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The Pre Storm Breeze Of An Approaching Hurricane


4th Horseman

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How is it decided...who lives and who dies,

Maybe, individually, we are allotted so many days of life,

Maybe, as a whole, mankind is only allotted so many days of life.

Quote from - "The Time is Near" - Season 1

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A strain of bird flu that can be deadly for humans has spread from Asia to the fringes of Europe, the European Commission said on Thursday, warning countries to prepare for a potential pandemic.

EU Health and Consumer Protection chief Markos Kyprianou said a strain of bird flu found in Turkey had been identified as the same H5N1 virus that killed more than 60 people in Asia since 2003 and forced the slaughter of millions of birds.

The European Union's executive was also assuming that bird flu found in Romania was the same virulent strain, he said, though further tests are needed to confirm this.

"The virus found in Turkey is avian flu H5N1 high pathogenic virus," he told a news conference. "It's true that scientists caution us and warn us that there will be a pandemic."

Experts fear H5N1 could mutate into a virus which spreads easily among humans, possibly killing millions of people.

The European Commission has banned imports of live birds and poultry meat from both Turkey, where it was discovered at a farm near the Aegean and Marmara seas, and Romania.

Romania said it had detected bird flu in the Danube delta, a major migratory area for wild birds coming from Russia, Scandinavia, Poland and Germany. The birds mainly move to warmer areas in North Africa including the Nile delta for winter.

Romania's chief veterinarian Ion Agafitei told Reuters scientists detected the avian influenza virus in samples taken from three ducks which died last week.

The samples will be sent to a British laboratory, where it could take up to two days to establish the type of virus, British scientist Ruth Manvell said.

THOUSANDS OF BIRDS CULLED

Thousands of birds have been culled in Turkey and Romania to prevent the spread of the disease.

In Turkey, Yuce Canoler of the Poultry and Breeding Stock Producers, told Reuters there was no need for additional measures on top of steps already being taken by Turkey. "We've already tried to take measures by considering the worse case scenarios."

Farm Ministry official Beytullah Okay told CNN Turk there were no plans to widen the current 3-km (2-mile) quarantine zone around the one farm affected to date.

"All the meat from birds killed in the zone by veterinary teams is healthy. Well-cooked, it can be eaten," he said.

Bird flu began sweeping through Thai poultry flocks in late 2003, all but wiping out markets for what was then the world's fourth largest poultry exporter.

Avian flu is currently transmitted to humans only if they eat or live in close contact with infected birds. But scientists say the H5N1 strain is mutating toward a form that could pass between humans.

Kyprianou said the European Commission was considering establishing a 1 billion euro "solidarity fund" to help pay for anti-virals in the event of a pandemic.

He said the Commission had been in talks with pharmaceutical companies about boosting the capacity to produce such drugs.

EU experts on avian influenza and migratory birds will hold an emergency meeting in Brussels on Friday.

The Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health said on Thursday that 3,673 wild waterfowl had died in Iran, but the cause was unclear.

"No pathological agent has been identified yet," it said on its Web site, citing a report from Iran's chief veterinary officer. "No post-mortem lesions are seen in the dead birds; weakness and death are the only evidence."

In Iran, the veterinary authority said no signs of bird flu had been discovered. "We don't know the reason," spokesman Behrouz Yasemi said. "We have quarantined the area."

Bulgaria has tested around 30 birds discovered dead around the country for avian flu but found no cases of the disease, officials said on Thursday.

Greek health authorities were checking a Portuguese-flagged cargo ship near the port of Piraeus after finding suspect dead and living migratory birds on board.

"And behold, a pale horse, and he who sat on it, his name was Death. Hades followed with him. Authority over one fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword, with famine, with death, and by the wild animals of the earth was given to him." REV 6:8

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I have to admit I'm beginning to feel a bit worried.. Some researchers said on the news the other day that the pandemic that killed millions of people in 1918 was also some sort of a bird flu. (It killed my grandfather's father, btw..) Let's just hope that there will be enough vaccine/medicine for everyone, if the disease starts to spread this time..

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I have to admit I'm beginning to feel a bit worried.. Some researchers said on the news the other day that the pandemic that killed millions of people in 1918 was also some sort of a bird flu. (It killed my grandfather's father, btw..) Let's just hope that there will be enough vaccine/medicine for everyone, if the disease starts to spread this time..
DBSD - absolutely, i think we all are keeping our fingers crossed to a certain extent concerning this. As i have said before, when a story that once was buried on page 22 of your local paper suddenly finds it way to the front page, day after day, we begin to fear the invasion of whatever security we have as individuals and as a group.

"And behold, a pale horse, and he who sat on it, his name was Death. Hades followed with him. Authority over one fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword, with famine, with death, and by the wild animals of the earth was given to him." REV 6:8

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dont mean to sound so cold-hearted but as our population growth grows higher and higher the worse it looks. I am still here in Guatemala i see thousands of villages built around Volcanos and the terrain is basically hills made out of dirt. Its a tragedy when flooding or storms hit here but the population is just too big for a small town.

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Guest Frank L.

I'm also getting more worried by the day. I think it's the fear of it getting closer. If H5N1 really mutates, we could be in some serious trouble. Holland isn't that far away from Romania. Every time I see a dead bird, it creeps me out...

