Warning - H5N1 Type A
Influenza Pandemic
Likely Coming

From Robert Lee
Hi, Jeff - Info you should be aware of:
Warning: Deadly H5N1 Type A Influenza Pandemic Likely Coming
The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the specter of human-to-human transmission of deadly H5N1 avian influenza following confirmation that two Vietnamese brothers had contracted the virus and one had died. WHO confirmed that laboratory results had found the two brothers from northern Vietnam had been infected with the H5N1 avian influenza virus. According to WHO, "All evidence to date suggests that isolated instances of limited, unsustained human-to-human transmission can be expected from avian influenza viruses in humans." Seven of Vietnam's total 27 H5N1-related human deaths have occurred in the last three weeks (first 3 weeks of January 2005).
The H5N1 avian influenza has also spread to felines. According to WHO there is evidence suggesting that H5N1 avian influenza was expanding its range of mammal hosts, including captive tigers and experimentally infected domestic cats.
There is growing evidence that limited human-to-human transmission of H5N1 is occurring.
H5N1 avian influenza is a single-stranded RNA negative-strand virus in the Orthomyxoviridae family of viruses. H5N1 avian influenza virus is considered to be a type of "Influenzavirus Type A."
Other strains of Influenzavirus Type A have made their way into the human population from birds and/or intermediate species, e.g., swine, and have achieved sustained human-to-human transmission. More well known examples of Type A flu pandemics in the human population include the 1968 Hong Kong flu...
see also
...which killed 700,000 people worldwide. The most severe influenza epidemic of recent times was the 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic which killed more than 20 million people worldwide and infected approximately 50% of the population of some countries, e.g., Switzerland at that time.
It has been estimated, based on the mortality rates of those humans who have been infected with H5N1 avian influenza, that more than 70% of infected individuals might die from a sustained human-to-human H5N1 pandemic.
As of 5 January 2005, the H5N1 virus had caused 45 confirmed human cases, of which 32 were fatal
or a little over 70% fatality. In comparison, SARS had an initial fatality rate of approximately 13% and was very inefficiently transmitted from one person to another when compared to influenza.
Were a sustained global pandemic of H5N1 influenza to develop, it is entirely possible that some billions - with a "B" - of humans, certainly hundreds of millions, could die from the disease worldwide. There is currently no vaccine for H5N1 influenza though efforts are underway in different countries to develop a human vaccine.
To consider the impact of a sustained H5N1 influenza pandemic in the United States, it is reasonable to consider it possible that 10s of millions of Americans might die from such an epidemic were no vaccine available and quarantines employed. Even with a vaccine available, if it is developed and effectively administered, it is reasonable to consider an extremely conservative estimate of some few million US people killed by a sustained H5N1 pandemic. In the 3rd world where health services are fragile and inefficient, fatalities will surely exceed several hundred million people.
Clearly, it is only a matter of time until H5N1 Type A influenza becomes a global pandemic with potentially catastrophic impact. It is now time to pay attention to H5N1 Type A influenza.
Thanks for your news service,
Professor Robert E. Lee, M.S., M.S.W., L.C.S.W.



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