IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories » 9/11 Conspiracy Theories
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags avian flu , big pharma , Big Pharma conspiracies , medical conspiracies

Reply
Old 17th June 2007, 02:57 PM   #1
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 92,453
Ostepath claiming bird flu is plot to make $$$

FOWL! Bird flu—What it’s really all about, (link to review article).

This is a year old. It came up on another forum. I searched for a thread on the topic or on this woman's book but found none. So if there is one, bump it and I'll post there.

This is nothing new. But it came up in a flu thread on the CurEvents forum. (Post #22. Nice forum, BTW.) Typical Big Pharma conspiracy claim, including the usual anti-vaxer nonsense.

Since there is little evidence bird flu is being spread by wild birds, this idiot claims that is evidence the pharmaceutical companies are behind it. Nothing mentioned of course that the current consensus among those who have intelligent discussions of bird flu's spread is that the majority is being spread by commercial transport of birds and bird products. Most of the spread has been through illegal importing of chicks and eggs. Apparently this is incredibly widespread. And a little bird flu has also been spread by exotic bird smuggling.

Quote:
She became suspicious of the pharmaceutical industry and government agencies developing vaccines to "protect" people from bird flu. Taking into consideration her knowledge of communicable diseases and the self-evident failure of mandated vaccination programs to prevent diseases, Dr. Tenpenny has uncovered amazing links behind the bird flu hype not previously discussed. Her research will be published in her new book, "FOWL! Bird Flu—It’s Not What You Think, (link to the book on Amazon)" which [has been] available [since] April, 2006.
That Amazon book review needs some rebuttal entries, sheesh!

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 17th June 2007 at 03:08 PM.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th June 2007, 10:43 PM   #2
gumboot
lorcutus.tolere
 
gumboot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 25,327
I cannot take an investigation of such a serious matter seriously when there's such a terrible pun in the title.

-Gumboot
__________________

O xein', angellein Lakedaimoniois hoti tde
keimetha tois keinon rhmasi peithomenoi.


A fan of fantasy? Check out Project Dreamforge.
gumboot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th June 2007, 11:37 PM   #3
jhunter1163
beer-swilling semiliterate
 
jhunter1163's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Connecticut, or King Arthur's Court. Hard to tell sometimes.
Posts: 25,550
It seems like every few years there's a new "scare" disease that's going to cause the next pandemic. Swine flu was supposed to be the killer, then Legionnaire's, then Ebola, then SARS, now bird flu. This too shall pass.
__________________
A mse nce bit my sister
jhunter1163 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2007, 12:47 AM   #4
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 92,453
But j, if you knew the science of it, you'd know what was real and what was news hype. Don't assume just because the news media doesn't have a clue that infectious diseases are not a potential hazard.

SARS would have killed millions a mere decade ago. It was the first time in history we actually used scientific knowledge to stop a deadly pandemic in its tracks.

Legionnaire's was worrisome until we learned more about it, as was the 4 Corners outbreak of Haanta Virus. Ebola was never a worry for Westerners but poses serious threat to the areas in the world who can't even wash their hands in the hospitals, no running water. Swine flu was a mistake by the scientific community, but the others were only mistakes in the way the media portrayed them.

Bird flu remains a very serious threat. The scientific community has never really claimed to know what the time frame was going to be. In the last few months, the virus has drifted a tiny step closer to human spread but the research has yet to be published. It has been verbally reported by a researcher to others. It has spread to half of Africa, all of Asia, most of Eastern Europe and continues to infect humans. Several strains now exist, all equally deadly. All attempts to rid countries of the virus where it became firmly established have failed. So don't get too cocky. It ain't over til it's over.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2007, 05:00 AM   #5
Gravy
Downsitting Citizen
 
Gravy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 17,078
Originally Posted by jhunter1163 View Post
It seems like every few years there's a new "scare" disease that's going to cause the next pandemic. Swine flu was supposed to be the killer, then Legionnaire's, then Ebola, then SARS, now bird flu. This too shall pass.
This may or may not pass. That a pandemic will arrive again is a near-certainty. There was the Asian flu in the '50s, the Hong Kong flu in the '60s, cholera in the '60s.

We are blessed by the ability to quickly learn what is happening around the world. If doctors in 1918 had foreknowledge of the severity of the Spanish Influenza, which killed perhaps 50 million people in a few months, should they not have taken every precaution to prevent or slow its spread?

On the other hand we have Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, who should be charged with practicing stupidity without a license:
Quote:
My research was guided by two main questions: Who benefits the most from all the dead, rural chickens and why is this concentrated in humans living in Asia?
It must be a conspiracy that she hasn't received the Nobel Prize for medicine.
__________________
"Please, keep your chops cool and dont overblow. Freddie Hubbard
Gravy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2007, 06:39 AM   #6
Zep
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 26,704
Quote:
My research was guided by two main questions: Who benefits the most from all the dead, rural chickens and why is this concentrated in humans living in Asia?
She did her field studies here!
Zep is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2007, 06:43 AM   #7
T.A.M.
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 20,795
Flu is not to be taken lightly. While the majority of healthy adults will survive it, a pandemic would kill thousands, perhaps tens of thousands or more of the elderly, and thousands of infants and young children.

