Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mata Mexicano: What the new flu is and what it isn't.

First off, at least for now, it AIN'T Captain Trips. And that's a good thing.

I may be going out on a limb here, but I think it's important to get this out since panic can kill just as easily as inaction.

From a variety of sources, including some in Homeland Security, this is what I think I know:

It is a unique strain of swine flu combining genetic material from pigs, birds and humans in a way researchers have not seen before.

CDC officials described the virus as having a unique combination of gene segments not seen before in people or pigs. The bug contains human virus, avian virus from North America and pig viruses from North America, Europe and Asia. It may be completely new, or it may have been around for a while and was only detected now through improved testing and surveillance, CDC officials said. -- Associated Press

It is apparently transmitted both by contact and aerosol (coughing, etc.) Because of its characteristics, it was thought by some that it might be a designer, i.e. weaponized, virus deliberately set loose. This is now thought unlikely for two reasons: first, it is not universally deadly and second it apparently responds to Tamiflu and Relenza.

Roche, the maker of Tamiflu, said the company is prepared to immediately deploy a stockpile of the drug if requested. Both drugs must be taken early, within a few days of the onset of symptoms, to be most effective. -- AP and confirmed by DHS/CDC sources (MBV)

The cat is out of the bag, and this flu will run its course across the world. There will be no quarantine containment. DHS believes the Mexican statistics are certainly understated as to size of infected population and death rate (6% claimed, likely at least double that). Of the few US cases admitted, none have died. The difference may be that a. DHS is trying to keep a lid on panic by understating statistics, b. that the increased comfort distance of Americans versus Mexicans minimizes spread, (Also, Mexicans are more likely to kiss each other and shake hands than the average American) or c. that American access to excellent health care and early intervention plays a key role in survivability.

The fact that the Mexicans report that the mortality of the virus seems to hit hardest at the 25 to 45 year old range is consistent with the 1919 flu pandemic and this as much as anything has scared folks in DHS.

The defensive protocol seems to be N-95 or better medical masks (get them while you can, they'll be drying up by next week when the panic really hits) and access to Tamiflu. Handwashing, of course. Stock in hand sanitizers should shoot through the roof. Wear masks when out. (Although there is some argument about definitive utility of masks, it is certainly better to be masked than not.) Depending upon how bad this gets (and especially whether it mutates again into something more vicious) stock up on things you don't want to have to go out to get: fuel, food (don't forget the pets), bottled water, etc. (This flu, though a swine variant, reportedly hits harder with vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration than classic swine flu.) Make no unnecessary trips. (Home schoolers got it made.)

A question to a friend with DHS sources about protocol brought this response:

"Yup, The CDC standard. It doesn't seem to have any "mythical" Hollywood movie qualities. Seems to be most lethal in the 21 to 45 age group...the folks at CDC are all over it, but can't draw an conclusions yet. Most curious is combining ability of so many different virus into one "bug." Could be a test bed gotten loose, for a different bio-warfare bug we haven't seen yet. We'll see. Good news on this one is that it really doesn't like Tamiflu and other anti-virals, and there are lots of those available. Take within 48 hours of symptoms showing and you should be good to go."

I am waiting for more information from a variety of sources and will pass it along as I get it. In the mean time, take preps. Get those N95 or better masks first, and get them to fit all your loved ones. Remember, they're expendable items like ammo and lose their efficacy after a while. Buy as many as you can afford. The ones that fit smaller faces are available (for now) though harder to find.



j said...

Hygiene precautions are certainly good... I wonder why it would hit hardest at people who are in the healthiest years of their lives? Perhaps just because they are more socially interactive? School, work, shopping?
But two thoughts are troublesome to me.
One - as mentioned, the possibility of something either 'escaping' before it was ready in the weapon development sense, or the possible release to observe effect, rate of spread, etc. Back when the lettuce / tomato / California based spred of salmonella bit last year, a number of people wondered if these were simple tests to see how far a bio-weapon would spread through food distribution and sales.

