Tuesday, November 07, 2006

oh cock

When I've written about the bird flu virus H1N5 before on this blog, I've been confronted with a certain amount of cynicism that the virus holds any danger at all.
After all, it's killed only about 140 people in the past year or two.
So let's look at the virus that's the grandaddy of H1N5 - the H1N1.
The H1N1 first appeared during World War One, in 1916.
But despite a few deaths here and there, no one considered there was anything to worry about.
In 1917 only 114 people died of H1N1. In 1918 the virus killed, er, hang on let me check this. No, it's right.
The virus killed 50 million people.
In six months.
Most scientists agree that when (not if) H1N5 mutates, world travel (as was the case of the soldiers returning home in 1918) will ensure a greater spread of the diseases, faster.
The number of deaths worldwide will double, every three days.
For three months.
If you try doubling the number 1 thirty times on your fingers (for the 90-day duration of a pandemic), you end up, on your little finger of your right hand, by count thirty, something very roughly in the region of 1 billion people.
Funny how quickly those little numbers become big.
No one can prepare for the mutation, because, duh, it's a mutation.
What is interesting, as well, is that in 1918, the H1N1 didn't attack kids, the fragile, or the elderly.
Nine out of ten victims were aged 25 to 35.
The stronger your immune system is, the more it is likely to overreact to the attack of the virus. And it's the over-reaction that kills you. Eventually your lungs fill with blood and you cop it.
H1N5 acts in the same way.
And those of you grabbing a bottle of Tamiflu (the anti virul drug being stockpiled) may be disappointed to hear that unfortunately, unless the entire world takes Tamiflu for the rest of their lives, the virus will kill as many people as if we never took it at all.
And there isn't enough to take it forever, so, er, there's no point taking it at all.
Anyone feel like chicken tonight? Posted by Picasa


-------MY COPY IS YOUR RIGHT E.R. 2006------- 

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