And Gravy is absolutely right, the arrival of another pandemic of the flu is only a question of when, not if.

TAM
T.A.M. is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2007, 07:19 AM   #8
gumboot
lorcutus.tolere
 
gumboot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 25,327
I don't entirely agree with the Influenza Pandemic scares. I think the doom-saying fails to take into account just how unique the 1918-19 Influenza Pandemic actually was.

Labs that have produced controlled specimens of that particular strain have reported that it is an absolute monster of a virus, nothing like anything around at the moment.

It was a very unique set of circumstances that produced the pandemic. The first obvious factor is World War One. The trenches of the Western Front were a literal virus breeding ground. While the virus wasn't created by the trenches, this environment allowed for a rapid spread amongst a large number of people, allowing for rapid mutation into a dangerous strain. The other factor is it appeared at the end of the war. Millions upon millions of men left that narrow strip of land and returned home to the farthest corners of the world, where the virus spread rapidly. Quarantine methods were poor, and anyone with influenza-like symptoms (which includes virtually every illness there is, including the common cold) was quarantined along with infected people.

That's why we got the Pandemic. Even so, it only killed 2.5% - 5% of the world's population.

The worst Pandemic we've had is the Black Death, which wiped out about 1/3 to 2/3 of Europe's population in the mid 14th century (England lost as estimated 70% of its population). This is an excellent case study for a "worst case scenario", because the Black Death had a close to 100% mortality rate. Even so, this catastrophe was not solely the product of a pandemic - it was a disaster waiting to happen.

Throughout the preceding centuries, Europe's population exploded due to an extended warm period. The population density reached at the end of the 13th Century would not be matched by much of Europe until the 19th Century. At the same time grain yields had been falling, and food prices climbing. Then, at the beginning of the 14th Century, northern Europe suffered the worst weather of the entire Middle Ages, with extremely cold winters and wet summers. In 1315 the rain continued through all of Spring and Summer, thus the grain could not ripen. Food prices skyrocketed. This resulted in the Great Famine of 1315-1317. The wet weather continued, and millions starved. Cannibalism and child abandonment (think Hansel and Gretel) appeared across Europe. Populations did not begin to increase again until 1325 when food supplies finally stabilised.

And then, a decade later, the Black Death arrived.

What history tells us is that devastating pandemics do not appear suddenly without warning. They come on the tail end of preceding devastating events that weaken the population and leave it ripe for a catastrophe.

-Gumboot
__________________

O xein', angellein Lakedaimoniois hoti tde
keimetha tois keinon rhmasi peithomenoi.


A fan of fantasy? Check out Project Dreamforge.
gumboot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2007, 07:24 AM   #9
T.A.M.
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 20,795
Agreed, and the chances of us having such a virulent, deadly pandemic as those you have mentioned is slim. Not all pandemics are as such. My comment stands, however, that a world wide outbreak of influenza, in a virulent strain enough to cause death in the tens of thousands is going to come eventually.

As it is, yearly the flu kills thousands of people anyway.

Your knowledge of the circumstances around the outbreaks is quite impressive gumboot.

TAM
T.A.M. is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2007, 07:35 AM   #10
gumboot
lorcutus.tolere
 
gumboot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 25,327
Originally Posted by T.A.M. View Post
Agreed, and the chances of us having such a virulent, deadly pandemic as those you have mentioned is slim. Not all pandemics are as such. My comment stands, however, that a world wide outbreak of influenza, in a virulent strain enough to cause death in the tens of thousands is going to come eventually.

As it is, yearly the flu kills thousands of people anyway.

Your knowledge of the circumstances around the outbreaks is quite impressive gumboot.

TAM


My apologies, I am limiting my definition of "pandemic". I agree with you completely. I guess I am more looking at the catastrophic scale pandemic that kills a significant percentage of the total population - like the Spanish Flu or the Black Death. I bring this up because many are playing the "doom" card and implying that level of danger. In fact the New Zealand government has.

In my doctor's clinic there was a poster about Avian Bird Flu from the Ministry of Health which suggested a pandemic could kill huge numbers. I saw the same thing with the SARS virus.

I'm not saying there can't or won't be larger outbreaks that constitute pandemics. I agree with you that it's a case of "when" not "if". But I don't think it's possible for a population-depleting pandemic to occur without preceding circumstances that result in the population already being vulnerable.

It's kind of like, if you're fit and healthy you'll still get a cold, but it won't be bad. If you have just been sick and have a low immune system, and then get a cold, you're liable to become much sicker and get secondary infections, etc.

I think if we were hit with a series of pandemics one after the other, that could make us vulnerable to another pandemic causing this sort of disaster.

