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Timely Book On Bird Flu 174

Posted by kdawson
from the take-care-out-there dept.
Lifelongactivist writes, "A new free book about bird flu has been published by Michael Greger, M.D., the US Humane Society's director of public health and animal agriculture. Bird Flu: a Virus of Our Own Hatching (the site contains the entire book text) tells why modern industrialized agricultural methods, including factory farming, antibiotics misuse, and the use of animal refuse as a food source (!) for chickens and other livestock, have led to a staggering increase in the number of 'zoonotic' diseases that can leap from animals to people, and make a bird flu pandemic likely. The book discusses in practical terms what you can do to prevent infection and what to do if you do catch the disease. The book is especially timely given yesterday's news that a new, vaccine-resistant variant of H5N1 has been detected in China."
Update: 10/31 19:44 GMT by KD : Corrected to read "vaccine-resistant."
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Timely Book On Bird Flu

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  • by llib_xoc (667319) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @01:54PM (#16662065)
    Actually, there is a very similar home treatment recommended here: http://www.fluwikie.com/uploads/Consequences/NewGu ideOct7b.pdf [fluwikie.com] It's called Oral Rehydration Therapy, and I'm getting together the ingredients this week.

    Another preparation that's recommended is that you have a surgical face mask to avoid breathing in the virus, and to avoid spreading it if you're infected but not showing symtoms. Here's a reference: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/infectioncont rol/maskguidance.htm [cdc.gov]

    I've heard several speakers on this topic recently, including Dr. Michael Osterholm of Univ. of Minn., and it's just a matter of time before avian flu, specifically H5N1, comes to your town (and everybody's). Several city administrations that I'm familiar with (including Plymouth and Minneapolis, MN, and Alameda, CA) are making specific preparations, mainly around "how do we operate the city when 30-40% of our staff are out sick themselves or busy at home caring for their family members". Alameda is preparing centers to distribute vaccine, once one is available.

    Here's an interview with Dr. Osterholm: http://effectmeasure.blogspot.com/2005/06/osterhol m-were-screwed.html [blogspot.com]
  • by radtea (464814) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @02:16PM (#16662443)
    modern industrialized agricultural methods, including factory farming, antibiotics misuse, and the use of animal refuse as a food source (!) for chickens and other livestock, have led to a staggering increase in the number of 'zoonotic' diseases that can leap from animals to people, and make a bird flu pandemic likely

    Which claim raises the question: why is it that flu pandemics always originate in the Far East, where none of these things are prevalent?

    The conventional wisdom is that in the Orient there is far more routine contact between human beings and food animals, and far less emphasis on maintaining a relatively hygenic environment in the places where such contact occurs. Part of this is cultural (some food animals in China are typically sold to consumerss while still alive) and part of it is economic (factory farming is capital intensive, and agriculture has tended to lag other industries in industrialization. The transfer of viruses between humans and animals made possible by this routine contact is what produces cross-species pandemics.

    On the other hand, factory farming keeps animals pretty much completely isolated from humans (and the outdoors, freedom to move, wild grasses, and everything else.)

    So while I'm no fan of all aspects of modern factory farming, I have very little doubt that it is at least partly responsible for the relative scarcity of flu pandemics that originate in the West.

    The article itself is just fud, and the person submitting it is not an environmentalist, but rather just another religious kook who has wandered into the wrong movement.

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