Bird Flu

Sep 30th, 2005, 02:11 AM
  #1  
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Bird Flu

Hi all,

The threat of Bird Flu is gaining huge publicity with the announcement by the WHO that the world particularly Asia will face a pandemic that could kill from 5 - 150 million people ... Is there a real threat, should asian travel plans be cancelled?
Col86 is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 03:24 AM
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Well, if WHO is really "predicting" such a pandemic I don't think anyone reading this will have the expertise needed to argue the toss with that body, would they?

But the situation seems a little more complex than that - as I understand it, a bird 'flu pandemic will occur only if the virus mutates so that it can jump from human to human rather than, as now, fowl to human. The last I heard, the risk of that happening was assessed at about 1 in 10.

I think there's a body of opinion that another pandemic is inevitable, whether from bird 'flu or some other strain, sooner or later. There's also a body of opinion that San Francisco will inevitably experience another major earthquake, sooner or later. I don't intend to shelve my plan to be in San Francisco next year, but nobody here is likely to take the responsibility of advising you to travel or not travel.

Whatever the case, "Asia" is a very big place. Seems to me that if the bug does start spreading from people to people, with present-day connectedness it could pop up anywhere on the globe within a day or two as easily as in Mumbai or Osaka.

All I can suggest is to consult authoritative sources like WHO, the US Centers for Disease Control and other national health authorities and make an informed decision on this basis. I wouldn't be relying solely on media reports.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 03:38 AM
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Concern about the bird flu has been going on for a couple of years. There probably will be a pandemic someday -- hopefully a vaccine will be created before this one mutates. The CDC is NOT warning people to avoid asia. It is saying you should avoid chicken farms etc (but that doesn't mean you can't cook chicken). And if the pandemic starts it will become worlwide fairly quickly.

Whether you should cancel asian travel is an individual decision. I figure if I worried about all the things that could happen I wouldn't get out of bed.
glorialf is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 05:29 AM
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I was worrying about this too - but from reading more about it, it seems that the recent UN statement contemplates that the outbreak may start in Middle East or Africa due to migratory birds. Another statement I read contemplated spread to Europe via Russia. I.e, it's going to spread whether one visits Asia or not. There doesn't seem to be any advice to avoid travel to the area - visitors to the region do not seem to be the concern here in terms of preventing or tackling a pandemic. Appreciate some views of other more medically aware people though!
Bella_Bluebell is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 06:33 AM
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This question gets answered at least once a week. Do a search here on both bird flu and avian flu.

I'd suggest that you visit www.cdc.gov/travel, as there is a continuously updated section on the avian flu.

WHO and CDC and others are concerned about what would happpen if the avian flu virus mutates so that it can be transmitted person to person. Note that this mutation has not yet occurred.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 07:32 AM
  #6  
 
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Thanks for clarification and website link - I tried searching on this board for both 'bird flu' and 'avian flu' before posting but the search results gave the most recent post as 19 April this year and then a lot of posts relating to 2004. All of which seemed a little bit out of date to rely on? Perhaps I am searching incorrectly.
Bella_Bluebell is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 07:43 AM
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or perhaps the search function is malfunctioning. Sometimes when I search, it only brings up very old posts...
Kathie is offline  
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