Two - Although it has been covered up, ignored by media and downplayed as a danger ( by democrats of course, who see illegal immigration only as providing more dwellers on the democrat plantation ) - several friends who live in Texas and Arizona began reporting a steady increase in numbers of tuberculosis and in smaller numbers, incidents of poliomyletis, in border areas which were known as conduits for illegal immigrants. The uncontrolled migration of people from any nation with inadequate health policies and widespread diseases which may be transmitted in a mutated for... this is an unpleasant thought.

Uncle Lar said...

Frighteningly reminiscent of John Ringo's book "The Last Centurion" where we get hit with the triple whammy of pandemic flu, global cooling, and a disfunctional incompetent airhead in the Whitehouse.
Now in his story it's an avian killer flu originating in China with 50% mortality coupled with a severe drop in average temps due to a decrease in solar activity, so the only thing he got more or less spot on was the POTUS bit and his officeholder just happened to be female. Still and all a whole lot of similarities.
Warning, the book is told first person in blog format by a serving soldier who isn't shy about using "salty" language so not safe for the faint of heart or kids.

Anonymous said...

This could certainly turn out to be a boon for Roche shareholders, during this time of economic uncertaintly.

This flu is almost certainly naturally occurring. But if it is not, there are a very short list of folks who would benefit from this or similar health situations.

j said...

Technically, the author wasn't that far off in having a POTUS who has no cojones :o) Seems to me he hit that part right!

deadbolt said...

"there are a very short list of folks who would benefit from this"


You refer to the current corporate slave state infrastructure and their elite controllers.

deadbolt said...

Mike, thanks for the tips on N95 masks and Tamiflu.

Jay21 said...

do not forget, the "flu" is not fatalm in the 6-60 age group they are warning. The ability to not break fever and rehydrate can be fatal. there is NO scare other than the perpetrated in the media.

David Codrea said...

Just make sure you don't run afoul of any local mask ordinances...:)

BrianF said...

After seeing this in the news yesterday I began rereading John M. Barry's The Great Influenza- The story of the deadliest pandemic in history.
This book scared the crap out of me. So many people dying, and the workforce not willing or able to work, meant that loved ones who died at home ended up wrapped in a sheet on the front porch for days until somebody came to pick them up.
By the way, it wasn't the flu that killed so many during the 1919 Pandemic, it was the Pneumonia that hit after they appeared to be on the road to recovery.

Loren said...

There was a study a while back on how humidity affects how easily flue spreads. It would probably be good to look up:

As for the age range, the damage from flu is less from the virus as to the body's response to the virus. Young, healthy people have stronger immune systems, and so the overreaction to these infections is stronger.

There have been a few studies of taking care of flu with immunosuppressant drugs. You might also talk to your doctor about this approach, since IIRC the studies had a higher survival rate than traditional therapies.

Anonymous said...

j3mccabee said

"I wonder why it would hit hardest at people who are in the healthiest years of their lives? "

I'm not a doctor, but the way I have heard it explained is like this. Some viruses cause a major reaction in people with healthy immune systems, so much so that the immune system starts attacking the body itself trying to destroy the virus. Therefore, people in the prime of their life with strong immune systems have hyper immune reactions to the virus and it is in fact their own immune system that kills them rather than the virus.

Unknown said...

The first nine chapters of The Last Centurion:

Grumpyunk said...

"The outbreak coincided with the President Barack Obama’s trip to Mexico City on April 16. Obama was received at Mexico’s anthropology museum in Mexico City by Felipe Solis, a distinguished archeologist who died the following day from symptoms similar to flu, Reforma newspaper reported."

Quoted from Bloomberg News 4-25-09

AvgJoe said...

The simple fact that a flu gets to a point that it can be passed from person to person is a milestone for that flu in question.
The fact that it has two strains of pig and two of bird and one of human brings into question the source.
Most flu's die off by themselves before they get much of a foothold. That's because they become weaken as they reproduce. This is key to understanding how a flu runs its course. But for five different flu bugs to take hold at the same time is beyond anything we have seen.
This new Mexican flu could run its course and burn itself out in short order. As for now its a waiting game to see the direction it takes. Its far too early to make any calls yet other than to secure the border with Mexico. I know this will bring undue hardships on drug dealers and other criminals but they are just going to have to live with it for a few days.