I also think other things like wars could result in a pandemic causing this sort of catastrophic situation in a limited region, say if there was an influenza pandemic and people in Darfur or Somalia caught it.

-Gumboot
__________________

O xein', angellein Lakedaimoniois hoti tde
keimetha tois keinon rhmasi peithomenoi.


A fan of fantasy? Check out Project Dreamforge.
gumboot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2007, 02:28 PM   #11
Arkan_Wolfshade
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,154
Too bad there isn't a vaccine against stupid.
Arkan_Wolfshade is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2007, 03:25 PM   #12
Civilized Worm
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,718
Isn't osteopathy a plot to make $$$? I guess maybe it takes one to know one.
Civilized Worm is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2007, 03:29 PM   #13
jhunter1163
beer-swilling semiliterate
 
jhunter1163's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Connecticut, or King Arthur's Court. Hard to tell sometimes.
Posts: 25,550
Originally Posted by Civilized Worm View Post
Isn't osteopathy a plot to make $$$? I guess maybe it takes one to know one.

Not quite. Osteopaths can do most anything MD's can. They can, at least in Connecticut, prescribe drugs and perform surgery in addition to doing manipulations.

Chiropractic, on the other hand, is ridden with scam artists.

ETA: And, to respond to the earlier posts, I would agree that a pandemic is inevitable at some point. I don't think bird flu is the next one though. It seems to have largely dropped off the radar, much as SARS did. We may not be so lucky next time.
__________________
A mse nce bit my sister

Last edited by jhunter1163; 18th June 2007 at 03:32 PM.
jhunter1163 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2007, 04:23 PM   #14
maccy
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,094
Originally Posted by Civilized Worm View Post
Isn't osteopathy a plot to make $$$? I guess maybe it takes one to know one.
Originally Posted by jhunter1163 View Post
Not quite. Osteopaths can do most anything MD's can. They can, at least in Connecticut, prescribe drugs and perform surgery in addition to doing manipulations.

Chiropractic, on the other hand, is ridden with scam artists.
Having said that, it does seem to depend on the Osteopath:

http://www.quackwatch.org/04Consumer.../QA/osteo.html

And if you look at Doctor Tenpenny's Practice Website, it's obvious that she's parted company with evidence based medicine.

ETA: Check out the her recommended books, Kevin Trudeau is there...

Last edited by maccy; 18th June 2007 at 04:33 PM.
maccy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2007, 05:06 PM   #15
T.A.M.
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 20,795
Can Osteopath's write prescriptions for ALL MEDICATIONS in Connecticut, and perform what kind of surgeries? AFAIK, they are not trained to the same degree as we are, but I will plead an little ignorance on the subject.

TAM
T.A.M. is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2007, 06:45 PM   #16
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 92,453
Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
I don't entirely agree with the Influenza Pandemic scares. I think the doom-saying fails to take into account just how unique the 1918-19 Influenza Pandemic actually was....

It was a very unique set of circumstances that produced the pandemic. The first obvious factor is World War One......

What history tells us is that devastating pandemics do not appear suddenly without warning. They come on the tail end of preceding devastating events that weaken the population and leave it ripe for a catastrophe....

-Gumboot
You have one hypothesis, but it lacks the evidence revealed from advances in genetic science. As far as the unique circumstances in 1918, all pandemics have unique circumstances. The question is, which of those circumstances just give that pandemic a particular flavor, IE coincidental circumstances, and which of those unique circumstances were actually required for that particular event to have occurred?

Influenza doesn't need the unique circumstances of WWI to circulate every single year around the world. It doesn't need the unique circumstances of WWI to kill. It kills 20-40,000 every year just in the USA. And in 1918, the fatalities increased considerably in an age group not normally susceptible to fatal influenza. Unless those deaths were weary soldiers only (and they weren't) then it wasn't simply a matter of the population which differed. In addition, WWII didn't end with 50 million flu deaths. And, soldiers in some countries today live in conditions similar to those of the US and European soldiers during WWI without greatly increased flu fatalities such as those in 1918.

So it is more likely that the difference was the virus' lethality above all else.

The things which gave the 1918 pandemic its flavor included spread by large troop movements. Today we have jet travel. It marched from town to town in 1918. Today we have rapid dispersal. People work many miles from where they live rather than closer to home. Movement of people is in a tangled web pattern rather than more limited movement of growing up, living and dying in the same small town your parents lived.

Now add to that what genetic research is revealing about influenza. Read the first two links (they are short) to get an idea of the complex exchange of genetic material as H5N1 is tracked across the countries it is currently become endemic in. The second two links are 2 paragraph summaries of what has been discovered. I only left out the rosy, "and so we are developing products...blah blah blah" parts from the quotes.

H5N1 Evolution in Indonesian Alternative Reservoirs

H5N1 Evolution in Indonesia

Viral Evolution
Quote:
Viruses can evolve in a short time frame. .... To rapidly evolve, viruses use recombination, which involves swapping of genetic information within specific genes. This is accomplished by a "copy choice" method in cells infected by two distinct viruses.

