H5N1 Bird Flu

Posted on: Sat, 03/25/2006 - 12:15am
pgrubbs's picture
Joined: 10/27/2003 - 09:00

I've been hesitant to post this. I am not a chicken little kind of person. I wasn't stockpiling food and water for Y2K. However, I do read newspapers and follow news around the world. I say all that to say I hope this doesn't become a "will it happen" or "won't it happen thread. That's not the point. The point is (I'll link if I can), the CDC, WHO, and governments (even US) is saying H5N1 very well may mutate, as it only needs to make 1 more mutation (from 11) to become transmitted between humans. The US government is saying that families should stockpile food and water (most folks are now saying 3 months worth, though some individuals say up to a year). Pres. Bush did sign the quarantine order that says troops can be used to enforce quarantine for pandemic influenza.

I say all that to ask you to investigate. Many of us were worried about FA Katrina survivors. Imagine if a Katrina-like scenario was in 5,000 communities simultaneously, as Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt is suggesting. With an almost 60% mortality rate, with little sign of attenuating, that's a bad virus!
You might be able to catch a rerun of Oprah's show about it.

Posted on: Sat, 03/25/2006 - 12:56am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

I heard that quote about stockpiling food and water. I wonder to what end since this flu seems untreatable? How is food and water going to help us?
Is it that staying in our homes will protect us? I just don't see that?
We already have stocks because of earthquakes but I plan to put in a bit more.
The whole thing is pretty scary.
I add that if this post makes people worry more I'm deleting it in a few hours.
[This message has been edited by Peg541 (edited March 25, 2006).]

Posted on: Sat, 03/25/2006 - 1:00am
barb1123's picture
Joined: 04/08/2000 - 09:00

This is of particular concern to me as the number of food items that my ds can eat are very limited, specialized and in some cases very expensive (his rice bread costs 9 euro a loaf.). I have tried to stock up but have just moved, things are in chaos and money is very tight.
Even if the virus doesn't mutate to make it easily transmissable to humans if poultry start to die from it here in Ireland I will lose the only source of protein that my ds can eat. He is allergic to everything else except lamb and tuna! Can't give him either every day as he starts having mild reactions. Once a week is fine.
I honestly am in great fear of this particularly because of my son's diet and I worry greatly how I would be able to feed him if this catches us before I have enough money to stock up on his food supplies again!

Posted on: Sat, 03/25/2006 - 1:01am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Hey, I almost got head-on-ed by a mail truck yesterday. I had to honk long and loud *three* times before the person "driving" looked up from sorting mail (while *driving*) and corrected their path. (they were fully in my lane).
It was like: "steep ditch or take the airbag....."
Personally? I'm not going to freak out over "bird flu". You should see what I deal with regularly in healthcare. But hey, maybe that's just me. ~no advice, no recommendations, but I'm glad I'm a compulsive handwasher with no hand/face affiliations.....and a bit of a recluse. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sat, 03/25/2006 - 2:58am
Lebovitz's picture
Joined: 08/28/2005 - 09:00

OK, I am a nut about this! Of course, I have PA issues or I would not be on this site; however, I consider myself an expert on the birdflu. To start, the problem will not be the food chain, but obtaining food from your local chain outlet if panic sets in! Moreover, you need a lot of Tamiflu or Relenza if your physician will write this for you. What is a lot? Normally Tamiflu is given twice a day for 5 days, but a much longer course would probably be necessary. None of this has been indicated as such...yet. If and when the virus mutates, it also may be less virulent! That's good, but the fear generated will cause you to wear a bag of garlic around your neck, say prayers, and buy a lot of canned tuna since no one will want chicken! Devastating to the economy?.....maybe, but I really don't see any of this happening! I only recommend the anti-viral agents if you can obtain them. "Live long and prosper!"

Posted on: Sat, 03/25/2006 - 7:55am
Darkmage's picture
Joined: 10/01/2004 - 09:00

Yes, thinking about the bird flu freaks me out a bit, but then I remember that I can do nothing about it. I have enough stuff to worry about. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
We are not stockpiling food, but I think we would probably pull ds out of school if it actually hits. He brings home EVERYTHING.
It is a little worrisome that one of the top researchers on the bird flu has 3 months of food stockpiled in his home!
[i][b]Allergy Eliminator [/b][/i]

