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Randall Herbert

Dear Moderators

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This board has historically had a lot of latitude when it came to considering relevant but not necessarily HPC topics.

Why is BIRD FLU IN SCOTLAND today so off topic that it doesn't merit even an evenings discussion amongst the community whose interests are historically diverse and have obviously enjoyed topics as such?

The implications are far reaching after all.

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This board has historically had a lot of latitude when it came to considering relevant but not necessarily HPC topics.

Why is BIRD FLY IN SCOTLAND today so off topic that it doesn't merit even an evenings discussion amongst the community whose interests are historically diverse and have obviously enjoyed topics as such?

The implications are far reaching after all.

Actually I tend to agree. Bird flu gives a little light relief in this housing market malarky, but... maybe because bird flu is a pathogen not an EA?

NotAModerator (but not THE NotAModerator)

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[moderator message]

this forum is strictly for the provision of discussion for issues relating to house prices only.

this isnt game for a laugh. nor is it kilroy.

[end moderator messgae]

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Well, okay, boys and girls, here's a snippet of today's Daily Reckoning free e-mail that they sent me today on why this BIRD FLU business is going to be ALL OK:

The Daily Reckoning PRESENTS: Worried about the H5N1

bird flu virus causing a pandemic? To go by the media,

you should be. But study the scientific evidence and you

can only conclude that the media scare is mostly hype...

THE REAL BIRD FLU DANGER

by Mark Tier

The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 killed 25 to 50 million

people - 2.5% and 5% of the world's population. If you

believe fear-mongers writing for the world's media, the

supposedly virulent H5N1 bird flu virus will cause

another pandemic any day now. If it's as bad as 1918,

125 to 300 million will die. With 747s, instead of the

more leisurely steamships of 1918, any pandemic will

spread a lot faster today so the death toll could

possibly reach a billion people.

A terrifying prospect, isn't it?

But major differences - aside from 747s - between 1918

and now mean that the real chance of another 1918-style

bird flu pandemic, while not zero, is pretty close. To

start with, in 1918 scientists didn't even know what a

virus was. They knew that the Spanish flu was caused by

something smaller than bacteria - but until the 1940s no

one could see or isolate a virus, let alone analyze one.

Today not only do we know what viruses are, we have

developed some protection against them; and scientists

can decode their genetic sequence.

Secondly, the Spanish flu came out of the blue, so to

speak. There was no warning - nor did anybody expect it.

By the time people realized it was a pandemic, it had

already spread worldwide.

Today, in contrast, everybody expects a pandemic to

begin any day, and health authorities everywhere are

already planning what to do. (Let's just hope their

preparations will be more effective that their planning

for catastrophes like hurricane Katrina!)

But remember SARS? It appeared from nowhere in 2002. And

who expected something like it? Not a soul. Yet, just

days after it was first identified as a new and unknown

disease, sufferers and their contacts were quarantined;

travelers were screened - and so many people decided to

stay at home that airlines like Hong Kong's Cathay

Pacific suffered dramatic declines in passengers - and

profits.

Within just a few weeks, SARS had been identified as a

corona-virus, and soon thereafter its source was traced

to civet cats in China's Guangdong province. SARS, while

not as contagious as influenza, was pretty nasty just

the same. Almost 10% of the people who caught it died.

Ironically, though, so effective were the measures taken

to isolate sufferers that over 20% of the people

infected were doctors, nurses and other hospital staff -

who caught it from patients!

This totally new, virulent but unknown and unexpected

disease - spread around the world almost instantly by

747s - killed a total of 774 people. Thousands more

people die from diseases like malaria and dengue fever

every year.

Unlike SARS and the Spanish flu, the world now expects a

disastrous, world-wide influenza pandemic to happen any

day. So everybody's watching for it. The moment someone

catches the H5N1 virus from a bird, they're isolated.

Birds carrying the virus are being culled in the

millions - further reducing the chances of it mutating

into something that can jump from human to human.

