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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 01:45 PM
Original message
Litmus test on whether or not the Swine Flu is as deadly as it's said to be:
How young people in the U.S. infected by the virus are affected by it. We're being fed reports of bunches of young, healthy Mexicans dying from Swine Flu; if the virus truly is so lethal as to cause those deaths, there should be a similar phenom among young people here in the U.S.

That doesn't mean the Swine Flu can't still be dangerous -- especially if elderly or already-unhealthy people become infected -- but something to think about.
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skooooo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. Here's what someone told me...

..and I think it makes sense.

People in Mexico may be catching it straight from the animals. In the US it's spreading people -to-people which leads to a less virulent strain.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. what's the evidence for people catching it directly from animals -
especially since mexico city seems to be a center?
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skooooo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. just a theory...

They don't have animals in the city? Bet they do. More open markets, etc.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #4
18. not too many live pigs in the markets; not so many markets as there used to be.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #4
38. Mexico City is an urban area much like NYC or LA
with high rises, apartment complexes and a more elaborate subway system than NYC (by far.) There are as many "open markets" with animals in any US city as in Mexico City.


no pigs

no pigs

no pigs

no pigs
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Last time I was in Mexico City was 1976. It has changed a lot since then! nt
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. Thank you. That was a very polite, informative post
much better than I would have done
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robdogbucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #38
42. The beauty of Mexico City is obvious
and so is the fact that there is a lot of backyard livestock within Mexico City:

The keeping of small numbers of animals in the backyards of the house is part of a Mexican tradition which goes back to the prehispanic epoch (Cossio, 1965), and later was enriched during the conquest with the introduction of European domesticated species (Romero, 1990). The backyard fills a large range of objectives: transformation of household wastes into food for family consumption, such as meat and eggs, savings and finance in times of economic emergencies of the nuclear family, and lastly, similarly to the case of the orchard, as an experimental laboratory for the introduction and adaptation of new varieties or species of animals. Despite the importance of this system for peasant families in the majority of countries in the world, information from the literature permitting the understanding of this system is limited. Previous studies carried out by our research group show animals to have divergent roles in the family economy: birds were used for household consumption, while pigs provided financial support to the family budget (Losada et al 1997). In the south-east of Mexico City, the limited urban development has allowed the activities related to agriculture to form a source of income and a form of life of an important sector of the population. In this sense, it is considered relevant to study the backyard with the objective of understanding its productive dynamic, which may allow its subsequent use in programmes for sustainable development

http://www.cityfarmer.org/livestock.html

"Rsum / Abstract
PCV2 antibodies have been found in pigs from all continents. However, this finding has been mainly studied in domestic swine reared under intensive production conditions. Mexico City, with a human population over 19 million in 2005, has both urban and rural areas. The pig production in its rural area is based on small family backyard farms. Taking into account this rather unique form of rearing pigs, the objective of this study was to determine the seroprevalence in backyard pigs from the rural area of Mexico City..."

http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=18801752

"...Other species of animals that have found a new habitat within Mexico City include pigs and poultry. These are kept within the backyards of family homes. Our research has reported that producers keep an average of 3 pigs and 26 birds per household, but there are some individuals who manage up to 60 pigs, all kept within the family. The type of pigs and poultry reared include native breeds as well as specialised breeds originating from mechanised farming systems - Yorkshire and Hampshire breeds in the case of pigs, Rhode Island and Leghorn in that of poultry. Their nutrition is based on the use of food wastes available from the city including kitchen wastes, stale bread and tortilla, left-over tortilla dough, chicken guts, and fruit and vegetable wastes from the markets, amounting to 4000 tonnes per day..."

http://www.cityfarmer.org/mexico.html


Now you have the whole picture.


robdogbucky


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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. There's a lot of backyard farming in urban Texas as well. More than I saw when I was living in D.F.
The poster guessed that all (I believe 800+) cases in Mexico City itself were from contact with pigs. Given the demographics of Mexico City, this is highly unlikely. It also smacked of presumption about Mexico and its people.