The recombination mechanism recycles polymorphisms in various combinations. These polymorphisms have already been selected over millions of years, and the virus simply creates new combinations to evade immune surveillance or drug treatments. Recombination follows specific rules that can be used to predict the sequence of emerging viruses.
Paradigm Shift
Quote:
The analysis of recombination will generate a paradigm shift in the way molecular evolution is viewed. Influenza is an ideal system for studying molecular evolution. Viruses are generally thought to evolve via shifting and drifting. Shifting occurs when viruses swap genes and drifting was thought to be due to a steady accumulation of mutations.

However, rapidly evolving viruses simply recycle old mutations via recombination. This method is much more efficient and follows specific rules. These rules appear to be followed by all viruses, including influenza, HIV, SARS, WNV.
So what you have are genetic markers that emerged in one strain (because mutation does continue) turning up in a number of other strains in a short period of time. A little bit of Africa here, a little bit of Indonesia there and so on. All the while many of these particular HPAI H5N1 strains retain their lethality and their propensity to cross the species barriers and infect mammals in particular.

I suggest you stay tuned.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2007, 06:51 PM   #17
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 92,453
Originally Posted by maccy View Post
...And if you look at Doctor Tenpenny's Practice Website, it's obvious that she's parted company with evidence based medicine....
No kidding. She's apparently treating autism with chelating agents to remove toxic heavy metals. You have to wonder how she ever got a degree.

Quackwatch says this about Chelation and Osteopathy:
Quote:
Chelation Therapy

Chelation therapy is a series of intravenous infusions containing EDTA and various other substances. Proponents claim it is effective against atherosclerosis and many other serious health problems. However, no controlled trial has shown that chelation therapy can help any of them. Chelation therapy with EDTA is one of several legitimate methods for treating cases of lead poisoning, but the protocol differs from that used inappropriately for other conditions. To its credit, the AOA has adopted a negative position statement on chelation therapy:

WHEREAS, chelation therapy utilizing calcium disodium edetateis currently labeled by the Food and Drug Administration and recognized by most physicians as medically acceptable only in the management of acute or chronic heavy metal poisoning; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that pending the results of thorough, properly controlled studies, the American Osteopathic Association does not endorse chelation therapy as useful for other than its currently approved and medically accepted uses. Adopted 1985, revised and reaffirmed, 1990, 1995 [11].

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 18th June 2007 at 06:54 PM.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th June 2007, 08:21 PM   #18
gumboot
lorcutus.tolere
 
gumboot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 25,327
Originally Posted by skeptigirl View Post
Influenza doesn't need the unique circumstances of WWI to circulate every single year around the world. It doesn't need the unique circumstances of WWI to kill. It kills 20-40,000 every year just in the USA. And in 1918, the fatalities increased considerably in an age group not normally susceptible to fatal influenza.

I made no claim that influenza does not kill normally. Of course it does. The Spanish Flu was so severe because it bred itself in the trenches of WWI.


Originally Posted by skeptigirl View Post
Unless those deaths were weary soldiers only (and they weren't) then it wasn't simply a matter of the population which differed.

You missed my point. The Trenches provided the breeding ground, with a large, weak population to grow in. Those soldiers headed home, and infected the ENTIRE population. And a primary reason for the high numbers of deaths was quarantine methods which put uninfected people in with infected people. In 1918 there was no way of determining what kind of illness a person had. The first viral test kit - for the Epstein-Barr virus - was developed by Gull Laboratories in the 1970's. If you stick a sick uninfected person in a room full of people infected with the virus, of course they're going to contract it and die.



Originally Posted by skeptigirl View Post
In addition, WWII didn't end with 50 million flu deaths. And, soldiers in some countries today live in conditions similar to those of the US and European soldiers during WWI without greatly increased flu fatalities such as those in 1918.

A statement like that reveals just how ignorant you are of conditions in the trenches of the Western Front. No war, before or since, has resulted in conditions like that. Slightly more men returned from WWII than WWI, but whereas the vast majority of WWI combatants had been located in a narrow strip, in the same abysmal conditions for years, combatants from WWII were spread across the entire globe in a rapidly changing front. In addition, advances in troop morale and medical research determined that those fighting in WWII were make better looked after (relatively speaking) than soldiers in WWI.

I challenge you to find me a single military conflict today that bears even remote resemblance to the Ypres Salient of late 1914 - 1918.




Originally Posted by skeptigirl View Post
So it is more likely that the difference was the virus' lethality above all else.

The things which gave the 1918 pandemic its flavor included spread by large troop movements. Today we have jet travel. It marched from town to town in 1918. Today we have rapid dispersal. People work many miles from where they live rather than closer to home. Movement of people is in a tangled web pattern rather than more limited movement of growing up, living and dying in the same small town your parents lived.


At the end of World War One 57 million men, many of them infected with Spanish Flu, returned home and infected their nations. That amounts to about 3% of the world's population at the time.

