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Photos Unlimited / Re: Dog Protected Against Coronavirus
« on: February 08, 2020, 01:00:55 AM »

kalooy sa napkin. ::) :P

Photos Unlimited / Dog Protected Against Coronavirus
« on: February 05, 2020, 05:19:01 AM »

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POOCH PROTECTION A dog wears a paper cup on its nose on a street in Beijing. In virus-hit Wuhan, pet owners unable to return to their homes are appealing to strangers via social media to ensure left-behind animals are looked after. —AFP

History / Re: 10 of the Worst Pandemics in History
« on: February 03, 2020, 04:10:02 PM »

Death Toll: 5 million
Cause: Unknown

Also known as the Plague of Galen, the Antonine Plague was an ancient pandemic that affected Asia Minor, Egypt, Greece, and Italy and is thought to have been either Smallpox or Measles, though the true cause is still unknown. This unknown disease was brought back to Rome by soldiers returning from Mesopotamia around 165AD; unknowingly, they had spread a disease that would end up killing over 5 million people and decimating the Roman army.

images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcTFreA8r0BhjHV0W4s4CDJxooXIb982700QDso8FYcZU6rT_IIG - Show Posts - islander
Johannes Lingelbach,Dutch Golden Age painter, 1625 - 1700

-text from
-photos from various sources

History / Re: 10 of the Worst Pandemics in History
« on: February 03, 2020, 04:08:31 PM »

Death Toll: 25 million
Cause: Bubonic Plague

Thought to have killed perhaps half the population of Europe, the Plague of Justinian was an outbreak of the bubonic plague that afflicted the Byzantine Empire and Mediterranean port cities, killing up to 25 million people in its year-long reign of terror. Generally regarded as the first recorded incident of the Bubonic Plague, the Plague of Justinian left its mark on the world, killing up to a quarter of the population of the Eastern Mediterranean and devastating the city of Constantinople, where at its height it was killing an estimated 5,000 people per day and eventually resulting in the deaths of 40% of the city’s population.

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History / Re: 10 of the Worst Pandemics in History
« on: February 03, 2020, 04:07:38 PM »

THE BLACK DEATH (1346-1353)
Death Toll: 75 – 200 million
Cause: Bubonic Plague

From 1346 to 1353 an outbreak of the Plague ravaged Europe, Africa, and Asia, with an estimated death toll between 75 and 200 million people. Thought to have originated in Asia, the Plague most likely jumped continents via the fleas living on the rats that so frequently lived aboard merchant ships. Ports being major urban centers at the time, were the perfect breeding ground for the rats and fleas, and thus the insidious bacterium flourished, devastating three continents in its wake.

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Artwork shows people praying for relief from the bubonic plague, circa 1350

History / Re: 10 of the Worst Pandemics in History
« on: February 03, 2020, 04:06:50 PM »

Death Toll: 1 million
Cause: Cholera

Generally considered the most deadly of the seven cholera pandemics, the third major outbreak of Cholera in the 19th century lasted from 1852 to 1860. Like the first and second pandemics, the Third Cholera Pandemic originated in India, spreading from the Ganges River Delta before tearing through Asia, Europe, North America, and Africa and ending the lives of over a million people. British physician John Snow, while working in a poor area of London, tracked cases of cholera and eventually succeeded in identifying contaminated water as the means of transmission for the disease. Unfortunately, the same year as his discovery (1854) went down as the worst year of the pandemic, in which 23,000 people died in Great Britain.

