South Africa Flag logo

South African Skeptics

July 21, 2019, 18:50:48 PM
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
Go to mobile page.
News: Follow saskeptics on twitter.
   
   Skeptic Forum Board Index   Help Forum Rules Search GoogleTagged Login Register Chat Blogroll  
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic:

Swine flu

 (Read 5575 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Tweefo
Hero Member
*****

Skeptical ability: +10/-0
Offline Offline

Posts: 1527



WWW
« on: July 23, 2009, 19:46:30 PM »

I know very little about medicine but is this right or do I have it completely wrong? The Swine flu is called H1N1/09 but it's got a mortality rate of about 0.5%. Bird flu is also called H1N1 but it's got a far higher mortality rate, something like 40%. So if you get swine flu you (if you survive) will build up anti bodies and if you get Bird flu then stand a better chance. Sort of a natural vaccination?
Logged
Mefiante
Defollyant Iconoclast
Hero Member
*****

Skeptical ability: +61/-9
Offline Offline

Posts: 3748


In solidarity with rwenzori: Κοπρος φανεται


WWW
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2009, 13:37:35 PM »

Er no, bird flu’s pathogen is H5N1 while that of swine flu is H1N1.  H5N1 is a subtype (strain) of the influenza A virus, whereas H1N1 is a subtype of the influenza C virus.  In each case, a variant of the influenza virus is the pathogen (and hence the “flu” designation) but they are not the same virus.  Put simply (it’s a bit more complicated in reality), influenza viruses mutate fairly quickly and so auto-immunisation through fighting off a particular strain is only partly effective because the pathogens’ “signatures” change from season to season.  That’s also basically why we keep getting colds every year, more or less.

Anyway, something about pigs and flying springs to mind here but it might be construed as impish… Grin

'Luthon64
Logged
Tweefo
Hero Member
*****

Skeptical ability: +10/-0
Offline Offline

Posts: 1527



WWW
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2009, 13:45:57 PM »

Thanks. So we are going to die anyway?
Logged
Mefiante
Defollyant Iconoclast
Hero Member
*****

Skeptical ability: +61/-9
Offline Offline

Posts: 3748


In solidarity with rwenzori: Κοπρος φανεται


WWW
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2009, 13:52:55 PM »

Well, yes, one way or another, but not necessarily from a flu.  Older people have higher immunity to H1N1/09 than younger ones do, probably because they have been exposed to a wider range of related pathogens.

'Luthon64
Logged
bluegray
Administrator
Hero Member
*****

Skeptical ability: +9/-3
Offline Offline

Posts: 1107



saskeptics
WWW
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2009, 13:44:04 PM »

http://www.thetimes.co.za/News/Article.aspx?id=1044915
Logged
Faerie
Hero Member
*****

Skeptical ability: +10/-2
Offline Offline

Posts: 2112



« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2009, 14:24:03 PM »

Its all over the place, the ex's stepson's got it and I'm watching the kids. I'm not overly concerned, at this point the statistics doesnt speak for much imo - I havent got it right at hand, but off my head we're looking at around 1 500 deaths and around a 190 000 odd diagnosed cases in the last six months worldwide, an average deathrate on the normal yearly flu is around 400 - 500 000.

This is not to say that next year's strain could be more virulent and annihilate the world population, which was indicative of the 1918 pandemic (and was oddly enough also a spring/summer flu) but what the hell, we're gonna die somewhere along the line anyway.  Grin

Anybody read Stephen King's "The Stand"?  Wink
Logged
cyghost
Skeptically yours
Hero Member
*****

Skeptical ability: +12/-1
Offline Offline

Posts: 1409


Carpe diem


« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2009, 14:36:52 PM »

Loved "the Stand"

Saw a good one today:

"If a black man ever becomes president, pigs will fly"

100 days after the inauguration, swine flu

 Grin 
Logged
Faerie
Hero Member
*****

Skeptical ability: +10/-2
Offline Offline

Posts: 2112



« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2009, 14:51:24 PM »

Here's a fairly updated site with worldwide statistics on the swine flu.

http://www.theora.com/swineFlu/
Logged
Faerie
Hero Member
*****

Skeptical ability: +10/-2
Offline Offline

Posts: 2112



« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2009, 14:07:41 PM »

Interesting observation, the period from the 18th - 21st, an increase of some 23 000 reported cases worldwide, the first rather notable spike. Majority in US and Australia, and then SA tagging along with a 50% increase in just 7 days from 1400 cases to 3400 odd today.
Logged
Mefiante
Defollyant Iconoclast
Hero Member
*****

Skeptical ability: +61/-9
Offline Offline

Posts: 3748


In solidarity with rwenzori: Κοπρος φανεται


WWW
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2009, 14:42:08 PM »

… SA tagging along with a 50% increase in just 7 days from 1400 cases to 3400 odd today.
That’s exponential growth for you, apart from illustrating the danger of underestimating the threat at first, as people often do.  Lots of people with flu-like symptoms do not bother to have themselves properly diagnosed despite the health authorities’ advice to do so, thereby being selfishly irresponsible.

