Are we at the edge of another pandemic? H5N1

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jimmy m
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21 Jun 2024, 11:43 am

From 2003 to 2019, when an older form of H5N1 circulated, about half of infected people died, according to World Health Organization data. But public health experts have long feared that avian influenza might upend life as we know it — again. The 1918 flu pandemic, which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide, is believed to have started in a bird host.

H5N1 is a type of influenza A. Some influenza A viruses cause the seasonal flu in humans, while others cause bird flu. First detected in farmed geese in China in 1996, H5N1 has occasionally infected humans. From 2003 to 2019, about 860 people contracted the virus, which is more contagious in birds than people, according to global data from the World Health Organization. Egypt, Indonesia and Vietnam accounted for 8 out of 10 cases during this period.

A highly virulent form of H5N1 was identified in Europe four years ago, spreading to Africa, the Middle East and Asia. It resulted from wild bird and poultry flu viruses exchanging genetic material. It reached North America in late 2021.

H5N1 has devastated the animal kingdom. In 2022 alone, more than 131 million poultry died from the illness or were slaughtered in attempts to contain the virus, according to case data from 67 countries. The virus has infected mammals, too, including bobcats, raccoons, red foxes and a dolphin in Florida, which died. Seals and sea lions have been hit hard, with tens of thousands killed.

Beginning in late March, U.S. agriculture officials began to report infections in dairy cattle — a startling development that is raising concerns among scientists. Cases as of Tuesday have been detected in 101 herds from Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.

Pandemic potential? What to know in Florida about bird flu outbreak.


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jimmy m
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23 Jun 2024, 11:23 am

So far I have been looking at solutions to protect people from becoming infected from H5N1. This can be done by preventing mosquito bites and bites from other stinging insects. I discussed two approaches. (1) A person can apply Permethrin to your clothing to repel insects. This treatment provides outdoor protection for several months to those who wear the treated clothing. (2) Another approach is to apply insect repellent on your skin to shield you from biting insect. Several forms are available (DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of lemon, Para-menthane-diol eucalyptus, and 2-Undecanone). This treatment will provide protection for several hours until you wash it off.

But mistakes will always happen and a person might be stung by an infected insect. What do you do then? Do you dig a deep hole in your backyard so when you pass away they can come and quickly bury your corpse inside?

Yesterday, I was outside and was bitten several times by an insect. I do not think it was a mosquito, but other insects can also bite and pass H5N1. So when I arrived home, I treated myself. I used Tecnu Topical Analgesic Anti-Itch Spray (Diphenhydramine HCl 2% ). I applied this to the bites and the sting slowly disappeared along with the bump on the area of the bite. A mosquito bite is a small, round, puffy bump that appears soon after you've been bitten. The bump will become red, hard, swollen, and itchy. I feel treating the insect bite immediately after getting stung will minimize the damage.


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jimmy m
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23 Jun 2024, 12:43 pm

One individual who is looking deeply at the potential problem posed by H5N1 in humans is Florian Krammer, PhD, professor of vaccinology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

He recently wrote: For people with suspected or confirmed avian influenza, treatment is recommended as soon as possible.

There are four FDA-approved antivirals for influenza:
-- Oseltamivir phosphate (available as a generic drug or by the trade name Tamiflu)
-- Zanamivir (Relenza)
-- Peramivir (Rapivab)
-- Baloxavir (Xofluza)

There are no clinical trials measuring the outcome of antivirals in people infected with avian influenza. However, data from animal models and human observational studies suggest a benefit.

Source: New Human Cases of Avian Flu Anticipated

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In other regions of the world, the H5N1 virus has produced a 52% mortality rate in humans. Now this virus is spreading to North/South and Central America. We need to stay on top of this threat. So what do we know about these deaths? One article discusses an H5N1 outbreak in Vietnam in 2004 and 2005. This breakout affected 18 people in Vietnam of which 13 were fatal and resulted in their deaths.

I remembered the early advice given in 2006.
Bird flu’s deadly effects may give clues to treatment

Among the striking observations was a massive release of inflammatory cytokines, causing immune cells to proliferate and provoking inflammation. Some of these cytokines were present at amounts hundreds or thousands of times higher than in patients with ordinary flu.