99ab4936ce303d11439d4f7c6727b14b03fc8b45 - Show Posts - islander
“All cholera is to blame. 1848 "- Pavel Fedotov

History / Re: 10 of the Worst Pandemics in History
« on: February 03, 2020, 04:05:48 PM »

FLU PANDEMIC (1889-1890)
Death Toll: 1 million
Cause: Influenza

Originally the “Asiatic Flu” or “Russian Flu” as it was called, this strain was thought to be an outbreak of the Influenza A virus subtype H2N2, though recent discoveries have instead found the cause to be the Influenza A virus subtype H3N8. The first cases were observed in May 1889 in three separate and distant locations, Bukhara in Central Asia (Turkestan), Athabasca in northwestern Canada, and Greenland. Rapid population growth of the 19th century, specifically in urban areas, only helped the flu spread, and before long the outbreak had spread across the globe. Though it was the first true epidemic in the era of bacteriology and much was learned from it. In the end, the 1889-1890 Flu Pandemic claimed the lives of over a million individuals.

images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcT_i3gkV0hQJRBkR5zWYUi_-8x-VAF8xTTbmB0kwzM1xVYqzlS9 - Show Posts - islander
When flu goes pandemic, it can be devastating
National Museum of Health and Medicine/SPL

History / Re: 10 of the Worst Pandemics in History
« on: February 03, 2020, 04:04:33 PM »

Death Toll: 800,000+
Cause: Cholera

Like its five previous incarnations, the Sixth Cholera Pandemic originated in India where it killed over 800,000, before spreading to the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe, and Russia. The Sixth Cholera Pandemic was also the source of the last American outbreak of Cholera (1910–1911). American health authorities, having learned from the past, quickly sought to isolate the infected, and in the end, only 11 deaths occurred in the U.S. By 1923 Cholera cases had been cut down dramatically, although it was still a constant in India.

800px-Robert_Koch_%28Deutsche_Cholera-Expedition_in_%C3%84gypten_1884%29 - Show Posts - islander
Robert Koch (third from the right) on a cholera research expedition in Egypt in 1884, one year after he identified V. cholerae.

History / Re: 10 of the Worst Pandemics in History
« on: February 03, 2020, 04:03:49 PM »

Death Toll: 20 -50 million
Cause: Influenza

Between 1918 and 1920 a disturbingly deadly outbreak of influenza tore across the globe, infecting over a third of the world’s population and ending the lives of 20 – 50 million people. Of the 500 million people infected in the 1918 pandemic, the mortality rate was estimated at 10% to 20%, with up to 25 million deaths in the first 25 weeks alone. What separated the 1918 flu pandemic from other influenza outbreaks was the victims; where influenza had always previously only killed juveniles and the elderly or already weakened patients, it had begun striking down hardy and completely healthy young adults while leaving children and those with weaker immune systems still alive.

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Policemen stand in a street in Seattle, Washington, wearing protective masks made by the Seattle Chapter of the Red Cross, during the influenza epidemic in 1918. #National Archives

History / Re: 10 of the Worst Pandemics in History
« on: February 03, 2020, 04:02:22 PM »

ASIAN FLU (1956-1958)
Death Toll: 2 million
Cause: Influenza

Asian Flu was a pandemic outbreak of Influenza A of the H2N2 subtype, that originated in China in 1956 and lasted until 1958. In its two-year spree, Asian Flu traveled from the Chinese province of Guizhou to Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United States. Estimates for the death toll of the Asian Flu vary depending on the source, but the World Health Organization places the final tally at approximately 2 million deaths, 69,800 of those in the US alone.

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Asian flu in Sweden (1957), Wikimedia Commons

History / Re: 10 of the Worst Pandemics in History
« on: February 03, 2020, 04:01:06 PM »

Death Toll: 1 million
Cause: Influenza

A category 2 Flu pandemic sometimes referred to as “the Hong Kong Flu,” the 1968 flu pandemic was caused by the H3N2 strain of the Influenza A virus, a genetic offshoot of the H2N2 subtype. From the first reported case on July 13, 1968 in Hong Kong, it took only 17 days before outbreaks of the virus were reported in Singapore and Vietnam, and within three months had spread to the Philippines, India, Australia, Europe, and the United States. While the 1968 pandemic had a comparatively low mortality rate (.5%) it still resulted in the deaths of more than a million people, including 500,000 residents of Hong Kong, approximately 15% of its population at the time.