Posted on: Sat, 03/25/2006 - 10:34am
Adele's picture
Joined: 01/31/2005 - 09:00

I also didn't worry about Y2K but I do worry about the bird flu. I heard a doctor on CNN say that there's a 50/50 chance that within the next few years, the bird flu will become transmittable from person to person. Those aren't good odds.
I then went to the CDC's web site ([url]http://www.cdc.gov[/url]) and read what they had to say about it. It's sobering information.
I've decided to stock up...and am encouraging my son and DIL to do the same. I'm shooting for a three month supply of food and some water. I'm on a well plus I'm within 100' of a year round creek so I worry less about water.
Darkmage, the CDC's site says that if it becomes pandemic, you can't count on grocery stores being stocked, mail being delivered, etc.
My grandparents met in 1918 during the great Influenza Epidemic. My grandfather was a roustabout in the circus after returning home from WWI, wounded. The circus was quarantined in my grandmother's hometown. I'm betting that IF it reaches pandemic proportions, we will also have to deal with quarantine that in turn affect delivery of food, gas, etc.
[This message has been edited by Adele (edited March 25, 2006).]

Posted on: Sat, 03/25/2006 - 11:27am
AlwaysAvoidAnaphylaxis's picture
Joined: 06/23/2001 - 09:00

I have purchased masks online that filter out the bird flu virus. The medical types of masks. Two boxes for the kids and one box for the adults. Between our fridge/freezer and second freezer and the pantry, we essentially have 3 months of food in this place. Worth stocking up on bottled water though and more cereals......

Posted on: Sat, 03/25/2006 - 11:28am
Edinview's picture
Joined: 08/25/2003 - 09:00

I am following the progress of H5N1 plus the progress of governments (national and local) to plan for pandemic.
I heard an interview on Public Radio recently with the head of the CDC (I think) who said that as a scientist he could not deal in absolutes very often. Nothing was 100% this or that, but that given world history he could say with 100% certainty that we would have another pandemic maybe or maybe not H5N1, but this was a likely candidate.
My guess is that the stockpiling of food is being recommended because if we do have a pandemic, the less contact you have with others, the less chance of spreading disease, so that if you don't have to go out to the grocery store (or Heaven forfend, the pharmacy - where all the sick people will be), then you have 0% chance of exposure and 0% risk of getting infected. Also, I heard that the trend of retailers these days (grocery stores included) is to only carry about a week's supply of stock, less overhead, less cost of having unpurchased stock, good business sense but disastrous for a community under quarantine since they would starve after one or two weeks.
Now, is the federal government requiring grocers to stockpile more food? Is the Federal government stockpiling food in local caches themselves (besides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave)? Is there a food/drug distribution plan being made? What about handling of the deceased? (I heard it was pretty difficult to safely and respectfully bury the dead back in the last pandemic).
I will be calling my local and state offices to find out what they are currently planning and report back to you. I hope you will do the same because if the answer you get doesn't satisfy, there is still time to demand they get to work on this.
To end on a brighter note: I did see a story on the national tv news that they have a new way to make vaccine. They use cells that are cultured in plastic flasks (so read "expensive!!"). It is quicker to make than the inject/infect eggs with virus . It has protected mice from H5N1. Here's hoping it works on humans and they get it up and running right quick.
[This message has been edited by Edinview (edited March 25, 2006).]

Posted on: Sat, 03/25/2006 - 5:04pm
gw_mom3's picture
Joined: 02/14/2000 - 09:00

It scares me to death and worse, dh doesn't seem to be the least bit worried about it. So if I want to prepare, I feel like I have to do it on my own. We do have a large pantry and a large freezer full of meat. I think that I will clean out the old food from the pantry so that I have room to stock up on canned goods. I don't know where we would store 3 mos worth of water-I bought a couple of big jugs for Y2K and within 2 weeks one of them started leaking. What a mess. We do have a well but if electricity is shut off it won't do us any good. I think that if it's mentioned that it's arrived in the US I will have (force) dh to get a generator and get our gas tanks filled (we live on a farm so we have large tanks and pumps). That way we could at least make the pump work so that we could get water.
My big worry is that something that was previously safe will somehow cause a reaction and we won't be able to go to the hospital for some reason. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
But right now there's not much I can do but read the news and try to be informed.

Posted on: Sat, 03/25/2006 - 11:45pm
Adele's picture
Joined: 01/31/2005 - 09:00

The program I watched on CNN mentioned that in our society, grocery stores are so convenient that the majority of people only have enough food for a week or two.
If a pandemic never happens, it seems smart to have extra food on hand anyway. It won't go to waste if you buy food that you usually eat. Just make sure you date and rotate it.
[This message has been edited by Adele (edited March 26, 2006).]


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