These observations explain how the infection typically kills patients through pneumonia and multi-organ failure. So far the World Health Organization (as of the year 2006) has recorded 141 deaths from H5N1 flu, mostly in South East Asia.

According to Meno de Jong, of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, reported that of all the patients the ones who died from H5N1 had the highest levels of cytokines and the highest levels of virus circulating in their bodies. This underlined the need to treat victims with antivirals very quickly, he said. Once the cytokine burst had started it was usually too late to alter the course of the disease.

Another important discovery was that, in addition to stoking up some components of the immune system, H5N1 infection fatally weakened another arm of the immune response: the body’s ability to fight viral infection with T cells. The number of these cells, crucial for combating viruses, plummeted in people who died from the infection.

Wendy Barclay, a virologist at Reading University said “It shows us that in some people H5N1 causes this cascade of cytokines and macrophage activity that gets out of control. It suggests that stopping the virus replicating early on in the infection with antivirals is the key to treatment.” She then went on to say that treating patients with anti-inflammatory drugs, as some doctors have suggested, “might do more harm than good.” “Immunomodulatory drugs are blunt instruments. The last thing you want to do is weaken parts of the immune system needed to fight the virus,” she said.

-----------------------------------------------

According to, Influenza Antiviral Medications: Summary for Clinicians

Priority Groups for Antiviral Treatment of Influenza
Antiviral treatment is recommended as soon as possible for any patient with suspected or confirmed influenza who has severe, complicated, or progressive illness.

Decisions about starting antiviral treatment for patients with suspected influenza should not wait for laboratory confirmation of influenza virus infection. Empiric antiviral treatment should be started as soon as possible in the above priority groups.

For outpatients with suspected or confirmed uncomplicated influenza, oral oseltamivir, inhaled zanamivir, intravenous peramivir, or oral baloxavir may be used for treatment, depending upon approved age groups and contraindications. In one randomized controlled trial, baloxavir had greater efficacy than oseltamivir in adolescents and adults with influenza B virus infection.


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jimmy m
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24 Jun 2024, 10:58 am

One of the tools available to monitor the threat of H5N1 in humans is tracking the virus in wastewater. But there is a problem with this approach because it may also contain wastewater deposited from more than just humans, such as birds and animals. So how do you develop better tools to track the virus in just people.

One method is to use hospitals as collection and analysis sites for tracking H5N1 in humans. That approach makes a lot of sense in my humble opinion.


From sewage to safety: Hospital wastewater surveillance as a beacon for defense against H5N1 bird flu

Pandemics start slowly — a few cases here, a few there — until suddenly people are sick or dying everywhere. Early detection by monitoring wastewater can help short-circuit that cycle.

It’s difficult to tell what is happening right now with highly pathogenic avian influenza A H5N1 (bird flu), which is rapidly spreading among cows and other mammals. The outbreak has raised concerns among virologists and epidemiologists that the current spread in mammals may allow the bird flu virus to adapt to mammalian physiology, pre-adapting it for sustained spread among humans, which could be catastrophic.

Routine testing of hospital-based wastewater may provide early detection and monitoring of potential infectious disease threats emergency rooms and hospitals are where very sick people show up first, and the wastewater samples are coming from fewer individuals. Also important, there is no animal waste present in hospital wastewater, meaning that the detection of any H5N1 and other zoonotic pathogens in hospital wastewater represents spillover activity in humans.

We are now actively developing genetic tests based on the H5N1 sequences the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released that can be used for testing hospital wastewater in New York City.

This is a very interesting approach. I like it, but I suspect that it will not be online by the time this H5N1 pandemic takes place unless we move very, very quickly. The start of this next pandemic may already be here among us.


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jimmy m
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25 Jun 2024, 7:59 am

War on Mosquitoes

During my sleep last night I began to think about the threat of H5N1 and the role that mosquitoes play in the transmission. This opened up a whole new world, one of battle, of fighting, of eliminating mosquitoes that transmit this virus. It is a War on Mosquitoes.

So in order to fight these insects it is very important to know where they live. Another way of asking this question is Where do mosquitoes lay their eggs?