However, as the British Medical Journal put it in its

October 29 issue:

"The lack of sustained human-to-human transmission

suggested that this

H5N1 virus does not currently have the capacity to cause

a human pandemic," adding that the warnings are entirely

a theoretical speculation.

Is there any evidence for this conclusion? To judge from

the press, this H5N1 avian flu virus is something new.

Maybe it isn't. What is certainly new is that every time

someone catches it, it's on the front pages of the

newspapers.

Dr Jeffery Taubenberger - a molecular pathologist with

the Armed Forces Institute of Technology in Washington,

D.C. - led the research team that recently decoded the

1918 Spanish flu virus.

What they discovered: it was not H5N1 - or any other

known avian flu virus. What's more, though definitely

bird flu, it didn't originate in chickens, ducks or

geese. In fact, nobody knows at the moment what bird it

came from. As part of their research, Taubenberger and

his team analyzed tissue samples from 25 preserved

waterfowl, vintage around 1918, stored at the National

Museum of Natural History in Washington.

They discovered that avian flu viruses those birds

carried were identical to same variants found in birds

today. In nearly a century, these viruses have hardly

changed or evolved at all.

To people used to taking a flu shot every year - because

last year's flu shot won't protect you against this

year's flu - this may seem a surprising discovery. But

human influenzas are continually evolving - as the virus

gains resistance to each new medication. As birds don't

take antibiotics, get flu shots or other medical

cocktails, the viruses they carry don't need to change.

The H5N1 avian flu virus is known to have been around

since the late 1950's. For all we know, it's been

infecting people for hundreds - if not thousands - of

years. And in all that time, it has not caused a human

pandemic. But only in 1997 did scientists actually

discover it had infected humans. As a result, today

every person this virus infects is religiously reported

instead of being ignored - which turns it into a scare,

but not a pandemic.

Not everyone agrees, as we'll see in a moment. But

here's something else that's suggestive: until very

recently, only severe cases of H5N1 infection have been

studied by doctors and scientists: the people who end up

in hospital at death's door, where nearly half of them

die.

So we're given the impression - fostered by the scare-

mongering media and scientists desperate for bigger

government grants - that this is an incredibly deadly

virus; one far worse than the Spanish flu.

A study published on January 9th in the Archives of

Internal Medicine casts serious doubt on this

conclusion. In a province near Hanoi, Vietnam, where 80%

of residents keep chickens and H5N1 is rampant, 45,476

were randomly selected for a survey - 8,149 of them, or

17.9% - reported having had flu-like symptoms with a

fever and a cough. And nearly two-thirds of them had

direct contact with sick or dying birds.

While blood-testing needs to be done to confirm the

hypothesis, it seems highly probable that the H5N1

strain of avian flu is very similar to the other viruses

birds carry: capable of infecting humans but with very

mild effects - indistinguishable from the common cold -

when it does. Only a tiny percent of people infected

react so badly they have to go to hospital. Until now,

they were the only cases ever reported, so creating the

unwarranted fear that H5N1 was exceptionally virulent.

Unfortunately, there is a very different bird flu

danger. The H5 strain of viruses is just one of sixteen

different virus groups birds carry around - rather like

a flying "virus soup." As birds' immune systems are

adapted to these viruses, they rarely get sick.

This is about to change.

Countries like China and Vietnam, which are among those

killing millions of birds carrying this virus, are

inoculating them as well. So the H5N1 virus - not to

mention all the other viruses birds carry around with

them

- will soon gain resistance to current treatments (like

Tamiflu).

Indeed, the New Scientist recently postulated that the

H5N1virus could well be the result of past inoculations

of domestic fowl. While the latest evidence suggests

they were wrong, there is no doubt that thanks to these

inoculations H5N1 could easily evolve into an entirely

new strain, already resistant to all known treatments.