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History / Re: 10 of the Worst Pandemics in History
« on: February 03, 2020, 03:59:17 PM »

Death Toll: 36 million

First identified in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976, HIV/AIDS has truly proven itself as a global pandemic, killing more than 36 million people since 1981. Currently, there are between 31 and 35 million people living with HIV, the vast majority of those are in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 5% of the population is infected, roughly 21 million people. As awareness has grown, new treatments have been developed that make HIV far more manageable, and many of those infected go on to lead productive lives. Between 2005 and 2012 the annual global deaths from HIV/AIDS dropped from 2.2 million to 1.6 million.

dUK8RpzfKpk2VC13jv-Gq-wXb2qfZaMVgUumjmPzenUjr8CCrNn0JsHU1ERqyU1CKkDyDfAAJ_6UxTUfY_XVRjM5Y_OI=s512 - Show Posts - islander
AWARENESS: World Aids Day
Image: FLE

History / 10 of the Worst Pandemics in History
« on: February 03, 2020, 03:56:56 PM »



Scientists and medical researchers have for years have differed over the exact definition of a pandemic (is it a pandemic, or an epidemic), but one thing everyone agrees on is that the word describes the widespread occurrence of disease, in excess of what might normally be expected in a geographical region.

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Cholera, bubonic plague, smallpox, and influenza are some of the most brutal killers in human history. And outbreaks of these diseases across international borders, are properly defined as pandemic, especially smallpox, which throughout history, has killed between 300-500 million people in its 12,000-year existence.

A final note: The most recent outbreak of the Ebola virus, which has killed thousands of people, is still confined to West Africa. It may someday be pandemic, but for now, it is considered an epidemic — and is therefore not included on this list.

Health and Food / Re: How to Prepare for a Coronavirus Pandemic
« on: February 01, 2020, 07:23:34 PM »


Before a Pandemic

#Store a two week supply of water and food.

#Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.

#Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.

#Get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them, for personal reference.

#Get help accessing electronic help records.

#Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.

During a Pandemic

Limit the Spread of Germs and Prevent Infection

#Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

#When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

#Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

#Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.

#Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

#Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Health and Food / Re: How to Prepare for a Coronavirus Pandemic
« on: February 01, 2020, 07:10:32 PM »

A Global Action Plan

An nCoV pandemic would require a great many measures from governments, the World Health Organization, other international organizations, medical and public health professionals, industry, and the public. The priorities above are just some of those measures—and alarmism is not among them.

The virus may still be contained before it spreads widely around the world, and all useful efforts toward that goal should continue. And even if nCoV does spread widely, it may eventually prove to be so mild that it comes to resemble other common respiratory diseases, obviating the need for continued extraordinary steps.

Yet the world cannot afford to presume these best-case scenarios. This new virus could prove to be both uncontainable and to cause a serious or lethal disease for many across the globe. Governments need to come to grips with this risk and act accordingly. If that worst-case outcome fails to materialize, their work will still have been right and worthwhile, as an insurance against this crisis and as preparation for the next one. If these measures turn out to be necessary, however, then the earlier we start, the more valuable our efforts will be.

Health and Food / Re: How to Prepare for a Coronavirus Pandemic
« on: February 01, 2020, 06:42:35 PM »

In order to find new cases and treat them, medical professionals will need to quickly identify people with nCoV, which requires a reliable diagnostic test. Fortunately, an accurate test already exists, but the number of labs capable of conducting it is limited, creating delays that will only get longer as the case count rises. Governments should fund a major global effort to manufacture rapid diagnostic kits and distribute them to countries around the world.

images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcS5AriQWOdJzHktJ07Pc8kbO82hH3j7GgXnrAxAbeSdCCE6GoMI - Show Posts - islander
Medical staff in a new ward for potential coronavirus patients at a hospital in Amman, Jordan, January 2020
Muhammad Hamed / Reuters