ETA: Er, that increase is actually almost 143%.

'Luthon64
« Last Edit: August 21, 2009, 17:16:25 PM by Mefiante, Reason: Figures, doesn’t it? » Logged
Faerie
Hero Member
*****

Skeptical ability: +10/-2
Offline Offline

Posts: 2112



« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2009, 14:55:13 PM »

The balance between hysterics and responsible is a difficult one, both my sons had flu, (undiagnosed as swine but likely as their stepbrother was diagnosed and hospitalised two week prior)and I managed to secure an appointment with our doctors only 3 days later - I was told to take them to hospital should their condition worsen. They got over the worst before the appointment and was prescribed general antibiotics (I declined the test as I felt they were healing) although both are still a bit chesty, I'm keeping an eye on them - its been about a week now, and I'm confident they'll be fine.

The surgery were booked full with people coming in without an appointment queuing outside the doors with their healthy children in hand demanding Tamiflu. There are seven doctors consulting at this particular surgery and from word of mouth I understand its the case all over.
Logged
Mandarb
Sr. Member
****

Skeptical ability: +3/-0
Offline Offline

Posts: 258



« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2009, 15:54:24 PM »

I had flu last week, and the doctor told me that the test took at least a week, and they treat it the same as normal flu anyway. So I got some antibiotics, cough syrup and decongestants, and was booked off for the week. Am mostly fine now, except I'm coughing still.

I still don't understand why anti-biotics are prescribed for viruses, and I never think to ask the doctor. Anybody know?
Logged
Jane of the Jungle
Full Member
***

Skeptical ability: +4/-0
Offline Offline

Posts: 235



« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2009, 16:06:18 PM »

Can't understand why theists Queue at the doctors surgery though. Mean to say, there’s lots of space in Churches to say prayers 6 days a week, no need to wait in a Queue (accept on the 7th day), pay 10% of your income(if it’s cheaper than your medical), you’re covered for the entire month against Swine flu and perhaps score a car out of the deal  Wink
Logged
AcinonyxScepticus
Full Member
***

Skeptical ability: +3/-0
Offline Offline

Posts: 234



WWW
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2009, 16:17:37 PM »

I still don't understand why anti-biotics are prescribed for viruses, and I never think to ask the doctor. Anybody know?

I seldom get the flu, I am more susceptible to getting colds, bacterial infections (usually tonsillitis, pharyngitis, those sorts of locations) and when I do I only go in when it seems that it is only getting worse and not levelling-off or improving.  I am used to getting antibiotics from my GP because of this.  Once, when I did just have a flu infection, I was prescribed an antibiotic.  I didn't ask, I didn't need to because my doctor is very good at volunteering explanations for his diagnoses, he said that there was a chest sound that might indicate there was an opportunistic bacteria setting-up shop which could rapidly become full-blown bronchitis.  It was a precautionary measure because my immune system was busy fighting the flu and wouldn't be able to effectively deal with the bacterial invader.

Nice anecdote, but what does it mean?

From a sample of one (1) flu infection treated with antibiotics I am able to extrapolate that all doctors everywhere only do this when there is an identified risk of bacterial infection which could thrive while the immune system is compromised. Wink

Do we have any doctors here who might be able to provide a more official answer?  It's hard, I know, to say what every doctor would do, but I'm also curious if the reasoning is the same for the other doctors who have prescribed antibiotics for patients presenting with flu.  Would anyone do so, as a matter of course, without there being evidence of bacterial infection?

James
Logged
Mefiante
Defollyant Iconoclast
Hero Member
*****

Skeptical ability: +61/-9
Offline Offline

Posts: 3748


In solidarity with rwenzori: Κοπρος φανεται


WWW
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2009, 16:39:10 PM »

I still don't understand why anti-biotics are prescribed for viruses, and I never think to ask the doctor. Anybody know?
Indeed, antibiotics are ineffective against viruses.  However, doctors prescribe them in cases of viral infection in order to prevent or obviate the effects of secondary infections since the immune system is already taxed with fighting off the primary one.  In other words, it’s a proactive step that has as benefits (a) that the immune system doesn’t need to deal with additional threats; (b) that it makes the patient (and doctor, too) feel better for having some medication prescribed, and (c) that it supports the pharmaceutical industry, quite besides building more resilient bacteria.

(Point (c) is why people at times call me “cynical,” if can you believe that!)

'Luthon64
Logged
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
  Print  


 
Jump to:  

Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Page created in 0.413 seconds with 23 sceptic queries.
Google visited last this page April 11, 2019, 21:00:08 PM
Privacy Policy