If that happens, even if it doesn't jump to humans it

could easily decimate the world's bird population. That

said, it is possible that the

H5N1 virus - or one of the other many such viruses birds

carry with them - could jump to humans. After all,

that's how both the "Asian flu" (1957-58) and "Hong Kong

flu" (1968-69) got started. If that happens, what's the

best protection?

The Spanish flu pandemic gives us the answer (and it's

not Tamiflu).

One of the countries least affected by the Spanish flu

was a country that has long had exceptionally strict

quarantine laws: Australia, but not as strict as

American Samoa. As telegrams carried the news faster

than steamships, American Samoa knew about the Spanish

flu long before it arrived there. They simply closed

their doors, and did not let any ships dock except under

strict quarantine conditions. The number of deaths from

Spanish flu in American Samoa: zero.

But the Spanish flu did hit Western Samoa, just a few

miles away, where there was no quarantine: some 20% of

the population died.

That SARS didn't turn into a pandemic is further proof

of the effectiveness of quarantine in stopping a highly

contagious disease in its tracks. So, provided any new

strain of bird flu is spotted early - virtually certain

given the current vigilance of the world's health

authorities - it will be contained long before it can

turn into a pandemic. Chances are, that's never going to

happen. But even so, you can be sure that bird flu

scares will be a staple of the world's press for many

years to come.

Why? It's simple. Last year, the George W. Bush

announced an "emergency" $7.1 billion program to combat

the bird flu scare. Other governments around the world

are setting up similar programs, though on a smaller

scale. This means we have an entirely new scientific

establishment funded by inexhaustible government money

whose sole reason for existence is to find something

that hasn't happened yet - and may never happen.

To justify their existence and to get more of that

lovely government green stuff, you can be sure that this

new "government program" will do everything in its power

to keep the bird flu scare alive. One way, is adopting

the political techniques of "spin." For example, in an

article published in Thursday's (23 March 2006) issue of

Nature, Yoshihiro Kawaoka, a researcher at the

Universities of Tokyo and Wisconsin, wrote that one

reason why the H5N1 virus hasn't spread from human to

human is that it infects the bottom area of the lungs.

Other flu viruses prosper in the top of the lungs, so

they're easily spread when people cough, and even

breathe out. H5N1 doesn't have that "advantage."

Nevertheless, he concludes that his findings suggest

that we "may have more time to prepare for an eventual

pandemic."

The three flu epidemics of the 20th century were caused

by the H1, H2 and H3 series of bird flu viruses. All

scientists agree that the H5N1 virus must go through

many mutations before it can be spread by human-to-human

contact. Not only does it infect the lowest part of the

lungs, but it appears that the only way a human can get

it from chickens is by close contact with lots of

infected birds; the kind of thing that can happen when

you sleep with them.

So here we have a virus, which: has never, as far as we

know, spread from one human to another; is hard to get

in the first place; if someone does have it, is not

released easily by the lungs and to the extent it is, in

tiny quantities compared with sleeping in a chicken

coop; and has to go through a large number of unlikely

mutations first in order to become a pandemic in humans.

One of those mutations, presumably, will be to transfer

its preference to the top of the lungs from the bottom,

probably the least likely of all.

Given all these obstacles, is it science to conclude

that it is only "a matter of time" before this virus

causes a human pandemic? Or is this the sort of

"prediction" you'd expect from government-funded

politicized science where the prime imperative is not

Truth but staying plugged-in to the government-drip

machine?

And to stay plugged-in, to get the next government

grant, you've got to follow the party line, which is: a

bird flu pandemic is inevitable. As entrenched

government programs are almost never axed, I expect to

go on reading that "prediction" until the day I die...of

natural causes.

Regards,

Mark Tier

for The Daily Reckoning

They are also offering you kind chaps a daily service:

Know someone who'd like to receive The Daily Reckoning

e-alert themselves? Simply forward the following link to

anyone you think could benefit from our daily service:

http://www.electricmessage.co.uk/mailer/si...&cc=DR_SUBS_REF

Regards,

Megaflop.

