H5N1 Kills 70% of Those Infected:Experts Say a Pandemic of this Lethal Flu Strain May be Coming
Not since Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" hit the silver screen
in 1963 have birds been so frightening. That's because Avian Influenza
A Virus (H5N1), or "bird flu" -- once only transmitted between
birds -- has begun to make its mark on the human race ... and some
experts are suggesting it could be the next pandemic, on par with the
devastating Spanish Flu of 1918-1919.
Avian flu that's swept across Asia in epidemic proportions could
soon "evolve into a pathogen deadly for humans," says
Since January 28, 2004 there have been 69 confirmed human cases of H5N1,
and of those, 46 resulted in death, according to the World Health Organization
(WHO). Bird flu has swept across bird populations in Asia, including Cambodia,
Thailand and Vietnam, but according to Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, head of
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), experts believe
the virus is likely to "evolve into a pathogen deadly for humans."
Dr. Gerberding stated, "We are expecting more human cases over the
next few weeks because this is high season for avian influenza in that
part of the world [Asia]."
What Makes H5N1 so Scary?
Bird flu has killed about 72 percent of the people who've contracted
it, says Dr. Gerberding. Since the virus normally infects birds, humans
have little immunity, and therefore little defense, against it. This represents
an extremely high mortality rate, and one from a virus that shows no signs
of slowing. In fact, it's expected to spread. Says the CDC:
"The epizootic [outbreak of disease among many animals] in Asia
is not expected to diminish substantially in the short term, and it is
likely that influenza A (H5N1) infection among birds has become endemic
to the region and that human infections will continue to occur."
Flu viruses are, by nature, constantly changing; that's what makes them
able to adapt to infect and
Symptoms of Bird Flu in Humans
The CDC says the following symptoms have been reported in humans
infected with bird flu:
- · Fever
- · Cough
- · Sore throat
- · Muscle aches
- · Eye infections
- · Pneumonia
- · Severe respiratory diseases (such as acute respiratory
- · Other severe and life-threatening complications
spread among humans. There are currently three known subtypes of human
flu viruses (H1N1, H2N2, and H3N1), but birds also carry these viruses-and
according to the CDC, it's likely that human flu viruses came from birds
In the case of H5N1, most of the human cases have occurred in people
who had contact with infected poultry or contaminated surfaces, but cases
caused by human-to-human contact are thought to have occurred. Experts
concern is that if H5N1 adapts in a certain way, it could easily infect
humans and spread easily from person to person.
This occurrence, the CDC says, could trigger an "influenza pandemic"
-- a worldwide outbreak of the disease.
What if Bird Flu H5N1 Becomes a Pandemic?
The "what if" in the question above is already turning into
a "when." Dr. Shigeru Omi, the WHO's Western Pacific regional
director, said, "We at WHO believe that the
world is now in the gravest possible danger of a pandemic."
The CDC is already preparing for the possibility that H5N1 could become
a pandemic by 2006. "The science here is all alerting us that we
have a great deal to be concerned about," Dr. Gerberding said.
In preparation, a flu team is monitoring the virus spread and the government
has ordered 2 million doses of vaccine to protect against known strains
of bird flu. But if H5N1 were truly to become an
epidemic, something the CDC is already preparing for, it's unlikely that
the government would be able to come up with the vast numbers of vaccines
needed to protect the entire population.
Only 2 million doses of vaccine to fight bird flu have been ordered,
but the CDC's estimated that 40 million to 100 million Americans
could be infected during a new pandemic.
Think about it: the CDC has estimated that should a new pandemic emerge
in the United States, some 40 million to 100 million Americans would be
infected. But only 2 million doses of vaccine are being stockpiled. With
a 72 percent death rate, the odds don't look too good. And that's just
here in the United States. People in other parts of the world would likely
be even worse off.
Even WHO reported that " ... supplies of vaccine, the first line
of defense for preventing high morbidity and mortality, would be grossly
inadequate at the start of a pandemic and well into the first wave of
Tips for Preventing the Flu, Including Bird Flu
While it is human nature both to procrastinate and, if and when something
as dangerous as H5N1 hits, to panic and then try to take drastic measures,
the key to prevention of this or any flu is the little things you can
start doing right now.
Two primary means that flu viruses are passed include contact with an
infected human and contact with a surface such as desktops, doorknobs
or telephones that have been touched by someone infected.
A) Keep Hands and Surfaces You Come Into Contact With Properly
Therefore, simply keeping your hands clean throughout the day is one
important step to reducing your risk of ingesting germs, bacteria and
Eliminating germs from the surfaces in your home and office is also crucial,
and that is why we have repeatedly stressed the following in the SixWise.com
newsletter: common mops, rags and sponges are not only ineffective tools
at cleaning to the microscopic level, but studies have found they are
some of the top locations of germs! Typical cleaning tools, in other words,
can contribute to the problem!
We highly recommend you consider cleaning with ultramicrofiber mops,
towels, dusters, etc., and for your home and office therefore urge you
why the PerfectClean line of ultramicrofiber cleaning tools are a missing
link to your preventive healthcare.
PerfectClean cleaning tools are what leading hospitals and other healthcare
institutions are now using to clean their facilities for three key reasons:
Cleans to Microscopic Level: their ultramicrofiber construction
enables the cloths, mops and dusters to reach deep into microscopic
crevices and remove everything in their path ((NO other cleaning device
comes close to their depth, as you will see in the ultramicrofiber
graphic.) This includes all forms of dirt, dust, hair, dander,
and the biological contaminants too small to see with the naked eye.
Major Money Savers: The hospitals and other institutions
use PerfectClean products a hundred times or more before replacing
... they are far more durable and effective than any other type
of cleaning devides! Plus, the 100% ultramicrofiber construction is
so powerful at eliminating dirt and biological contaminants that you
can use them with only water. If you decide to still use cleaning
solutions, you can use far less (meaning you save more money.)
- Far Easier to Use: Because the "secret" is in the
ultramicrofiber, you don't need to rely on chemical cleaners ...
with the PerfectClean mops you don't constantly need to stoop to a bucket
to wring it out, so you save time and your back! Furthermore, the PerfectClean
mops and dusters are ergonomically designed to be lightweight and simple
Proper Cleaning of Surfaces
Is a Crucial Preventive Step!
DID YOU KNOW? There are
more disease-causing germs in your office than in the toilet. If
you want to protect yourself against the flu and other contagious
diseases, find out The 12 Most Germ-Infested Surfaces in Your Office
and learn why you should NOT rely on typical rags and sponges ...
which can make the problem worse!
About Office Germs & the PerfectClean OfficePurePack Now!
The same way many people once never equated eating right with preventing
disease, it is still an odd notion to some people that cleaning properly
is also key to prevention of flues and many other diseases. We cannot
urge you strongly enough to learn
why PerfectClean is a key to preventive health, and to consider the
line of ultramicrofiber cleaning tools.
Another important step as many readers of this newsletter are more familiar
with is to keep your body strong. That means eat a healthy, antioxidant-rich
diet full of fruits and vegetables, get plenty of sleep and try to reduce
stress as much as possible. This will also ensure that your immune
system is strong, which is essential to fighting off all types of viruses,
Whether or not bird flu becomes a major threat to humans depends largely
on H5N1's ability to adapt, but Dr. Omi brought up another point: An
influenza pandemic is "now overdue" for the world, he
says, as they typically occur every two to three decades. As it stands,
40 years have passed since the last flu pandemic.
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