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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”

Avian Influenza

Main topics can be found within the left column; sub-topics and/or research reports can be found near the bottom of this page.  Thank you

We offer a monthly newsletter dealing with the various issues surrounding infectious diseases.  To find out more click HERE.

   

Much is being stated about this latest threat to the International community

Listed below are several articles concerning this disease and historical articles concerning the 1918-19 Spanish Flu pandemic

 

Document Name & Link to Document

Description

File Size /Type

A Killer Flu

Scientific Experts Estimate the ‘Inevitable’ Major Epidemic of New Influenza Virus Strain Could Result in Millions of Deaths if Preventive Actions Are Not Taken

212 kb pdf

An Investor’s Guide to Avian Flu

 

If investor confidence were to plunge due to a flu pandemic, terrorism or a global financial crisis, I believe that many investors would curse themselves for having reached too far for modestly superior returns at the expense of taking on a significantly greater risk of loss of capital during a market panic. I recommend reading Don and Sherry’s thoughts on this topic with an open mind and then taking the time to complete a risk review of your portfolio strategy. The aim in investing is not to avoid risk; it is instead to ensure that you are managing risk prudently in order to fufill your long-term investment objectives. Market panics occur unexpectedly almost by definition. They occur because confidence has been undermined for any number of reasons. Whether the cause is the Avian Flu or something else entirely, it always makes sense to have a prudent degree of balance in portfolios to help you ride out the storms that can occur in investment markets. Pdf 1257 kb

Asian Bird Flu: Behind the Headlines

To better understand the nature of bird flu and the unique dangers it represents, one needs a fuller understanding of influenza in general—its varieties, its causes, its means of transmission, and its risks. This article seeks to provide that information, so that readers can better put into perspective the headlines on this health risk and the actions being taken against it.

 

Avian Influenza: Economic and Social Impacts

There are two distinct but closely linked levels of potential impacts and costs, associated with the potential stages of the disease.  There is the current situation, with animal-to-animal and limited animal-to-human transmission of the H5N1 avian flu virus, which, however, as it continues, also increases the probability of a second stage, with human-to-human transmission and a global influenza pandemic, with enormously greater costs.  Animal and human health considerations are thus closely linked.

Second, economic and social considerations are an intrinsic part of the problem. Broadly speaking there are two types of economic costs arising from this as from other infectious diseases.  There is the cost of increased illness and death among humans and animals, and there is the cost of the preventive, control and coping strategies adopted by the public and private sectors to avoid or reduce illness and death.  The benefits of the response strategies are the illness and death that they help avert. 

 

Avian Influenza and Business Continuity Management

(All report-increase download time)
Government agencies alone cannot control pandemic influenza and maintain essential services. Advanced preparation by both private and public sector organizations would be critical in controlling a pandemic by ensuring businesses continuity and so helping to maintain the essential functions of society. In addition, the simple infection control procedures and policies discussed in this document can help protect workers against the seasonal influenza and colds that plague the workplace each year. and perhaps against the “next SARS” threat. Pdf 1574 kb

Bird flu – the pandemic clock is ticking

Every year for the past thirty years a new infectious agent, or an old one thought to be under control, has emerged to cause disease in humans.  Nearly two thirds of infectious diseases in humans come from animals, and they are known as zoonoses or zoonotic infections.  Viruses are particularly good at jumping the species barrier because they are able to infect a wide range of animals, including humans.  Some notable examples of viruses that cause zoonoses include rabies, Ebola, Marburg, Lassa, hanta, morbilli and influenza.

 

Cultural Change in the Face of a Pandemic Flu Virus - Can We Do It? New technologies like vaccines and drugs are all plausible responses to the serious threat of a flu pandemic.  However, what these high-tech measures all have in common is high costs with no guarantee of 100% success.  Therefore, in the face of a potentially lethal threat to our lives, and even to our society, should we not consider supplementing high tech innovations with small cultural adaptations?  For example, the elimination of our "hand-shaking culture" would be relatively painless and would reduce the risk of getting and spreading a lethal flu virus. The cost of this "cultural" change would be zero dollars!   
Effects and time line of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic for the United States Map showing how the disease spread across the United States and the timeline for it  
Frist Fans Public Fears of Avian Flu to Ram Through Sweeping Liability Shield for the Drug Industry A proposal to immunize the drug industry from legal accountability for death, disability or sickness caused by the use of pandemic flu vaccines and pharmaceuticals would be a gift to industry, but bad medicine for consumers, Public Citizen said today. The organization’s comments came after Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) renewed his call for passage of legislation, which is being tacked on to a must-pass defense spending bill and has never been debated or voted on in either the House or Senate.  