I lived in Mexico in 92 and 94, worked and travelled all over the city and beyond. Can't say I saw much swine. I'm not casting aspersions on pig breeders either, my own partner was a champion duroc (pig) breeder.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 01:24 AM
Response to Reply #42
46. have you been there? homes inside the city don't tend to have
Edited on Mon Apr-27-09 01:28 AM by Hannah Bell
"backyards" unless they belong to the wealthier classes - who tend not to keep pigs.

Xochimilco is outside the city proper, on the right side of highway 95 on this map view, outside the section of 95 circling the city.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&output=html&q=Xochimilco,+Mexico+City,+Distrito+Federal,+Mexico&zoom=7


as i review your cites, they're all talking about the burbs of distrito federal, not the city proper, e.g.:

"The pig production in its rural area is based on small family backyard farms."
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Jim Warren Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #38
45. casas de carton
Oh sure, chrome and glass. Four blocks from there you can shit into a plywood covered hole in the ground but it'll cost you 50 pesos.

Ever hear of the lost cities, ciudades perdidas? Ever been into any of the colonias away from Insurgentes and the Zona Rosa?

PLUS

Over a million people COMMUTE into and out of DF every working day. That's like a mid-sized city population on the move into the capital from the countryside....where lots of pooches live.

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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. Cheney needs to be quarantined.
That swine is probably a carrier.
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Sheepshank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #8
40. Now that there is funny
I don't care who you are!
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Hanse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
2. I haven't seen any evidence for the rumors that young healthy people are dying.
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. You're right - the "healthy" part hasn't been verified
Instead, we're getting incomplete and possibly confusing reports like this:



http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-04-25-mexicocity-flu_N.htm

Crdova said the flu was targeting rich and poor people alike and that the most serious Mexican cases were in people between 20 and 50, unlike other types of flu that target children and the elderly. The eight patients who have gotten sick in the United States were all children, and all have recovered, he said.

"There may be other factors that give immunity to children," Crdova said. "That's the only explanation we have now; I think there is much research to be done in that area."
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. And THAT is what has many people worried -
that's the same demographic attacked by the 1918 flu. Of course, that is a typical early report, which is bound to be conflicting - now there are 20 US cases, and not all children. Still, no US fatalities. The epidemic is confined to Mexico still.
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FedUpWithIt All Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #5
35. WHO
The majority of these cases have occurred in otherwise healthy young adults. Influenza normally affects the very young and the very old, but these age groups have not been heavily affected in Mexico.


From WHO

http://www.who.int/csr/don/2009_04_24/en/index.html
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skooooo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Read the second entry down on this BBC page
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #6
21. I am concerned we may not be getting the complete picture to avoid panic
It could be an over-reaction or it could be worse than anyone of us currently thinks.
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Oak2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 03:48 AM
Response to Reply #21
48. We are not getting the complete picture because as of right now there isn't a "complete picture"
Edited on Mon Apr-27-09 03:51 AM by Oak2004
For example, how deadly is this bug? People have died in Mexico, but not every possible case has been tested to confirm whether or not it was this strain, and not every test is back from the labs. There may be hundreds getting buried as we speak who were never diagnosed and who never even saw a doctor, or the authorities might have a very good preliminary count. But I can pretty much guarantee you that the authorities themselves don't know right now if their internal count is very good, or very crude.

If this follows the usual pattern it will run something like this with the US death toll (Mexico I think is a little past where we are as far as this pattern goes): the initial reports (stage we're in right now) will be overly rosy. Then, as more information comes in, media reports will swing in the opposite direction, and the death toll will be overstated. The final death toll will be worse than the rosy reports -- possibly far worse -- but not as bad as the worst numbers bandied about in the press.

