus, H7N9 continues to mutate and scientists recently suggested that all it would take for this particular strain to become a deadly global pandemic is an increase in its transmission rate.
It was initially thought that the virus only spread through human contact with poultry, but that theory was quickly turned on its head when a team of researchers at the University of Hong Kong confirmed that the virus had gone airborne.
If H7N9 mutates to transmission rates of other flu viruses, which is certainly a possibility, then we could well be looking at a mass global pandemic – and according to WHO the H7N9 is mutating eight (8) times faster than a typical flu virus.
To put this in perspective, the 1918 Spanish Flu infected as many as half a billion people (about a quarter of the world’s population). The mortality rate was somewhere in the area of 5% to 10%, with a final death toll of around 50 million people.
At a 25% mortality rate the H7N9 avlian flu, combined with modern transportation systems and metropolitan areas housing tens of millions of people, there is serious potential for a globally significant catastrophe.
Should this virus increase its transmission rate we could be looking at a scenario where a billion or more people contract the virus around the world.
The math is straight forward. One in four will perish.
While we’ve had pandemic scares in the recent past, this one really has researchers and global health officials spooked:
The fast mutation makes the virus’ evolutionary development very hard to predict. “We don’t know whether it will evolve into something harmless or dangerous,” He said. “Our samples are too limited. But the authorities should definitely be alarmed and get prepared for the worst-case scenario.”
As of yet, there is no available vaccine, and one novel mechanism of action for H7N9 is that as soon as it infects its host it develops rapid antiviral resistance, so traditional medicines like Tamiflu don’t work.
One infected student at a local school, or a restaurant worker, or a passenger on an airplane could take this to the next level.
And once it takes hold, there will be no stopping it.
Most don’t believe it is possible with our advanced sciences and research facilities.
History proves otherwise.
- Plague of Justinian (541 – 542) – At it’s peak over 5,000 people per day died in the city of Constantinople
- Black Death (1348 – 1350) – Over 75 Million Dead. Nearly 60% of Europe.
- Smallpox (16th Century) – Wiped out entire civilizations like the Aztecs.
- The Third Pandemic (1855 – circa 1990) – A Bubonic Plague that killed over 10 million in China and India
- The Spanish Flu (1918 – 1919) – Over 50 million dead
The only steps one can take is to be ready in advance with a Pandemic Preparedness Plan, as recommended by Tess Pennington:
When an outbreak occurs, many will remain in a state of denial about any approaching epidemics. Simply put, most people believe themselves to be invincible to negative situations and do not like the idea change of any kind.
They will remain in this state until they realize they are unable to deny it to themselves any longer. Being prepared before the masses come out of their daze will ensure that you are better prepared before the hoards run to the store to stock up.
In addition to remaining isolated from the general population, you must have (in advance) access to food, water, medicine, and self defense armaments.
If such a virus were to spread, infecting millions and killing off 25% of those who contract it, you can be assured of widespread panic as the unprepared search and fight for resources.
Activist Post: West Virginia Health Officials Refuse to Accept Experts Findings on Elk River Contamination
Even though the water in West Virginia has been declared safe, hospital admissions related to the spill have increased.
What has transpired is that the Center for Disease Control has set safety standards for pure MCHM (4-methylcyclohexaneemethol), but the stuff polluting the Elk River was far from pure. Containing a mix of up to seven chemicals, the crude MCHM that was discharged into the Elk River was something else entirely, and the CDC safety standards set for MCHM don’t cover it when mixed with other chemicals, what is referred to as crude MCHM.
Investigators still don’t know the full composition of the 10,000 gallon discharge into the Elk River. Freedom Industries, the company responsible with maintaining the storage tanks, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and, although hit with numerous law suits regarding the spill, they have been slow to provide information on the toxic cocktail that entered the river.
“I can guarantee that citizens in this valley are, at least in some instances, breathing formaldehyde. They’re taking a hot shower. This stuff is breaking down into formaldehyde in the shower or in the water system, and they’re inhaling it.”
“It’s frightening, it really is frightening,” the Charleston Gazette quoted Simonton telling state lawmakers. ”What we know scares us, and we know there’s a lot more we don’t know.”
“We know that (crude MCHM) turns into other things, and these other things are bad,”.”And we haven’t been looking for those other things. So we can’t say the water is safe yet. We just absolutely cannot.”
Now that officials know other chemicals were present, they can start the process of hunting them down. The fear is that even though the all clear was given regarding the levels of pure MCHM, other chemicals, either singularly or in combination, could well be lurking in domestic pipes and tanks, and that those chemicals could break down into yet more harmful components.
