Fwd: Re: [FoRK] avian flu/home
Fri Oct 14 12:03:46 PDT 2005
At 14:31 -0400 on 10/14/05, Luis Villa wrote:
>* 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.
Interesting. Wouldn't life support still allow sustained life in
this situation? I assume lung function is compromised but still
functional. The problem is an inability for the lungs to pull in
sufficient Oxygen per breathe. How would a patient respond to being
put on Oxygen?
>* 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.)
Strongly disagree. I simply don't see it going down this way.
Capacity is easy to create- you throw people who don't HAVE to be
their out. You set up tents in the parking lot. You ration
doctor/nurse time aggressively. You bring in outside assistance.
I simply do not see avian flu as a realistic threat in the USA.
-It's transmission vectors are well understood.
-Proper quarantine procedures are well understood.
IF you could somehow get into to start all across to US, all at once,
and in 100,000+ people, the potential for disaster is real, but I
DON'T see how that could happen. Once what's going on is recognized
the response would be quite fast- patients are quarantined, medical
personal are shifted from unaffected areas to assist, the problem is
contained, and the problem dies out. I don't see how it could go
down any other way.
Arguing with an engineer is like wrestling with a pig in mud.
After a while, you realize the pig is enjoying it.
Kevin Elliott <mailto:kelliott at mac.com>
AIM/iChatAV: kelliott at mac.com (video chat available)
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