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Thread: Swine flu is worse in Mexico, but why?

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    Re: Swine flu is worse in Mexico, but why?

    If swine flu started at a factory farm then it is likely that people closest to the epicenter of where it started will have a more virulent strain of the disease. If the flu is more deadly, kills more quickly, it doesn't last long in most environments as the host has a shorter opportunity to spread it around. In a factory farm situation where animals are kept literally nose to nose virulent strains can last longer spreading easily from one animal to the next animal and then on to nearby humans due to the ridiculously close quarters. However as it passes from human to human it's likely the strain will be less deadly the further away you get from ground zero. The folks who catch mild versions of the disease are the ones who are going to spread it the most. They are the ones who will be sick but not so sick they stay home and thus they will be out traveling around passing the contagious crapola around. Any humans who get a severe or more deadly form of the virus are sick in bed and don't spread the illness as much as their contact with others are limited. So it's inevitable that the milder forms of the illness spread the furthest away from the epicenter while the strongest forms are found there.
    Last edited by talloulou; 04-29-09 at 01:01 PM.

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    Re: Swine flu is worse in Mexico, but why?

    One thing that must be noted is that, although it is being called "swine flu", they have yet to isolate the virus in animals.

    AFP: Debate rages over swine flu name

    The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) brought the debate to an official level on Monday, arguing that it was "not justified" to call it swine influenza because the virus had not been found in animals so far.
    There is thus far no evidence that this came from a factory farm.

    The lack of a host animal combined with the unusual nature of the virus' genetic makeup actually supports the possibility of it actually being man-made.

    One poster earlier said that influenza DNA cannot be manipulated, but this is inaccurate on multiple levels. First, influenza is an RNA virus. This makes it easier to manipulate.

    Second, the method of creating a vaccine involves genetically engineering the virulent strain into a non-virulent version. Genetic manipulation of Influenza is not only possible, it is currently our best defense against it: Genetically engineered live attenuated influenza A virus vaccine candidates.

    This does not mean that it was genetically engineered, it just means that at this point, we cannot conclusively say it was not engineered.

    Just as we cannot conclusively say it came from a factory farm, or even swine at all.

    The only things we do know for sure is that this is a very serious threat, regardless of it's origins, and we should not take it lightly.

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    Re: Swine flu is worse in Mexico, but why?

    This is true. While the farms are getting the closest scrutiny there does appear to be a puzzling lack of sickly infected pigs.

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    Re: Swine flu is worse in Mexico, but why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    There is thus far no evidence that this came from a factory farm.
    The first cases came from a region adjacent to a huge hog farm, and on April 6, the farm was investigated.

    Is Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork packer and hog producer, linked to the outbreak? Smithfield operates massive hog-raising operations Perote, Mexico, in the state of Vera Cruz, where the outbreak originated. The operations, grouped under a Smithfield subsidiary called Granjas Carrol, raise 950,000 hogs per year, according to the company Web site—a level nearly equal to Smithfield’s total U.S. hog production.

    According to the disease-tracking Biosurveillance blog:

    Residents believed the outbreak had been caused by contamination from pig breeding farms located in the area. They believed that the farms, operated by Granjas Carroll, polluted the atmosphere and local water bodies, which in turn led to the disease outbreak. According to residents, the company denied responsibility for the outbreak and attributed the cases to "flu." However, a municipal health official stated that preliminary investigations indicated that the disease vector was a type of fly that reproduces in pig waste and that the outbreak was linked to the pig farms. It was unclear whether health officials had identified a suspected pathogen responsible for this outbreak.
    Biosurveillance: Swine Flu in Mexico- Timeline of Events

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    Re: Swine flu is worse in Mexico, but why?

    Quote Originally Posted by WillRockwell View Post
    The first cases came from a region adjacent to a huge hog farm, and on April 6, the farm was investigated.