Mosquitoes prefer stagnant water within which to lay their eggs.

They most commonly infest:
-- Ponds
-- Marshes
-- Swamps
-- Other wetland habitats

Facts About Mosquito Habitats

Hot, humid environments are most amenable to mosquito growth and survival.

Mosquito Breeding Habits Water provides mosquitoes with a place to lay eggs, grow and develop through their water stages (egg, larval and pupal). After the airborne portion of their life cycle, females return to water to lay a new batch of fertile eggs. Female mosquitoes usually lay their eggs on the surface of water or in areas where water can rise, flood the eggs and stimulate them to hatch.

How do mosquitoes breed? Males have feathery antennae they use to locate females. After mating, females typically seek a blood meal to aid in egg production. They often lay them in standing pools of water — man-made sources can include bird baths, buckets and even mud puddles. Egg numbers vary by species but can be as much as over 100 eggs in a single laying.

You can also reduce the amount of female feeding sessions by staying indoors during dusk and dawn hours and wearing repellent or skin coverings.


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Last edited by jimmy m on 25 Jun 2024, 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

jimmy m
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25 Jun 2024, 9:04 am

This brings to mind that I have help in my War On Mosquitoes. My friends live in my backyard. We are a team. When the cold of winter strikes and covers the ground with snow, I come and help to keep them alive. I provide a little food when there is none to find. It stays behind and during the summer months it comes to repay by killing mosquitoes. We are a team. My friends are my woodpeckers.

The groups of birds that eat mosquitoes can best be described as migratory swallows, songbirds and waterfowl. More specifically, the species which eat the most mosquitoes are purple martins, red-eyed vireos, chirping sparrows, downy woodpeckers, yellow warblers, Eastern bluebirds, Eastern phoebes, Baltimore orioles, geese, terns, ducks and common wrens and nighthawks. These birds feed on the aquatic and adult life stages of mosquitoes. Putting birdseed out for these types of birds can attract them, and their mosquito-killing appetites.

Source: What animals eat mosquitoes?

Dragonflies are excellent hunters with hawk-like vision. They feed on many different types of insects, especially ones found around water. Since mosquitoes need water to successfully breed, they are a favorite meal of the dragonfly. They have no problem catching these easy targets, since dragonflies can zip around at speeds between 25 and 30 miles per hour, snatching their prey right out of mid-air. They also feed on mosquito larvae, especially during the immature stages of the dragonfly life cycle.



When it’s all said and done, the most effective natural predators of mosquitoes are fish. Mosquito larvae are eaten by guppies, bass, catfish, bluegills and even goldfish. But the most effective species of fish for mosquito control is Gambusia affinis, otherwise referred to as the ‟mosquito fish.” These fish aggressively feed on mosquito larvae, thus reducing the surrounding mosquito population. They are considered an effective form of control for properties and locations with bodies of water.

So there are many species that exist that can come to our aid in the War On Mosquitoes and counter the effects of the H5N1 virus.


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25 Jun 2024, 11:46 am

I read an article today that explores H5N1 in humans. One of the critical points the article made is unless you test for it, you do not know if it is exploding in the human population.

In humans, bird flu is detected via a simple throat or nasal swab, but infectious disease experts warn that much like the early days of the Covid pandemic, we aren’t testing most of the population or measuring disease spread in wastewater. In other words, we don’t know for sure whether the disease is circulating. Physicians don’t routinely test for bird flu, so you’ll have to specifically request a test if you’re concerned that you might have it.

Source: Humans Can Get Bird Flu, and Here’s What You Need to Know


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26 Jun 2024, 7:51 am

The Beginning of a Pandemic

We may be about to experience a major pandemic called H5N1 and at this stage no one is testing humans. We have the ability but we are operating in the blind. We don’t know for sure whether the disease is circulating. All it takes is a simple throat or nasal swab to test for the presence of H5N1 and we are not doing this.

I remember at the start of COVID, we watched the beginning of the pandemic in our homes. For months, it was on the News. People went on travel and they became caught up in an outbreak. In the U.S., they locked them down on the large cruise ships and would not let them go ashore. Everyone believed that it would not make its way on shore. They just went about doing their normal routine. But then suddenly almost overnight, the COVID pandemic took hold in the U.S. and everyone went into PANIC MODE. They threw sanity to the wind.