In the meanwhile, the authorities, unlike the media, are bound by scientific standards of evidence, which means they require something more substantial than hunches, appearances, and rumor. Even if a case is absolutely screamingly obvious, until lab results confirm, it's only a "suspected" or "probable" case. And they'll only give out confirmed numbers and perhaps tallies of suspecteds and probables, which means their numbers will lag behind the reality on the ground.

Unless the politicians are ignoring the best advice of emergency managers (which sometimes happens), the numbers will not lag in order to try to deceive the public. Why? Because try as you might, you can't fool the public about what is happening right in front of their eyes. You can only convince the public that you're not to be trusted.
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robdogbucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Just to add....
Edited on Sun Apr-26-09 02:19 PM by robdogbucky
"...There are confirmed reports of this virus hitting young, healthy people the worst:

Swine flu panic is spreading in Mexico and soldiers are patrolling the streets after it was confirmed that human to human transmission is occurring and that the virus is a brand new strain which is seemingly affecting young, healthy people the worst. Questions about the source of the outbreak are also being asked after a public health official said that the virus was cultured in a laboratory.

This strain of swine influenza thats been cultured in a laboratoryis something thats not been seen anywhere actually in the United States and the world, so this is actually a new strain of influenza thats been identified, said Dr. John Carlo, Dallas Co. Medical Director (video clip here)..."

http://www.infowars.com/medical-director-swine-flu-was-cultured-in-a-laboratory/


"...World Health Organization spokesman Gregory Hartl told the Canadian news agency CBC that there have been some 800 cases in Mexico City, where schools are closed due to the outbreak.

Alarmingly, the flu outbreak in Mexico is striking healthy young people -- a pattern that would be expected if a flu virus new to humans emerged.

"Because these cases are not happening in the very old or the very young, which happens with seasonal influenza, this is an unusual event and a cause for heightened concern," Hartl said in a CBC interview..."

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20090424/mexico-swine-flu-epidemic-worries-world


"...While Mexico's flu season is usually over by now, health officials noticed a sizeable uptick in flu cases in recent weeks. The World Health Organization reported about 800 cases of flu-like symptoms in Mexico in recent weeks, most of them among healthy young adults, with 57 deaths in Mexico City and three in central Mexico, The New York Times reported Friday..."

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/hscout/2009/04/25/hscout626461.html


"...Epidemiologists are particularly concerned because the only fatalities so far were in young people and adults...

Scientists have long been concerned that a new flu virus could launch a worldwide pandemic of a killer disease. A new virus could evolve when different flu viruses infect a pig, a person or a bird, mingling their genetic material. The resulting hybrid could spread quickly because people would have no natural defenses against it.

Still, flu experts were concerned but not alarmed about the latest outbreak.

"We've seen swine influenza in humans over the past several years, and in most cases, it's come from direct pig contact. This seems to be different," said Dr. Arnold Monto, a flu expert with the University of Michigan...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090424/ap_on_he_me/med_swine_flu


"...The swine flu is a respiratory disease that originates in pigs. Herds of pigs can become infected by the influenza type A. The swine flu evolves and changes just like the human flu. The swine flu typically is at it's peak in the fall and winter. The swine flu typically does not infect humans but as it can mutate and infect humans that have close contacts with pigs. It is rare but human to human transmission of the swine flu has been documented. If the swine flu becomes easily spread from human to human it would be caught by the infected person coughing or sneezing."

http://bestsyndication.com/?q=20090424_swine_flu_spreads_mexico_us_cases_pandemic_update.htm


Next question



robdogbucky
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Young, healthy people are the most likely to be congregating in groups
Edited on Sun Apr-26-09 02:13 PM by SoCalDem
going to school..to clubs, to sporting events, so they are the most likley to be exposed..and their young age, also means they do not have a lifetime of "immunities" built up from past exposures to the other types of flu..maybe?

and do we know what the immunization policy is of Mexico? are children required to have all the immunizations our kids get?.. are the young & healthy who have gotten it and died, poor kids or well-to-do kids?