Today, an estimated 750 million people travel by air every year - 12.5% of the world's population. Certainly this offers a method for rapid spread of the virus. The thing is, that's not enough. In the case of WWI, the vast majority of those 57 million men were from the same 100 mile wide strip of land which was infested with the virus.

The 750 million travelling every year by air not only go to every corner of the world, they COME from every corner of the world. By and large, they don't come from places with highly concentrated outbreaks of the virus already present.

In 1918 you had 3% of the world's population in one small area, infected with the virus, and then in the space of months, these people returned home all over the world. Such a scenario is highly unlikely to occur now. I cannot think of a single reason 180 million people all from one localised place, would travel all over the world in a short space of time. Can you?

In summary:

1) The Spanish Flu was provided with a large concentrated population (constituting a significant percentage of total global population) with very low immunity in which to grow and mutate itself virtually unhindered.

2) This population then spread itself across the world in a very short space of time.

3) Sick but uninfected people were quarantined with infected people and not treated.

The above are the unique circumstances that produced the 1918/19 Pandemic. These circumstances are highly unlikely to recreate themselves in today's society.

1) There is no current concentration, nor any logical reason for producing such a concentration, of a significant percentage of the world's population, with very low immunity and no action to prevent spread of the virus.

2) There is no reason for a large concentration of people from multiple countries, thus no reason for a rapid international spread of infected population, even were condition 1) met. Large concentrated populations with low immunity and poor healthcare tend to be poor population groups who cannot afford travel to other countries.

3) Modern treatment methods are far superior to those of 1918/19. Viral test kits were first developed in the mid 1970's, thus medical practitioners can determine precisely what virus a person has, and treat them accordingly. Those with other illnesses can also be identified, rather than being concentrated with infected persons.

Will a flu pandemic occur? Yes. Depending on how you define it, they occur every year. Will a flu pandemic kill a significant (+1%) percentage of the world's population? highly unlikely.

-Gumboot
__________________

O xein', angellein Lakedaimoniois hoti tde
keimetha tois keinon rhmasi peithomenoi.


A fan of fantasy? Check out Project Dreamforge.
gumboot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th June 2007, 12:41 AM   #19
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 92,453
Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
I made no claim that influenza does not kill normally. Of course it does. The Spanish Flu was so severe because it bred itself in the trenches of WWI.
Besides your personal hypothesis, which other experts agree with you here?

Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
You missed my point. The Trenches provided the breeding ground, with a large, weak population to grow in.
Just what grew there Gumboot, that wouldn't grow in every third world country today?

Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
Those soldiers headed home, and infected the ENTIRE population. And a primary reason for the high numbers of deaths was quarantine methods which put uninfected people in with infected people.

In 1918 there was no way of determining what kind of illness a person had. The first viral test kit - for the Epstein-Barr virus - was developed by Gull Laboratories in the 1970's. If you stick a sick uninfected person in a room full of people infected with the virus, of course they're going to contract it and die....
Your premise is that more people were infected leading to more deaths. Regardless of the accuracy of the epidemiology in 1918, the evidence does not support that speculation. If you think it does, provide some experts who agree with you, or explain why you know something influenza experts have not considered.

Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
...A statement like that reveals just how ignorant you are of conditions in the trenches of the Western Front. No war, before or since, has resulted in conditions like that. Slightly more men returned from WWII than WWI, but whereas the vast majority of WWI combatants had been located in a narrow strip, in the same abysmal conditions for years, combatants from WWII were spread across the entire globe in a rapidly changing front. In addition, advances in troop morale and medical research determined that those fighting in WWII were make better looked after (relatively speaking) than soldiers in WWI.

I challenge you to find me a single military conflict today that bears even remote resemblance to the Ypres Salient of late 1914 - 1918.
Relax a minute, stop acting like your ego is at stake here. It isn't. But you are relying on your preconceived notion of what happened in the 1918 flu pandemic and it lacks expertise in virology.

I know what the trenches were like. I also know what the third world is like and what the influenza virus is like. I work every day with infectious disease. Find me a source of expertise that agrees with your hypothesis or explain why you have it figured out and the virologists who know the most about pandemic flu haven't supported your hypothesis. That would give your hypothesis more credibility.

But without corroborating expertise, you are simply drawing conclusions from a lay person's perspective. And the experts in influenza are suggesting a different hypothesis. The viral evolution is the key here, not WWI conditions in the trenches.

Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
At the end of World War One 57 million men, many of them infected with Spanish Flu, returned home and infected their nations. That amounts to about 3% of the world's population at the time.

Today, an estimated 750 million people travel by air every year - 12.5% of the world's population. Certainly this offers a method for rapid spread of the virus. The thing is, that's not enough. In the case of WWI, the vast majority of those 57 million men were from the same 100 mile wide strip of land which was infested with the virus.

The 750 million travelling every year by air not only go to every corner of the world, they COME from every corner of the world. By and large, they don't come from places with highly concentrated outbreaks of the virus already present.