Once patients are identified, hospitals must stand ready to care for them, a task that requires immediate preparation. If an nCoV pandemic occurs, hospitals could receive high numbers of patients, many requiring intensive care. Past coronavirus epidemics have spread widely within hospitals and infected health-care workers. Hospitals should prepare for this risk by strengthening their infection control procedures, making sure their workers have the right training and maintaining a reliable supply of masks, gowns, and gloves. Such preparation is harder than it sounds: only a small number of countries produce these essential materials and supply them to the world, so international planning to keep supply chains functioning will be paramount.

Governments and public health authorities, too, will shoulder significant burdens, not least in communicating with the public in moments of crisis. Authorities will need to say what they know, what they don’t know, and when they will know it. They should be accurate and not withhold information, whether the news is good or bad. Public trust is essential to controlling an epidemic, for a simple reason: trust will determine whether the public listens to what authorities advise, such as suspending social gatherings, getting diagnosed quickly, seeking care at certain locations, and agreeing to be isolated while contagious. To such ends, confidence in government action and advice will be crucial. Governments will also have to partner with traditional and social media to help distribute factual information and minimize hoaxes and conspiracies.

Health and Food / Re: How to Prepare for a Coronavirus Pandemic
« on: February 01, 2020, 06:36:56 PM »

Next Steps

An nCoV pandemic would require a strong and sustained response by governments and the international community. Developing a vaccine is a top priority, and a number of countries, companies, and international organizations have already started this work. An effective nCoV vaccine could slow the spread and lessen the impact of the disease dramatically, but vaccine development normally takes a long time. Assuming that everything goes right, an nCoV vaccine could take around a year to develop, according to leading experts in the field. That timeline would already be record-breaking in a new outbreak, but governments, international organizations, and philanthropies should make every available effort to accelerate it by coordinating and giving support to any and all serious vaccine candidates. Contenders might come from universities or biotech and pharmaceutical companies—nobody knows where an effective vaccine will appear first. Money should not be a limiting factor.

Developing a vaccine is a top priority

Once a vaccine is developed, it will need to be produced on a large scale at different sites around the world. To disperse the manufacturing in this way would be unusual, as a vaccine is normally made in one location. But the WHO, other international organizations, and private-sector logistics companies could more quickly distribute the vaccine if it is produced in multiple locations. Moreover, any one country producing the vaccine will face strong domestic pressure to vaccinate its own people before sharing any of it.

While work on a vaccine is underway, researchers should look for medicines that could help treat nCoV, including antivirals, a class of drugs that fight a virus’s ability to replicate. Existing antivirals—some experimental, others for known human viruses such as the flu and HIV—might have some value in combating nCoV. They should rapidly be tested for their utility. Therapies that rely on patient injection of antibodies have proved successful in treating SARS in humans and animals; researchers might have success in developing similar treatments for humans with nCoV. Conducting the necessary trials for new treatments during an active outbreak is a challenge—so much so that medical professionals long considered it too difficult—but the response to an Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2018 and 2019 showed that new therapies can be tested and proven even in the middle of an epidemic.

Health and Food / Re: How to Prepare for a Coronavirus Pandemic
« on: February 01, 2020, 06:30:34 PM »

Knowns and Unknowns

Assessing the risks of nCoV will require data and time. Among the most crucial indicators in any epidemic is the fatality rate: the share of the infected who die from the disease. The statistics on diagnosed nCoV cases available as of today would suggest a fatality rate of around two percent. (For comparison, SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, had a fatality rate of ten percent when it broke out in 2002 and 2003, while seasonal flu has a fatality rate of about 0.01 percent.) But that fatality rate will change. At the start of a new outbreak, the most serious cases of illness and death are the easiest to spot and are thus recorded first. As more cases come to light, including many milder ones, the fatality rate is likely to go down, perhaps substantially. In an optimistic scenario, nCoV will have a lethality closer to seasonal flu than to SARS—but it is too early to know. As of now, older adults appear to be most at risk, with very few recognized cases in children.

