Fwd: Re: [FoRK] avian flu/home grown/PastFutureTense/retraction

Luis Villa luis.villa
Fri Oct 14 11:31:38 PDT 2005

On 10/14/05, Kevin Elliott <k-elliott at wiu.edu> wrote:
> My impressions is that for most viral infections the body is CAPABLE
> of synthesizing effective antibodies.  The issue of survival comes
> down to a race between the bodies ability to adapt and the viruses
> ability to mutate and/or kill the host.  I actually think this bodes
> well for the first world in the case of a catastrophic avian flu
> epidemic- at the turn of the century 1st and 3rd world medicine were
> much closer to each other than they are today.  With the life support
> mechanism available today, I would think we'd be much more capable of
> sustaining life long enough for the bodies natural antibodies to win
> the battle.

Run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore and purchase:


* the problem that caused the most deaths in 1918 was not poor immune
system response; it was an immune system response so overwhelmingly
aggressive that while attacking the virus it coincidentally destroyed
the lungs. That's why more young adults died than old and children.

* in an actual epidemic anything approaching the scale of the one we
saw in 1918, only the tiniest percentage will actually recieve any
medical care at all. All modern american hospitals run as close to
capacity as possible- any unused capacity (aka 'buffer for unusual
emergencies') is actively hunted down, because empty beds cost money.
If the flu comes again, modern medical treatment won't matter because
the vast majority will get ill and die or recover before ever so much
as seeing a doctor. (They'll all be dying too, which won't help.)


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