In 1918 you had 3% of the world's population in one small area, infected with the virus, and then in the space of months, these people returned home all over the world. Such a scenario is highly unlikely to occur now. I cannot think of a single reason 180 million people all from one localised place, would travel all over the world in a short space of time. Can you?

In summary:

1) The Spanish Flu was provided with a large concentrated population (constituting a significant percentage of total global population) with very low immunity in which to grow and mutate itself virtually unhindered.

2) This population then spread itself across the world in a very short space of time.

3) Sick but uninfected people were quarantined with infected people and not treated.

The above are the unique circumstances that produced the 1918/19 Pandemic. These circumstances are highly unlikely to recreate themselves in today's society.

1) There is no current concentration, nor any logical reason for producing such a concentration, of a significant percentage of the world's population, with very low immunity and no action to prevent spread of the virus.

2) There is no reason for a large concentration of people from multiple countries, thus no reason for a rapid international spread of infected population, even were condition 1) met. Large concentrated populations with low immunity and poor healthcare tend to be poor population groups who cannot afford travel to other countries.

3) Modern treatment methods are far superior to those of 1918/19. Viral test kits were first developed in the mid 1970's, thus medical practitioners can determine precisely what virus a person has, and treat them accordingly. Those with other illnesses can also be identified, rather than being concentrated with infected persons.

Will a flu pandemic occur? Yes. Depending on how you define it, they occur every year. Will a flu pandemic kill a significant (+1%) percentage of the world's population? highly unlikely.

-Gumboot
I offered you an entire avenue of new revelations genetic science has discovered about influenza. You've ignored it and stuck with your initial hypothesis. You can't seem to grasp the fact you are speculating with only half the expertise and those with much more expertise are not pursuing your hypothesis. This isn't my speculating vs your speculating. I am trying to share some incredible new discoveries about the evolution of the influenza virus with you and the other members of the forum.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th June 2007, 02:53 AM   #20
jhunter1163
beer-swilling semiliterate
 
jhunter1163's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Connecticut, or King Arthur's Court. Hard to tell sometimes.
Posts: 25,550
Originally Posted by T.A.M. View Post
Can Osteopath's write prescriptions for ALL MEDICATIONS in Connecticut, and perform what kind of surgeries? AFAIK, they are not trained to the same degree as we are, but I will plead an little ignorance on the subject.

TAM
In Connecticut, osteopaths can prescribe all drugs, including narcotics and investigational drugs (all DEA schedules). They can perform surgery, but at least in our practice that is limited to relatively simple procedures like joint cyst drainage, colon polyp removal, etc. They are not trained to the same degree as an MD; four years after receiving bachelor's in any discipline (pre-med is not required). They don't receive extensive training in pharmacology or surgical technique. They devote a lot more time to orthopedics, manipulative technique, vascular things, and a liberal dose of woo (Still's work, etc.)

We have a couple of them in our practice, and I would have to say that I rate them below the MDs in terms of competence. One of them misdiagnosed my case of shingles, and that misdiagnosis led to me getting Bell's palsy and losing mobility on the right side of my face for a while. I then went to my MD who immediately saw the problem and started me on appropriate treatment.

So, OK, I may be biased, but I stand by my assertion that a DO is an MD Lite.
__________________
A mse nce bit my sister
jhunter1163 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th June 2007, 04:46 AM   #21
gumboot
lorcutus.tolere
 
gumboot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 25,327
Skeptigirl I just want to reiterate that my remarks are specifically in regards to the likelihood of a catastrophic Influenza pandemic. I am not debating the likelihood of an especially deadly strain of Influenza, nor the likelihood of an influenza epidemic.

I have no dispute with the information you have provided (Which incidentally I have read). I am not trying to propose an alternative hypothesis for the evolution of the Spanish Flu.

The bottom line is, in order for any infectious disease pandemic to be catastrophic, a lot of people have to be infected. If you set a figure that 2% of world population would be a catastrophic event, as an absolute minimum 2% of the world's population have to be infected. As the mortality rate of the infectious disease decreases, the percentage of people that need to be infected to reach that 2% also increases.

The only two documented catastrophic pandemics in human history that I am aware of are the Black Death of the mid 14th Century and the Spanish Flu of 1918/1919. I would classify the Black Death as significantly more catastrophic than the Spanish Flu.

My issue, therefore, with the H5N1 virus (or any other future infectious disease) is not that it could be deadly, and not that it could be a pandemic. My issue is with the idea that it will be catastrophic. Not to see there won't be future catastrophic pandemics. There could very well be. But I think it is exceedingly unlikely. I think figures such as billions dead - which some people have claimed are a possible outcome from an H5N1 pandemic - are even less likely.

My reasoning for this is that both the Black Death and the Spanish Flu did not appear in isolation. Certain event-specific conditions pushed the pandemic into the catastrophic category.