Assessing the risks of nCoV will require data and time.

Another critical factor is the rate at which the virus spreads. The rapid rise in cases in China suggests that nCoV is transmitted efficiently from human to human, although scientific details about the patterns of its spread among most of the infected are not yet fully available to the WHO or governments other than China. In past outbreaks of respiratory disease, the rate of spread has sometimes slowed over time, probably because people became more aware of the risks and took steps to protect themselves (washing their hands, covering their coughs, staying home if sick, canceling large gatherings, and so on). And as more people fall ill, recover, and become immune, fewer people will remain susceptible. But whether nCoV will follow that path or will instead continue to spread widely and quickly, scientists cannot now accurately judge. SARS was contained within about seven months, but each year’s seasonal flu circulates globally until the next year’s strain replaces it. So far, the control measures that China has taken have not seemed to slow nCoV down. And although the virus has not evolved substantially over the course of this outbreak, its genome could change over time, perhaps affecting its lethality or capacity to spread. 

Some steps should help slow the disease’s international spread in the short term. A number of airlines, for instance, have reduced or canceled service to China, and new arrivals from the country are being screened for the disease at many airports around the world. Within China, steps to isolate patients and protect health-care workers from contagion will continue to be vital no matter what. But given nCoV’s rapid rise and spread so far, even these measures may not suffice to stop it. Planning for that outcome is an urgent necessity, even as containment efforts continue.

Health and Food / How to Prepare for a Coronavirus Pandemic
« on: February 01, 2020, 06:12:21 PM »

How to Prepare for a Coronavirus Pandemic

The Worst-Case Scenario Isn’t Inevitable, But It Can’t Be Ignored

By Tom Inglesby
January 31, 2020

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A police officer at a roadblock in Jiujiang, China, January 2020
Thomas Peter / Reuters

When the first reports of a coronavirus outbreak hit the airwaves in early January, several dozen people had already caught the disease in or around the Chinese city of Wuhan. In the weeks since, the virus, nCoV, has spread quickly and the number of infections has grown by the day, even as Wuhan and other Chinese cities isolated large numbers of patients and quarantined some 50 million residents. At the latest count (as of Friday morning), there have been 213 deaths in China out of a total of 9,776 confirmed cases, and the virus has spread to more than 20 countries. On Thursday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the disease a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.”

The epidemic is still in its early days, and its defining characteristics will take time to understand. The scale of nCoV’s ultimate impact will depend on just how contagious it reveals itself to be and how lethal it is in those who fall ill—properties that cannot be precisely determined at this stage. The efforts underway to contain the disease in China and elsewhere could prove effective in the weeks ahead, and they should be fully supported. Yet there is a clear possibility that nCoV may not be contained in time to prevent a large global outbreak. Countries should start preparing for that prospect now.

Health and Food / Re: Of Coronaviruses and Pandemics
« on: February 01, 2020, 03:57:37 PM »

Transmission dead ends

By contrast, many cases may not spread. To get an average R0 of under 4, the super-spreaders must be balanced by cases with very low R0. So individual transmissions, which are harder to spot, may also be dead ends for the virus, which hasn’t yet adapted to humans and is mutating slowly.

“Contrast that with something like flu, where everyone is spreading and any case can spark an epidemic,” he says. “Super-spreader events suggest this can be controlled.”

Unfortunately, the only controls we have, until a vaccine is developed, are spotting and quarantining infectious people – and that only works, as it did for SARS if the virus cannot spread before people have symptoms. This week Chinese authorities stated that this virus can do that, but there is little evidence.

Fisman is skeptical. But, he says, “it’s a game-changer if true”.

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