    Biosurveillance: Swine Flu in Mexico- Timeline of Events
    That appears to be dated, Will:

    According to an Associated Press report yesterday, samples taken from 35 La Gloria residents who had flu recently were sent away for testing and only Edgar's came back positive for the new A/H1N1 strain at the centre of the global controversy. Edgar, who has never travelled outside of the Perote valley, and whose family has no contact with Mexico City, and don't keep or go near pigs in their everyday lives, was confirmed last week to be the first known case of the virus in Mexico. Edgar was sick over a month ago and is now fully recovered.
    Swine Flu Baffles Experts And Raises More Questions Than Answers

    You'll see that the data doesn't confirm the blog's report. Although the first known case is form there, the other cases are showing up as a different strain.
    Last edited by Tucker Case; 04-29-09 at 02:10 PM.

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    Re: Swine flu is worse in Mexico, but why?

    Yeah the evidence seems to point to the factory pig farms. However as of yet there are no proven to be infected pig populations which is odd. Except, it isn't very clear yet what testing has or has not yet been conducted and the Mexican authorities aren't very forthcoming about what tests have been done exactly. When you say you have no infected pigs it would be nice to show, "Here's the testing that has been done, here's how many pig populations we ran studies on, etc."

    The virus is certainly acting how you would expect a farm factory induced virus to act - with the most virulent and deadly strains of the virus residing closest to the center of it's suspected origins, the pigs.

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    Re: Swine flu is worse in Mexico, but why?

    A 23-month-old Mexican child has died of swine flu in Texas - the first death from the virus outside Mexico, where it may have killed as many as 159 people.

    The child - one of 91 cases of swine flu in the US - had been visiting relatives in Texas when he fell ill.

    The World Health Organization said the virus was still spreading, even though it was now from person to person.

    And Spain says it has confirmed the first case of swine flu in a person who has not travelled to Mexico.
    BBC News
    First death in the US reported today but still it's only Mexicans dying? Really strange patterns. Why is this virus active in the warmer months too?

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    Re: Swine flu is worse in Mexico, but why?

    Quote Originally Posted by talloulou View Post
    Yeah the evidence seems to point to the factory pig farms. However as of yet there are no proven to be infected pig populations which is odd. Except, it isn't very clear yet what testing has or has not yet been conducted and the Mexican authorities aren't very forthcoming about what tests have been done exactly. When you say you have no infected pigs it would be nice to show, "Here's the testing that has been done, here's how many pig populations we ran studies on, etc."

    The virus is certainly acting how you would expect a farm factory induced virus to act - with the most virulent and deadly strains of the virus residing closest to the center of it's suspected origins, the pigs.
    But the evidence doesn't really suggest that. Form the article I linked in the previous post:

    None of the confirmed human cases has a history of being in recent contact with pigs, so the most likely explanation at the moment is that this is a new strain of H1N1. The reason it was called swine flu at the start of this crisis, he suggested, was because H1N1 is more commonly found in pigs, but to date there is no evidence that it did so in this case.
    The truth is, that the data really is inconclusive all around thus far.

    The existence of avian, human and swine genes in the virus implies that at some point, all three have been infected with some preliminary form of the virus along the way (if it is naturally occurring).

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    Re: Swine flu is worse in Mexico, but why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite Chaos View Post
    First death in the US reported today but still it's only Mexicans dying? Really strange patterns. Why is this virus active in the warmer months too?
    I was thinking that the mixture of Native American genes in the Mexican population may have some influence on them being more prone to dying, but it is 110% pure conjecture on my part and it's probably dead wrong.

    Obviously, more Mexicans are infected than anyone else so far, and that would be a big factor in them being the first to die from the illness. It doesn't mean that non-Mexicans can't die from it at the same rates. They just may not have been infected at a high enough rate yet.

    As far as the warmer months thing goes, I think that the rules regarding normal flu seasons are tossed out the window during real epidemics and pandemics.

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