Poor kids are less likely to have medical care early on, and perhaps they died from secondary infections from the weakened state the flu caused...:shrug:
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Why do you think schools, colleges, sporting events et al
were closed on federal orders?

By the by, a texas HS has also now been closed
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #12
20. that was my point
:thumbsup:
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robdogbucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #10
24. I agree with some of what you assert
But I would contest the assertion that young people may not have immunities built up yet. These fatal cases they mention in my excerpts are people 20-50. I think it is fair to say that by age 20 most or all immunities have been sufficiently built up, but I would be happy to be corrected by an expert's opinion. My guess is that unless you change environments frequently and/or rapidly, one's immune system adapts to its local influences in a matter of months, not even in years.

About the concern of vaccines, I think it is widely disseminated thus far that this is some kind of mutated strain, has appeared at the end of the flu season, and there was no vaccine against it anyway.

Other than that, carry on.

This is getting juicy, as I was checking some emergency supply websites and the word of this is saturated there. Definitely word is spreading like the proverbial wildfire and those businesses it is to serve the needs of those concerned are front and center on this.

Weekends, you gotta love it, just the time for an emergency story like this to hit and spread. By Monday morning, full-on bright red alerts will be showing everywhere. News will be of massive school shutdowns and quarantines. Tamiflu stocks have already begun to be released per somme stories. Not that it is either good or bad, it will be a test as to whether living in the age of hyper-information dissemination at light speed makes any difference in these matters. I think the thus-far quick reaction by CDC, WHO and the White House is all for the good. If nothing else, to show that systems in place are reacting as planned.

Just my dos centavos

robdogbucky
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. One of the Mexican papers said that the "medicine" for it was ineffective
and if i recall,Tamiflu was pretty much determined to be ony effective in putting money into Rummy's bankl account :evilgrin:
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #25
29. Tamiflu is not that effective
other antivirals are

Now on the tin foil hat moment I do find it of interest that Roche released quite a bit of its stock to the WHO for emergency distribution world wide

Last time I checked, that supply hasn't been touched

Of course that does not mean they have not been deployed yet

If they do, expect to see C-130s carrying that, or Antonovs, from the Mexican Air Force
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #10
37. WIth poorer people, one might also consider poorer nutrition over years
People with better nutrition probably fight viruses better. Poor people with poor nutrition seem likely to be working from a physical deficit right off.

Post around here last night re Vitamin D and viruses like this one. Seems D could be a big help, but most people are deficient to some extent. Poorer people may be low on a lot of things and just have less reserve to fight a virus.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. You mean the mexican press has been printing rumors?
who knew?

And ALL of them have... gee golly

Oh and of course they are exaggerating to scare us good thinking muricans...

Slaps forehead

You also believe global warming is made up, don't you?
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FedUpWithIt All Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
34. From the World Health Organization
The majority of these cases have occurred in otherwise healthy young adults. Influenza normally affects the very young and the very old, but these age groups have not been heavily affected in Mexico.



http://www.who.int/csr/don/2009_04_24/en/index.html
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
7. It appears the virus originated in Mexico
Therefore, you would expect Mexico to be at a further point in the epidemic. If its the same virus, we will be hearing of reports similar to Mexico in a few days.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. You are quoting the DHS? That is exactly what they said today
then again you and I are familiar on how this evolves
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #13
33. My best friend since 5
Got a PHD in bioengineering from John Hopkins 2 years ago. He explained to me how these things work.
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
14. Maybe Mexico has more antibiotic-resistant pneumonia strains?
The more lethal forms of flu result in a over-active immune response in lung tissues. From news reports, it appears that the patients are actually dieing from pneumonia which follows lung damage.

So maybe the chain of causation is:

- get the flu,

- immune response to flu damages lungs requiring hospitalization,

- contract drug-resistant pneumonia propagating in hospital settings in Mexico,

- die of pneumonia.