Half of the equation is the disease itself. How infectious is it, and how deadly? A highly infectious and very deadly disease is more likely to produce a catastrophic pandemic than a disease that is hard to transmit and has a low mortality rate. H5N1, for example, certainly appears to have the potential to be both deadly and highly infectious.

This aspect deals with spread of the virus between individual humans. Is it spread through body fluid? Blood only? Coughing? Physical contact, etc. This aspect comes into play once a disease enters one member of a specific social group. How quickly will it spread to other members of the same social group. This has to do with the biology of the virus itself, but also the biology of the members of the social group.

For the purposes of this, a social group is considered a group of people with frequent direct contact - people you live with, friends, work colleagues, family, etc.

But the other half of the equation is how rapidly the virus is spread amongst different social groups. This aspect it not a matter of the biology of the virus itself. It is a product of human behaviour and social dynamics.

I maintain, in the example of the Black Death, specific factors (mass starvation and malnourishment) within the biology of the social groups contributed significantly to the catastrophic progression of the pandemic. Once a member of the social group became infected, the weak and sick members of the social group would quickly succumb.

In the example of the Spanish Flu, unique factors (starvation, sickness, stress, tiredness, malnourishment, injury, poor medical treatment, etc) within the biology of one particular social group (WWI soldiers) contributed significantly to the progression of the disease within that social group.

In the modern day, I do not believe specific factors of this nature are likely to be present in all social groups. Most of the western world is relatively healthy, hygienic (except my flatmates ), and has access to reasonable medical care.

However, in the modern world, specific social groups are more vulnerable. For example refugees, people suffering from famine, people living in areas with poor medical care and sanitation, and so forth.

In the example of the Black Plague, unique aspects of the social groups and their interaction also contributed to the catastrophic progression of the pandemic. Medieval European communities were dense networks of villages, and the members of these communities had constant close interaction with other members of the community. The Great Famine resulted in displacement of large populations, and an increase in criminal activities and overall population movement.

In the example of the Spanish Flu, again the soldiers of WWI are a key social group. They were a highly concentrated social group, allowing for high rates of transmission between members. But a normal social group is relatively stable. In contrast, this particular social group completely dispersed and ceased to exist at the end of WWI. The members returned to their former social groups, allowing for high rates of transmission between social groups.

What was significant about this was how significant a percentage of the population it was.

In contrast, there is the modern age.

A large percentage of the modern population move between social groups. However, unlike in the example of WWI soldiers, these travellers do not originate from a single social group. Thus infection of a single large social group is less capable of quickly spreading to infect multiple social groups. In In addition, people are less likely to travel when sick, thus an infected person is less likely to travel. In addition, those social groups which are more vulnerable to infection are also less likely to travel. In the example of the Spanish Flu, the especially vulnerable and highly infected group - WWI soldiers - were the most likely to travel.

Social dynamics of today are very different to Medieval Europe. Social group interaction is significantly decreased. For example, in Medieval times a typical peasant would closely interact with 400 - 1000 people on a daily basis. In contrast, most modern citizens of western nations only interact on a daily basis with a very small group of people (very close friends, people we live with, and people we work with).

Essentially, while there is greater interaction between social groups, there are many more social groups, and they are much smaller. This limits the disease's ability to spread.

A final key factor is advancements in medical science, understanding of pandemics, and infectious diseases, and a generally better understanding of hygiene.

As we saw with the SARS virus, humans are capable of significantly restricting the spread of a virus. When an outbreak occurs, they are capable of quickly limited the spread. This happens both an an inter-group level and an intra-group level. For example governments can limit air travel, or establish quarantines, and individuals can restrict their own movements, to reduce spread between social groups. And individuals on a daily basis restrict the spread of illness between members of the same social group (not going to work when you're sick, not visiting friends, etc).

The specific study of pandemics and particular infectious diseases continually offers up a wealth of new information which will aide in the prevention of future pandemics.

For the reasons outlined above, I argue that a catastrophic epidemic in the modern world is exceedingly unlikely.

-Gumboot
__________________

O xein', angellein Lakedaimoniois hoti tde
keimetha tois keinon rhmasi peithomenoi.


A fan of fantasy? Check out Project Dreamforge.
gumboot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th June 2007, 07:29 AM   #22
Civilized Worm
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,718
Originally Posted by jhunter1163 View Post
Not quite. Osteopaths can do most anything MD's can. They can, at least in Connecticut, prescribe drugs and perform surgery in addition to doing manipulations.

Chiropractic, on the other hand, is ridden with scam artists.

ETA: And, to respond to the earlier posts, I would agree that a pandemic is inevitable at some point. I don't think bird flu is the next one though. It seems to have largely dropped off the radar, much as SARS did. We may not be so lucky next time.

But osteopathy is woo isn't it?
Civilized Worm is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th June 2007, 10:24 AM   #23
jhunter1163
beer-swilling semiliterate
 
jhunter1163's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Connecticut, or King Arthur's Court. Hard to tell sometimes.
Posts: 25,550
Originally Posted by Civilized Worm View Post
But osteopathy is woo isn't it?
Chiropractic is far more woo than osteopathy. There are chiropractors who believe they can treat everything but rigor mortis. Osteopaths tend to be more like MDs in their treatment practices.