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Guest Guy_Montag

Well, okay, boys and girls, here's a snippet of today's Daily Reckoning free e-mail that they sent me today on why this BIRD FLU business is going to be ALL OK:

What's his qualifications? A PhD in immunology perhaps? Or just a big mouth.

Aussieboy seems the best qualified on this subject in this forum, despite being an Australian.

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[moderator message]

this forum is strictly for the provision of discussion for issues relating to house prices only.

this isnt game for a laugh. nor is it kilroy.

[end moderator messgae]

Thats Bull-SHITE and you know it.....

Game for a laugh? Kilroy? What are you talking about......

We talk about the US economy, the Dollar, Iraq, Phoney BLiar, Nu Labour, Oil, Peak Oil, Alternative energy etc etc etc.

SO basically you have your head so far up your arrrrse that you have no idea what so ever the significance of what is unfolding today??

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This board has historically had a lot of latitude when it came to considering relevant but not necessarily HPC topics.

Why is BIRD FLY IN SCOTLAND today so off topic that it doesn't merit even an evenings discussion amongst the community whose interests are historically diverse and have obviously enjoyed topics as such?

The implications are far reaching after all.

It has nothing to do with the property market unless you happen to want a "cheap cheap" chicken farm.

Chicken farm crash

I think everyone now knows about Harold the dead scottish ex swan who has ceased to be.

Let him and his flu rest in peace.

Don't you think houses have gone up a lot recently ?

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It has nothing to do with the property market unless you happen to want a "cheap cheap" chicken farm.

Chicken farm crash

I think everyone now knows about Harold the dead scottish ex swan who has ceased to be.

Let him and his flu rest in peace.

Don't you think houses have gone up a lot recently ?

Great. The only known human cases have been contracted from dead birds, mostly chickens. Think I'll just rush out and pay 3x the 2000 value on a chicken cemetary

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Guest

What's his qualifications? A PhD in immunology perhaps? Or just a big mouth.

I have absolutely no idea.

Aussieboy seems the best qualified on this subject in this forum, despite being an Australian.

I can't confirm whether Aussieboy is indeed Australian.

Just thought you might be interested in a differing viewpoint.

SARS was a storm in a teacup at the end of the day.

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Guest Guy_Montag

SARS was a storm in a teacup at the end of the day.

Yes it was, well not for the people that died, but for most of us, fair enough, the last potential pandemic didn't wipe us out, doesn't mean the next one's not going to. But then that put's you into the "it's not crashed yet, so it will never crash" camp (cunningly bringing hpc into the topic).

night night

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Talking of pinning. Mods. would it be possible to sift a few pinned items off? They take up the top of the screen and detract from the dynamic and interest (I am trained in GUI design, so I know these thing :D )

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Talking of pinning. Mods. would it be possible to sift a few pinned items off? They take up the top of the screen and detract from the dynamic and interest (I am trained in GUI design, so I know these thing )

Shame I misread you and thought you said you trained in Gooey design, seen a lot of it on the internet and although its not something I would personally subscibe to there is no harm in watching. :D:D

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Isn't 'game for a laugh' a punn.

Anyway I thought it was a good article (as a New Scientist reader), and pretty honest about it's history.

If there was a big issue on the subject I'm sure (in fact 100%) New scientist would have it covered. It did 2 years or so ago and it has mentioned it less than sparingly since.

Also could his supposition on govt. funding to the Petrochemical buddies of the afore mentioned be spot on. After all when ever has a govt. sold a pill - that's the realm of private industry.

So we have here the govt. subsiding an education of biology (was it $7.1 Billion... Hmm, that's a lot of cash) through finance of research to their industry bods.

It all seems similar to the govt. funding of war, sorry Oil company holdings.

It's simple once you stop loooking at the mist, and turn off the T.V.

Money, meney, money, money - Liza Manelli.

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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