For this reason residents have been told to flush their domestic systems to remove any lurking toxins, but even the best way to do that is open to dispute with experts disagreeing on the best method to use.
Andrew Welton, an environmental engineer from the University of South Alabama, went to West Virginia after the leak. He has been assisting residents to purge their systems, but using different guidelines to those used in West Virginia. For example, he recommends that residents should open windows and doors before starting the process and should use fans to remove fumes from homes. West Virginia officials say this is un-necessary.
Speaking to The West Virginia Gazette he said:
“I can’t believe they aren’t doing this. These issues aren’t being addressed. The long-term consequences of this spill are not being addressed.”
In another twist The commissioner of the Bureau of Public Health, Dr Letitia Tierney DISMISSED Simontons statement and said that the formaldehyde detected was unrelated to the chemical spill.
“Formaldehyde is naturally produced in very small amounts in our bodies as part of our normal, everyday metabolism and causes no harm,” Tierney’s statement said. “It can also be found in the air that we breathe at home and at work, in the food we eat, and in some products that we put on our skin.”
“Your level of what risk you will accept is up to you,” Simonton said. “I can only tell you what mine is, and I’m not drinking the water. (source)
While the arguing over who’s right and who’s wrong, it’s interesting to note that West Virginia officials are blaming the winter for some of the hospital admissions. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s office pointed to many reasons why hospital admissions are rising, namely the inability of a large number of people to wash their hands, which is an odd thing to say if they believe the water is safe to use. Or maybe they have washed their hands, and that’s why they are sick.
“We’re in the middle of flu and virus season,” Dr. Letitia Tierney of the state Bureau of Public Health said in the statement. “While the [hand] sanitizer is good for cleaning, it isn’t great for eliminating a virus. Some people are getting these viruses, as many people do every winter. In addition, a lot of people are getting very anxious. Anxiety is a real diagnosis, and it can be really hard on people and it’s OK to be seen by a health professional to ensure you’re OK.”
West Virginia health officials are playing around with the well-being of 300,000 people. It would be good if they could cut the crap and sort this situation out before someone dies.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!
FEMA Seeking Contractors Who Can Supply Biohazard Disposal Facilities, Tarps and Housing Units With 24-48 Hours Notice
FEMA is seeking contractors who can supply medical biohazard disposal capabilities and 40 yard dumpsters to 1,000 tent hospitals across the United States; all required on 24-48 hour notice. Issued on January 10th, you can see the request here.
The request comes on the heels of other requests that the medical supply industry has received recently.
A request for 31,000,000 doses of pediatric flu vaccine from the CDC Solicitation notice can be seen here.
FEMA also put out solicitation requests for: 100,000 each of winter shirts and pants and the same for summer. Interestingly only 10% of the items are to be in childrens sizes.
From Tarps to manufactured pre-fabricated housing units, the requests for goods and services is a long one. Most of the requests and solicitations have an indefinite delivery date and an indefinite number of items to be supplied, such as this one for beverages. Scroll down to the revised draft solicitation at the bottom of the page for the specific requirements of the request.
So what is FEMA preparing for?
Tent hospitals were the only way the United States coped with the 1918-1920 pandemic as hospitals and medical centers were rapidly overwhelmed with the sick and the dying.
Almost every week we are confronted by a new flu strain, or an emerging disease that could, in the right circumstances, threaten our way of life.
Whatever it is they’re preparing for, those items that do have numbers attached to them indicate they are not ordering enough stuff to ensure the survival of the bulk of the population.
The only way we are going to get through the trials and hardships that are coming our way is by being prepared. The government has proved time and time again they cannot deal with even a regional major incident effectively let alone a nationwide emergency. You only have to look at the aftermath of Katrina and Sandy to see that these people cannot protect you, they don’t have the organizational skills to do so. Just getting water to hurricane survivors was beyond them. They cited ‘logistical’ issues and bad weather.
So, if a national disaster happens on a nice sunny day when there are enough truck drivers to move stuff around we could possibly expect them to perform better. That’s comforting.
I prefer to take action on my own behalf and leave FEMA to ‘assist’ those who never had the foresight to prepare.
Video via Activist Post
- Deadly MERS in Middle East may have spread from camels (cbsnews.com)
- Camel possible MERS virus host: study (nst.com.my)
- Camels eyed as source of deadly MERS outbreak (nbcnews.com)
- Camels prime suspects in Saudi virus outbreak (gulfnews.com)