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I'm also getting more worried by the day. I think it's the fear of it getting closer. If H5N1 really mutates, we could be in some serious trouble. Holland isn't that far away from Romania. Every time I see a dead bird, it creeps me out...
The virus has already made the leap from animal to human, time will only tell if the virus's mutations fall within antigenic drift, which are small mutations in the protein substrate, occurring fairly regularly, similar to the flu season, which usually require yearly innoculations with a vaccine adjusted to the new antigen. All flu viruses go thru some form of drift, causing sporadic outbreaks from year to year.

The biggest worry is that this virus will go thru the stage of antigenic shift, which is the process by which two different strains of influenza combine to form a new strain. There are 3 distinct types of the influenza virus, A, B, and C. B and C are isolated ONLY to humans, which minimize their changes of mutations. Shift ONLY occurs in influenza type "A", because it infects more than just humans, birds being the primary carriers of the strain. The reason shift is so devestating is that should two different strains of influenza combine to form one "super-strain", the human immune system will have trouble identifying the new strain, therefore making it extremely dangerous.

There have been examples of antigenic shift in the past, the infamous Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918 which killed 40 million people worldwide. Influenza virus which have undergone antigenic shift have also gone on to cause the Asian Flu pandemic of 1957, the Hong Kong Flu pandemic of 1968, and the Swine Flu scare of 1976.

What is particularly bothersome to me, is that scientists are now considering the danger presented by the H5N1 virus to the degree that they have re-animated the virus from the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918 in order to study its behavior. Is this a sign that the scientific world is VERY VERY concerned about a possible pandemic outbreak worldwide? I guess only time will tell...

in closing, if anyone has a better understanding of viral mutation, please enlighten us. I have done my best to dust the cobwebs from my memory banks in trying to offer a synopsis, my biology degree filed somewhere in the unremarkable stacks of documents in the garage. Knowledge is the key, and the more we know beforehand, the better prepared we are IF it comes knocking on our door..

The Fourth Horseman..

post-1098-1129221369_thumb.jpg

"And behold, a pale horse, and he who sat on it, his name was Death. Hades followed with him. Authority over one fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword, with famine, with death, and by the wild animals of the earth was given to him." REV 6:8

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Guest Frank L.

Did you know the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) already started with experiments to create a mutation of the bird flu virus in March 2005?

The six-month series of experiments seeks to simulate the mixing and matching of genes from the H5N1 avian flu virus that has plagued Asia and a common human flu virus that public-health experts fear could turn avian flu into a pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

CDC scientists inside an ultra-secure laboratory have started swapping the genes of the H5N1 avian virus with the genes of an H3N2 virus, the strain behind most recent human flu outbreaks.

The goal is to substitute the eight genes of each virus, one by one, with the eight genes from the other virus to see which of more than 250 possible combinations create flu viruses that could spread easily among humans.

But I think they're not telling us everything. It happened before in China, when the authorities had hidden the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) for months. First there WAS bird flu in Romania, then NOT, now it's there again, and it's the H5N1 variant.

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Did you know the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) already started with experiments to create a mutation of the bird flu virus in March 2005?

The six-month series of experiments seeks to simulate the mixing and matching of genes from the H5N1 avian flu virus that has plagued Asia and a common human flu virus that public-health experts fear could turn avian flu into a pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

CDC scientists inside an ultra-secure laboratory have started swapping the genes of the H5N1 avian virus with the genes of an H3N2 virus, the strain behind most recent human flu outbreaks.

The goal is to substitute the eight genes of each virus, one by one, with the eight genes from the other virus to see which of more than 250 possible combinations create flu viruses that could spread easily among humans.

But I think they're not telling us everything. It happened before in China, when the authorities had hidden the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) for months. First there WAS bird flu in Romania, then NOT, now it's there again, and it's the H5N1 variant.

I see a bad moon a' rising, i see trouble on the way...

If i recollect, there seemed to be questions of just how secure the environment was, not only in that the virus was re-animated, but also in just how the information was diversed throughout the different agencies. If i recall, there was a section in this particular article that quoted one of the scientists saying that information was being shared via e-mail..hopefully encrpyted, but still, imagine the panic and chaos this would cause should it find itself in a terrorist's hands. This is the first time in history that a "dormant" virus has been brought back to "study"..

By the way the breakdown of the H5N1 is as such..

Influenza type A viruses are divided into subtypes based on two proteins on the surface of the virus. These proteins are called hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N). The current subtypes of influenza A viruses found in people are A(H1N1) and A(H3N2). - From CDC website (I cant remember everything!!)

So, that means H5N1 has 5 hemagglutinin proteins and 1 neuraminidase protein...

The Fourth Horseman...

There currently is no vaccine to protect humans against the H5N1 virus that is being seen in Asia.

www.cdc.gov/flu

"And behold, a pale horse, and he who sat on it, his name was Death. Hades followed with him. Authority over one fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword, with famine, with death, and by the wild animals of the earth was given to him." REV 6:8

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the vaccine was given to me by the government so i will survive all muatated viruses

(oops sorry for a minute there i thought i was in a MM epi)

i agree to a extent about these epidemics but also believe it will pass. What here in America when it was discovered wasnt a plague brought over from Europe and wiped out Indian tribes. These things happen but life continues. I wouldnt be too scared or panic.

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Guest Frank L.

Maybe this is stupid what I'm about to say, but can't there be other variations created through mutation? As you said, Fourth Horseman, Influenza has two types of proteins (H and N). Couldn't the number of both H and N start to vary when it mutates and so become more dangerous/deadly? Ofcourse it would take a while for the virus to mutate in such dramatic ways...if it's even possible...

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