Dr.D said...


Possibility of Bio-Terrorism in Swine Flu Outbreak
April 25, 2007 | freedomfighter1013

Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 8:51:39 AM by FreedomFighter1013

In a discussion this morning with a cell biologist and medical doctor working at Johns Hopkins, my friend thought this 4-part flu combination is highly unusual and looks like it could be man-made. Especially because it has an avian strain. My doctor friend (he's Taiwanese) explained that in Asia, it's common for a avian-swine-human flu to happen naturally, but this virus first showed up in Mexico, where pigs and ducks are not usually raised together. Also, recombination of more than 2-different flu viruses is extremely rare. I'm just repeating what he said as an expert in the field. He says the CDC needs to explain if there is a possibility that we are under a bio-weapon attack.

From CDC via Wikipedia: Anne Schuchat, director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said that the American cases were found to be made up of genetic elements from four different flu viruses -- North American swine influenza, North American avian influenza, human influenza A virus subtype H1N1, and swine influenza virus typically found in Asia and Europe. For two cases a complete genome sequence had been obtained. She said that the virus was resistant to amantadine and rimantadine, but susceptible to oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza).[22][23][24] Preliminary genetic characterization found that the hemagglutinin (HA) gene was similar to that of swine flu viruses present in U.S. pigs since 1999, but the neuraminidase (NA) and matrix protein (M) genes resembled versions present in European swine flu isolates. Viruses with this genetic makeup had not previously been found to be circulating in humans or pigs, but there is no formal national surveillance system to determine what viruses are circulating in pigs in the U.S.[25] The seasonal influenza strain H1N1 vaccine is thought to be unlikely to provide protection.[26]
My wife who was a Laboratory Animal Tech, who is currently a live stock liaison with the Tn. Agency that over sees disaster response and makes an effort to keep up with this sort of stuff makes the following observations
1) While some genetic exchange of virus strains can happen in nature,
this combination of 4 distinct strains ( one from Asia) has an extremely low order of probability of occurring naturally.
2) Apparently this version responds to early treetment with conventional Antivirals ( Tamaflue and Relenza).
3) Also it appears that while it's a nasty but it's not any where near
100% fatal ( reports vary wildly between 6% and 20%) Other factors
affecting the lethality have yet to be taken into account.
4) Like the 1918/19 epidemic it seems to be primarily attacking those in the 21 to 45 year range ( official reports) yet there are confirmed cases in children.
5) All the cases so far in the US have responded to treatment and there have been no deaths ( yet).
6) Consequently she considers this unquestionably either a Bio warfare
attack, the premature release of a bio warfare agent in development, or possibly the accidental release of a Collage Genetics lab ( no malicious intent).
This could be the big one or it could peter out in a few weeks.
It's best to treat it as if it were the big one, don't panic, watch what is happening and do prepare to hunker down for 30-60 days to wait it out.
Hopefully it will fizzle.
Also remember what Rahm Emmanuel said "never let a good crisis go to


closed said...

Apparently the Mexicans hadn't gotten the word that you don't mix intense ( low acreage+high yield ) pig and fowl animal husbandry on the same property ... it was exactly this that caused the high mortality rate Hong Kong flu epidemic in the late 1960's.

And Now Obama might be part of the PatientZero/US cohort?


Anonymous said...

Uncle Lar,
Ringo may have two out of three--most real scientific evidence that is untainted by the political agenda points to global cooling. The Sun is very quiet and the data is consistent with a solar minimum. Dr. David Archibald's site has great papers, easy to read and not too difficult to understand that explain the data.

Vote For David said...

So this type of avian/swine/human combination is common in Asia . . . well, I guess it's a good thing nobody from Asia could have visited Mexico.

. . . oh, wait.