Illinois and the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic

The Spanish flu, also known as the "Spanish Lady," is said to have originated in the United States at Fort Riley KS, the first of 107 cases being reported on 11 March, 1918. The original source is said to have been in Europe, most likely in Spain. As servicemen were shipped overseas to Europe, they came in contact with the bug. When they began to return home, the epidemic hit the East coast ports like wildfire.  In a short time, the flu made it's way to 46 states, killing more than 500,000 people by December 1918, and leaving 20 million seriously ill citizens to fight the disease.

 

LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR PANDEMIC INFLUENZA State of Emergency.  Under Chapter 639 of the Acts of 1950, the Governor may declare a state of emergency due to (among other circumstances) “the occurrence of any disaster or catastrophe resulting from attack, sabotage or other hostile action; or from riot or other civil disturbance; or from fire, flood, earthquake or other natural causes.”  Because an influenza pandemic can be considered a catastrophe resulting from natural causes, the Governor might decide to declare a state of emergency concurrent with declaring a public health emergency, or without declaring a public health emergency.   

Lessons of 1918-19 Spanish flu epidemic guiding preparedness

As many as 50 million people worldwide died from the Spanish influenza epidemic.  Peterborough wasn't spared as several local residents died due to Spanish influenza or complications associated with it, such as pneumonia. From mid October to early November 1918, local health authorities ordered theatres, schools, churches and other public places in the city closed so people couldn't gather and possibly spread the disease

 

Pandemic flu Clinical management of patients with an influenza-like illness during an influenza pandemic This document is intended for use in the UK in event that the World Health Organisation declares that an influenza pandemic has started,1 and the Department of Health in England (UK-wide lead agency on pandemic influenza, including the devolved administrations) has declared UK Pandemic Alert Level 2 (cases of pandemic influenza identified within the UK). Pdf 1067 kb
Pandemic Influenza Preparation and Response: A Citizen’s Guide Most public health specialists from around the world believe that there will be another human influenza pandemic, a pandemic caused by an avian influenza virus that can cause human illness and has mutated to a form that spreads from person to person. Such a random event has occurred three times during the past century, causing three different influenza pandemics. 861 kb pdf

Remembering the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918

The flu hit Vermont in September at a time when many U.S. soldiers, including some from Vermont, were battling German soldiers in Europe during World War I. Before the flu reached the Green Mountain State, U.S. troops were dying from its effects on the battlefronts. The flu swept into Vermont with a vengeance during the waning days of September. It left as quickly as it came. By the end of October, the epidemic had let go of its grip on Vermont, leaving hundreds dead and changing the lives of countless thousands of others.

These are the tales of the some of the few remaining survivors in Vermont.

 

Spanish flu

The Spanish Flu Pandemic, also known as the Great Influenza Pandemic, the 1918 Flu Epidemic, and La Grippe, was an unusually severe and deadly strain of avian influenza, a viral infectious disease, that killed some 25 million to 50 million people worldwide in 1918 and 1919. It is thought to have been one of the most deadly pandemics so far in human history.

 

Spanish flu epidemic in 1918 in Geneva, Switzerland

In Geneva, Switzerland, the Spanish flu epidemic affected more than 50% of the population. The mortality was higher among those aged between 20–49 years and among men. The socioeconomic impact was very important, as the outbreak led to severe dysfunctions, including in health services. This epidemic shows the socio-economical burden that may be associated with influenza and highlights the need for pandemic preparedness

 

The "Spanish Lady"

Not the "Spanish Lady" of sea-shanty fame but influenza, which may be older than mankind. Through written records we can trace outbreaks of influenza-like disease back to 412 BC. More precise descriptions of the disease date from an epidemic in 1173, since which time there have been numerous outbreaks that have varied in severity. The most intense, to date, occurred in the last year of World War 1: the so-called "Spanish Lady" or "Spanish Flu" pandemic of 1918-19 which infected one billion people, half the world’s population at that time, and killed between forty and fifty million.