As far as the underlying science, I'm not versed enough in osteopathy to say, but chiropractic bears a strong mark of woo. Read the writings of D. D. and B. J. Palmer if you doubt me (and if you have a strong stomach).
__________________
A mse nce bit my sister
jhunter1163 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th June 2007, 11:03 PM   #24
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 92,453
I am talking about a catastrophic pandemic, Gumboot.

I'll read the rest of your post after the Daily Show.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th June 2007, 01:08 AM   #25
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 92,453
Too late to edit, so here's the rest:

I am talking about a catastrophic pandemic, Gumboot.

I understand what you believe made the difference in the 1918 influenza pandemic and the plague centuries earlier. I believe you are concluding certain contributing factors were key, while naively failing to recognize the contributing factors specific to the organism and not just the conditions of the population, but the specific susceptibility of the population to a novel organism. And I asked you, not for a more detailed explanation of your opinion, but for evidence other experts agreed with your conclusions.

Two things in particular you are failing to consider are the infectiousness of the organism and the specific population immunity. We don't know how infectious H5N1 will become. We do know it is infecting a particularly broad range of species. This is unusual.

We do know how much specific resistance there is to H5N1 in the human population, virtually none.

You consider the widespread malnutrition during the plague and the specific conditions in WWI as the major factors contributing to those historical pandemics. Widespread malnutrition certainly isn't rare, nor is it absent today. And if you want a comparable variable to throw in the mix which could amplify a new influenza pandemic, then I suggest you take a look at the HIV pandemic. It's rather short sighted to think only conditions in the US and Europe would affect a worldwide influenza pandemic. Current conditions in Africa, India, Asia, and Eastern Europe are poised to amplify a novel deadly influenza strain more than sufficiently to spill over into Western countries.

And since the vast majority of the population will be susceptible, there is no barrier to large numbers of people falling ill except our health care system. That system only has a certain capacity. If exceeded, we may indeed see the next historical pandemic within our lifetimes.

AVIAN FLU TO HUMAN INFLUENZA
Quote:
A growing concern is the recent identification of H5N1 strains of avian influenza A in Asia that were previously thought to infect only wild birds and poultry, but have now infected humans, cats, pigs, and other mammals, often with fatal results, in an ongoing outbreak. A human pandemic with H5N1 virus could potentially be catastrophic because most human populations have negligible antibody-mediated immunity to the H5 surface protein and this viral subtype is highly virulent. Whether an H5N1 influenza pandemic will occur is likely to hinge on whether the viral strains involved in the current outbreak acquire additional mutations that facilitate efficient human-to-human transfer of infection. Although there is no historical precedent for an H5N1 avian strain causing widespread human-to-human transmission, some type of influenza A pandemic is very likely in the near future.
And, while there is no historical susceptibility to H5 in the human population, that is a two sided coin. One can speculate something is preventing H5 from becoming a human pathogen, or one can shudder because the human population has virtually no resistance to this strain.

Those conditions you are focused on may not be present in the US and Europe today, but they most certainly are present in the third world. It isn't like we have influenza pandemics in the 3rd world all the time and only in 1918 did it effect the Western world. The 1918 pandemic affected the entire planet. Why should only the conditions in Europe and the USA be the critical factors in a worldwide pandemic?

The critical factor facing us today with regard to H5N1 isn't the human condition, it is the fact relatively few humans have any resistance to H5N1. It only needs to adapt to humans. The fuel for a conflagration is in place.

History tells us novel infectious organisms routinely devastate populations. The rabbit calicivirus disease introduced into Australia to control the wild rabbit population is a field tested model. Upwards of 90% of the rabbits died before the rabbits resistant due to genetic variation were able to recover and re-establish the population.

The indigenous peoples of the Americas were devastated by measles and smallpox introduced into the population by Europeans and as much as 95% of the population perished.

Tuberculosis disease per case of tuberculosis infection is still more common among Pacific Islanders and Native Americans because it was introduced into those populations more recently than the European population. It is also more frequent in 3rd world countries because of conditions of poor health and poor public health infrastructure.

I do not expect H5N1 to wipe out 90% of the human race, even though historically, it is possible. But to think it doesn't have the potential or isn't likely to become a pandemic rivaling 1918 or the plague is a conclusion which is naive based on a lack of expertise in the conditions conducive to a major pandemic. The most critical factor isn't malnutrition or life in the trenches. You can find similar conditions somewhere in the world at any point in time. The most critical factor is pre-existing resistance to an organism within the population.

All H5N1 needs to do is adapt to humans. And considering the way it has been progressing, that is looking more and more likely every day. Throw the HIV pandemic into the mix and no one can predict what will happen.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 20th June 2007 at 01:11 AM.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories » 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:23 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.