We are not testing people for H5N1. We are operating in the blind. So I began to think how the H5N1 pandemic might play out. Where will this pandemic start in the U.S.? The first thought that entered my mind was Homeless People. They are the most vulnerable part of the population. They live and sleep outdoors where insects like mosquitoes live. Many are on drugs and are obvious to the bites of insects. This looks like Ground Zero.

So where do homeless people reside?

Image

So places like the District of Columbia, New York, Hawaii, Vermont, Washington and California, will be Ground Zero for the start of H5N1. These areas should be implementing tests now for H5N1 in their populations and especially those in their homeless populations. The tests simple throat or nasal swab exist. Become proactive.

As of 2022, around 327,000 people in the United States lived in homeless shelters. But many of the homeless live and sleep in our streets.


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jimmy m
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26 Jun 2024, 10:15 am

Finland said it plans to begin vaccinating vulnerable populations like farm workers against bird flu as early as next week using 10,000 vaccine series—each with two doses—acquired as part of a European Union deal with vaccine maker CSL Seqirus to provide up to 40 million vaccines to 15 countries.

Source: Bird Flu (H5N1) Explained: Finland Will Start Vaccinating Humans In A Global First

But as we learned in COVID, the virus was always on the move. Can we move fast enough and keep up with all the variants that spring forth.


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26 Jun 2024, 4:23 pm

In this war against mosquitoes, mankind is facing off against one of the oldest creatures on Planet Earth.

Researchers said they have discovered the oldest-known fossils of mosquitoes - two males entombed in pieces of amber dating to 130 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period and found near the town of Hammana in Lebanon. To their surprise, the male mosquitoes possessed elongated piercing-sucking mouthparts seen now only in females.

"Clearly they were hematophagous," meaning blood-eaters, said paleontologist Dany Azar of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology and Lebanese University, lead author of the study published this week in the journal Current Biology, opens new tab. "So this discovery is a major one in the evolutionary history of mosquitoes."

Oldest mosquito fossil comes with a bloodsucking surprise

This link contains two very detailed photographs of the oldest mosquitoes found thus far.

Dinosaurs lived during the Mesozoic Era (252 to 66 million years ago). And mosquitoes lived during the middle of this period and perhaps even earlier.


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27 Jun 2024, 8:49 am

Summery

I have covered a lot of information over the past several weeks on the next potential pandemic called H5N1.
I have come to realize this pandemic will primarily be transmitted by insects, primarily Mosquitoes. Mosquitoes infect humans with a blood to blood transfer between infected to uninfected animals/humans.

1. You can protect yourself from mosquito bites in two ways. If you spend a lot of time outdoors you can create protective clothing (boots, clothing and camping gear) that repel mosquitoes by treating them with Permethrin.

2. You can also protect yourself from mosquito bites by applying mosquito repellent on you skin. This will provide short protection (several hours) to drive away mosquitoes. There are a variety of products available. They include DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of lemon, Para-menthane-diol eucalyptus, and 2-Undecanone.

3. Accidents can happen. What to do immediately after being bitten by a mosquito? Treat the bit with Tecnu Topical Analgesic Anti-Itch Spray (Diphenhydramine HCl 2% ).

4. If you become infected with H5N1 treat the condition immediately using one of four FDA-approved antivirals for influenza: (1) Oseltamivir phosphate (Tamiflu), (2) Zanamivir (Relenza), (3) Peramivir (Rapivab), (4) Baloxavir (Xofluza). These are prescription drugs and will require a doctors prescription. Time is of the essence here. This condition will begin to destroy the human body and make it impossible to treat within a few days. Time is of the essence.

5. Some people are very vulnerable to mosquito bites. These are people with open wounds. Just covering the wounded area with bandages will not protect you. Mosquitoes can smell your blood and you become a prime target. This is also a problem for women who are going through their menstrual period. I suffered a small bleed and was attacked by around 50 mosquitoes in less then two hours outdoors.

