Good grief, they are closing 4 schools in MPS

The world is going upside down.

Again.

Why does it feel like America is in crisis-of-the-week mode?

Comments

  1. Kathryn says:

    Dan H: have you studied infectious disease yet? I am curious why this virus is more worrisome than some of the “normal” viruses. Do you know?

  2. Haven’t studied them yet – but I can tell you a little bit of what I know. The H1N1 that defines Swine flu from other flu’s is something not normally found in humans – if you recall from last years Avian hype, that was H5N1. These viruses undergo recombination in lower animals like birds and pigs and then are transmitted to humans in forms that we’ve not seen before. What is worrisome is that Flus like Avian or Swine will eventually recombine with human forms of flu that transmit very easily from human to human (think common cold as an example of a rapidly spread virus) but are a lot more lethal and resistant to medication. SO FAR, it looks like the Swine flu is treatable by normal medications but it still is something new to humans – at least in our generation. The virus typing (The H’s and N’s) are constantly evolving and is part of the difficulty for researchers and physicians to develop 100% vaccines. The Flu Shots we normally get protect us from the most common types – of which Swine Flu is not one. Let me know if that makes any sense. The CDC is a great resource to check out – they usually come up with a lot of easy to understand diagrams for the various lifecycles and infection patterns and whatnot. I would check there for more definitive answers.

    http://www.cdc.gov

    or follow on Twitter :
    @CDCemergency

  3. Kathryn says:

    So the worry is less about scope (pandemic) than about how much trouble the little bug might cause; a pandemic of something mild-mannered would not be a big deal? Since this bug is new, we don’t know how it’s going to behave over the long run. Even if it turns out to be mild now, it could be big trouble in a few months, or not.

    Can we make vaccines that fast? I mean fast enough to innoculate people for next winter?