Note that pneumonia can be caused by multiple kinds of bacteria and other microorganisms.
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skooooo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. I fear that the most..

..cause I've got asthma.
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. If this virus originated from Mexico
then the strain that Americans contracted from travel down to Mexico - or contact with people who did - would be the same.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. It is... read CDC
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. The flu strain is the same. The pneumonia, maybe not?
The pneumonia may be propagating in the Mexican hospitals independently.
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #14
22. As Pathogens like to bloom in ponds filled with high densities of
shrimp or fish....the feces and waste are not flushed out periodically to lower pathogen count...them tiny animals breed in hugh numbers to poison the entire pond....all animals die...known as crash....

Mexicao City has 20 million peeps.....much of which is shanty towns....I can only imagine the Pathogens breeding in this mixture matrix......We must soon be designing cleaner more healthy cities to avoid this shit....
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. Their social rules for personal distance are probably too lax
People should not shake hands.

No kissy, kissy greetings.

Stay at least 3, preferably 6 feet away from everyone else, and more if they have any symptoms.

Don't touch anything that has been touched or sneezed on by another person.

Wash hands upon getting to work or getting home, especially if you use public transit.

Never touch your face with your hands.
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. Whatever it is...its prolly too late to escape a small crash...lets hope we escape the big one
:kick:
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FedUpWithIt All Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 01:35 AM
Response to Reply #14
47. Thanks for sharing.
Edited on Mon Apr-27-09 01:38 AM by FedUpWithIt All
:hi:

It is all a huge puzzle.
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
26. it is deadly in mexico because of the gut wrenching poverty that supports the 'Have It Alls' there,
TB is endemic, medical care is non existent for the indigenous peoples..as is voting and education.

in Juarez there are 27,000 people reduced to living in the city dump picking trash living in cardboard shacks drinking water thats brown with shit. :cry:

while the Have It Alls enjoy a standard of living 2nd only to france because they screw the peasants and export their poverty here and have them send their money home

they are dying more there because of injustice and a stratified society..
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. I wish that was the only reason
though a major component not the only one

As a medic I got tired of hitting my head against the wall when people refused to go to see the doctor

Never mind they had access to that care at places like the IMSS and ISSSTE.

You see, you only go see a doctor when you are really sick

Pretty much the attitude

Why?

Them doctors are almost magical figures

And yes, this is another reason you are seeing this

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robdogbucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. Ironic too
that part of the general warnings currently being given in Mexico is to avoid hospitals unless absolutely necessary.

They are major centers for concentration of the virus.

Kind of a no-brainer, no?


robdogbucky
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Yeah but having worked in the field down there
I get why they gave the warning

Next they will have to set up mobile clinics

In fact, the model already exists, do what is done every three months for the vaccination campaigns
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #26
44. Their poor are supporting the "Have-it-Alls" HERE and abroad.
Much of the enforced poverty and land theft is quickly traced to NAFTA: multinationals (Coca Cola, most notably) taking community-owned water supplies (even grottos and havens for endangered species) and draining them. It's not just their rich exploiting them. It's usually our rich using their rich to exploit them.
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:16 PM
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36. A few points:
first, the infection rate in the US is significantly lower, at present. It is therefore not possible, on the basis of a smaller set of subjects, to draw useful conclusions, because the depth of data is just not there yet. (Over a thousand known cases in Mexico, less than a tenth as many thus far in the US.)

Reports of US cases of the virus are of a relatively mild illness; the differential factors are unknown, but can be guessed at (overall health, nutrition, environmental factors like air pollution, and possibly even altitude...Mexico City is at 7300 feet above sea level). But it's also not known yet whether there is more than one subtype of this previously unknown flu strain; it's certainly possible (and viruses that are previously unknown in human populations can become much more deadly after mutation; the 1918 flu struck in three waves...the first had relatively low mortality, but the second and third did not).

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