6. Go on the offensive. Wage a war on mosquitoes. In general, mosquitoes live in a hot humid environment. They most commonly infest Ponds, Marshes, Swamps, and Other wetland habitats. So minimize their breeding grounds. Wage war on mosquitoes.

7. Use our friends. What you didn't realize we have allies in our war on Mosquitoes. We have many friends. Some are birds like woodpeckers, some are other insects like dragonflies, some are fish like gambusia affinis.

Humans are pitted against an ancient enemy. They have existed on Earth for over 130 million years, even during the age of the dinosaurs - mosquitoes lived here.


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jimmy m
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29 Jun 2024, 7:50 pm

H5N1 is showing up in wastewater tracking in California.

Signs of H5N1 bird flu virus have been detected at three wastewater sites in California’s Bay Area, according to sampling data.

While positive wastewater samples have been found in seven other states, California is the only one that has yet to report a bird flu outbreak in a herd of dairy cows.

Genetic evidence of bird flu was detected in San Francisco wastewater on June 18 and June 26. Additional H5 “hits” were seen at a site in Palo Alto on June 19, and another on June 10 from the West County Wastewater facility in Richmond.

The finding “is concerning” because of their urban origin. “There are not many dairy or animal farms in San Francisco.” There are also no dairy farms in Palo Alto or Richmond.

Source: Signs of avian flu found in San Francisco wastewater

There is a large number of homeless people living in the San Francisco area of California. Many are living on the streets.





So this brings up the question: Is the homeless population in this region of California creating an ideal pathway for H5N1 in humans?


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jimmy m
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01 Jul 2024, 2:25 am

This stage is playing out very similar to the beginning of COVID. Everyone is just in oblivion living their daily lives watching the events unfold on TV or on the internet and then reality sets in and everyone goes into panic mode.


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01 Jul 2024, 8:19 am

So perhaps we are at a point of explosion. The world is about to explode into a frenzy. This new pandemic which is following the same track as the last one COVID is about to strike. H5N1 is a very different virus. It is transmitted primarily from infected blood through insect (primarily mosquitoes) to people. It cause the body to believe it is being attacked so the body responds by pulling out all the power it has in our system to fight this ghost threat. And in the pathway, the human body begins to break down. Within days of becoming infected by insect bite transmission, the human body has reached a breaking point and DEATH process begins. This is a very deadly disease. Around a 50 percent mortality rate for those who become infected with this strain of H5N1.

If this is the case, it appears that the San Francisco Bay Area in California is ground zero. H5N1 is showing up in wastewater in this area and the cause is different then other parts of the U.S. But this is just the beginning of the pandemic. It will explode across the U.S. and the entire world. The failure is that we are not testing this population of vulnerable humans for H5N1 at this time. We have the technology to perform this but our leaders are ignoring this very deadly threat. Begin to test the people in the homeless camps in the San Francisco Bay area for H5N1 and then check the other homeless camps around the U.S. Prove me wrong, I dare you, I double dare you.


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01 Jul 2024, 8:49 am

jimmy m wrote:
So this brings up the question: Is the homeless population in this region of California creating an ideal pathway for H5N1 in humans?

This makes me very interested in seeing what effect the recent Supreme Court decision effectively criminalizing homelessness has :o



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01 Jul 2024, 12:31 pm

SportsGamer35728 wrote:
This makes me very interested in seeing what effect the recent Supreme Court decision effectively criminalizing homelessness has :o


According to one article on the internet:

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court has ruled in the case of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Gloria Johnson, to uphold a law enacted by a small Oregon town that bars those experiencing homelessness from using blankets, pillows and cardboard boxes while sleeping outdoors within city limits. Those who are found doing so can impose fines for camping in public on first-time offenders and up to 30 days of jail time for repeat offenders.

I suspect this ruling will not apply to the homeless population in the San Francisco Bay Area in California unless the governor of California implements it. The explosion of the H5N1 threat may happen much quicker then any politician may solve. Unless we test this population of homeless people now in the San Francisco Bay area, it will be too late to control this potential H5N1 pandemic.

Let the data determine the course of action. We have the means to slow this progression at the moment, but every day that is delayed is very critical.


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