Comment #5334

Forum: Another Bill of Rights Violation?
yeroc
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As Sethen mentioned, if terrorists don't create this disease, Mother Nature will. We're essentially in a damned if you do, damned if you don't, but you might have a way to be not damned under one set of circumstances. However, I'd also question the severity of the problem. The thing about pandemics is that they need to spread to be dangerous. If a disease infects and kills three people, that's sad, but it's not a pandemic. If all cases of Bird Flu have killed the afflicted, then it is probably one of those diseases that kills its host before it can't spread. Granted, I'm not a biologist, so I don't know if this applies to bird flu, but I've heard scientists making that general point about diseases. To truly be a pandemic, a disease would have to let its host live long enough to spread to others, which sometimes means not killing the first host at all.
php213
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That was kind of the point of the research. The researchers have purportedly created a new strain of the virus which CAN spread easily across ferrets, which worries some who think it could also spread easily amongst humans.
yeroc
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My point is that it may just be needless worry. We can't know how dangerous this disease will be without releasing it on the public. Which would be immoral and ruin the point of doing research on it. It's easy to jump to the conclusion that this will be a major pandemic, but we have no guarantee of that, especially when there are reasons to doubt it will be a pandemic.
php213
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Bird flu is transferred to humans (rarely) and other birds (as of now, ignoring the research's strain) by secretions (saliva, nasal secretions, and feces). If the research's strain works the same way, fecal water contamination (which should be less of a problem in westernized countries, for the most part), bad hygiene, and generally unclean surfaces could very well easily spread the disease. The death of the host, if not instantaneous, is less relevant to the disease's chance to spread. Bird flu, as of now, is contagious in humans for about 5-7 days after symptoms appear. and is usually gone with the symptoms in 7 days. IT