 

The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic, and the Hong Kong Incident

By the fall of 1918 a strain of influenza seemingly no different from that of previous years suddenly turned so deadly, and engendered such a state of panic and chaos in communities across the globe, that many people believed the world was coming to an end. It struck with amazing speed, often killing its victims within just hours of the first signs of infection. So fast did the 1918 strain overwhelm the body's natural defenses, that the usual cause of death in influenza patients---a secondary infection of lethal pneumonia---oftentimes never had a chance to establish itself. Instead, the virus caused an uncontrollable hemorrhaging that filled the lungs, and patients would drown in their own body fluids.

 

The Economic Effects of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic

The 1918-19 epidemic was also unique in that a disproportionate number of its victims were men and women aged 15 to 44, giving the age profile of mortality…and leading to extremely high death rates in the prime working ages.  We examine the impact of this exogenous shock on subsequent economic growth using data on US states for the 1919-30 period.

219 kb pdf

The Forgotten Killer

In the ten months between September 1918 and June 1919, 675,000 Americans died of influenza and pneumonia. When compared to the number of Americans killed in combat in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam combined- 423,000- it becomes apparent that the influenza epidemic of 1918-1919 was far more deadly than the war which it accompanied. (Crosby, 206-207) The United States and the rest of the world had been exposed to such epidemics in the past, but never at such a severe cost in human life.

 

The Great Influenza Epidemic of 1918

Amidst a time of war and apparent medicinal improvements, the American people responded to this sudden, strange killer flu with confusion, panic, and new, often useless measures.  An epidemic as great in magnitude as this one had not occurred since the Black Death of 1348-1349.  It affected the whole world and has been dubbed, “one of the world’s worst short-term demographic disasters.”

59 kb pdf

The Influenza Pandemic of 1918

The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed more people than the Great War, known today as World War I (WWI), at somewhere between 20 and 40 million people. It has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. More people died of influenza in a single year than in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351. Known as "Spanish Flu" or "La Grippe" the influenza of 1918-1919 was a global disaster.

 

The Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918 in Ottawa

This paper will introduce influenza and explain the historical 
context of the 1918 pandemic.  It will also present an historical 
overview of past research into the cause of the virus, and then 
look at the 1918 pandemic through the eyes of an 
epidemiologist by applying the ecological framework to the 
virus.  Specific attention will be given to the case in Ottawa.

 

The Spanish Influenza among Norwegian ethnic minorities 1918-1919

Spanish Influenza swept the entire globe in four waves in 
the years 1918-1920, leaving a billion people sick, more 
than half of the world’s population at that time.  It killed 
between 50 and 100 million, five to ten times the death toll 
of soldiers during World War I.

382 kb pdf

THE SPANISH INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC OF 1918 WAS CAUSED BY VACCINATIONS

As has been stated before, all medical and non-medical 
authorities on vaccination agree that vaccines are designed 
to cause a mild case of the diseases they are supposed to
 prevent. But they also know and admit that there is no way
 whatsoever to predict whether the case will be mild or 
severe - even deadly. With this much uncertainty in dealing
 with the very lives of people, it is very unscientific and 
extremely dangerous to use such a questionable procedure
 as vaccination.

 

Was The 'Spanish Flu' Epidemic Man-Made? Mueller said the flu started as a US army bacteriological warfare weapon that somehow infected US army ranks at Camp Riley KS in March 1918, and spread around the world. He says that it "got out of control" but we cannot discount the horrible possibility that the "Spanish Flu" was a deliberate elite depopulation measure, and that it could be used again. Researchers have found connections between it and the current "Bird Flu."  
WHO Outbreak Communication Influenza pandemics are rare but recurring events. They have typically occurred every 10-50 years throughout recorded history. In the 20th century, there were three pandemics: 1918 (caused approximately 40 million deaths), 1957 (caused more than two million deaths) and 1968 (caused approximately one million deaths). Because they bring an abrupt surge in illness and deaths, pandemics frequently overwhelm health services, and can cause severe social disruption and economic losses. Once a fully transmissible human pandemic virus emerges, it is expected to encircle the globe within three months. Because a pandemic strain would be of a new subtype that had not previously circulated in humans, it is thought that it would be dangerous since the vast majority of the population would have no immunity to it. While health care sectors will be the first affected, pandemics tend to cause major social and economic disruption, as large numbers of the work force are affected, creating significant strain on essential services. In turn, this interrupts normal trade and travel patterns. Pdf 739 kb