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May 25, 2006


I've been meaning to ask you: I've seen a lot on how the 1918 pandemic started, but not much on how it ended. And I've been wondering when -- if ever -- we will know that the current situation is over. Was the 1918 outbreak eventually stopped by quarantines alone?

Like the end of flu seasons, it seemed to just stop. The virus may have mutated to a milder form.

The best written source is John Barry's The Great Influenza.

As to when we'd know when it's over... the new cases start dropping in number, assuming we're capable of tracking it..

wow, this is like "flu science for dummies", thanks. I've heard the data in a scientific form, and I couldn't explain it in english

It's like nighmare stuff, but it's real

I've heard people ask "what if" about the flu virus mutating with the hiv virus, and this kinda shows how that isn't a real possibility, and that the flu virus don't need no help to become a HUGE threat

all those "government conspiricy" people are gonna be dissappointed that this isn't coming from some secret government lab

mother nature just has it in for us

If I remember correctly, there was another pandemic in 1962-3. At least the three days I spent in a Tokyo hotel draining my precious bodily fluids made me feel that way.

Your article made it clear why this strain of flu is so deadly.

On the other hand, I read in one article (too long ago to find a link) that some people in areas where avian flu had struck had been afflicted with only mild flu-like symptoms, indicating that mortality rates might be lower than is apparent. Has any investigation been made into these reports, for example, have blood samples been taken of relatives and neighbors of victims and tested for antibodies?

I just read that Indonesia has the first case of person-to-person-to-person transmission of bird flu. From the Malaysian Star (AP):

"But this case may mark the first time bird flu has passed from person to person to person, a top U.S. health official said. The previous clusters all involved someone who was infected by a sick bird and then spread the virus to others. This new cluster appears to involve a cascade of transmission, said Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a telephone briefing from Geneva."

This sounds like a big deal to me in terms of the speed and difficulty of containing any outbreak. What is your take on this development?

A great basic description of the stakes, DemFrom, thanks.

notjonathon , the worst flu seasons are the ones where you get it. No, that wasn't a pandemic year. A real pandemic would be unforgettable.

joejoejoe, It's a huge deal. The first three links in the story directing you to Daily Kos are my take on it. it's not the start of a pandemic, but it's the next check on the checklist.

Great job, DemFromCT. As you may see (blog link), Europe is not taking the "pile tuna" aproach - possibly expecting a mild pandemic?

If American citizens have friends over in Europe, please share your concerns with them.

Great post, thanks DemFromCT.

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