The imminent threat of a new plague!
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08-07-2013, 07:05 PM
RE: The imminent threat of a new plague!
(07-07-2013 08:53 PM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  
(06-07-2013 10:49 PM)AtheistTeacher Wrote:  Pretty much what everyone else has said. It's not a matter of if, but when. The new virus in the Middle East has a lot of people worried currently, but who knows which virus or event will be a major event that causes a mass depopulation, all we do know that history shows us that these events have happened before and it's logical to assume they will again.

With that in mind, I'm trying to think of ways of prevention (without turning into one of those people on those Doomsday shows).

-up to date vaccinations
-live in a rural area vs densely populated urban area

what else?

Have a well

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09-07-2013, 09:14 AM
RE: The imminent threat of a new plague!
I'm starting to rethink my whole stance on these "doomsday preppers" people.

If anything went terribly wrong, they would be the safe ones.

I think that just stocking up on food/water and having a house to yourself in a rural area would be enough to keep you alive during any sort of apocalyptic scenario.
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09-07-2013, 09:22 AM
RE: The imminent threat of a new plague!
I think slydog and hafnof hit the nail on the head. If there is a population disaster that will happen in the future for humans, it is less likely to be some superbug or supervirus. I say that because we have great medicine currently and are continuing to improve it. The only issue is distributing it appropriately.

If something happens and global economies slip, then medical distribution slows, food distribution slows, water supplies will shrivel, and famine will set in. Weaken large populations with famine and little water, and you increase the likelihood of diseases that already exist transmitting easily. Make it hard to get medical supplies and food/water to those in need, and they will die. Even from a simple bacteria that common antibiotics could cure.

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09-07-2013, 09:47 AM
RE: The imminent threat of a new plague!
(09-07-2013 09:22 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I think slydog and hafnof hit the nail on the head. If there is a population disaster that will happen in the future for humans, it is less likely to be some superbug or supervirus. I say that because we have great medicine currently and are continuing to improve it. The only issue is distributing it appropriately.

Well, yes, but our meat is loaded up with antibiotics, and already there are strains that we have no antidote for.

Many people die in hospitals because of infections they contracted in the hospital. Because of the environment there, heavily loaded with antibiotics, the resident viruses have mutated to where they don't mind any of the antibiotics.

As long as we pump the environment and our food and bodies full of antibiotics, we can almost be guaranteed that a virus will evolve that we cannot combat.

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09-07-2013, 09:52 AM
RE: The imminent threat of a new plague!
(09-07-2013 09:47 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(09-07-2013 09:22 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I think slydog and hafnof hit the nail on the head. If there is a population disaster that will happen in the future for humans, it is less likely to be some superbug or supervirus. I say that because we have great medicine currently and are continuing to improve it. The only issue is distributing it appropriately.

Well, yes, but our meat is loaded up with antibiotics, and already there are strains that we have no antidote for.

Many people die in hospitals because of infections they contracted in the hospital. Because of the environment there, heavily loaded with antibiotics, the resident viruses have mutated to where they don't mind any of the antibiotics.

As long as we pump the environment and our food and bodies full of antibiotics, we can almost be guaranteed that a virus will evolve that we cannot combat.

A couple of points first A) antibiotics don't combat viruses, just bacteria
B) we do indeed feed animals antibiotics to keep them from getting sick, but the same bacteria do not necessarily threaten humans
C) antibiotic resistance is an issue, that we combat by developing new antibiotics. There are probably better ways to limit this use by taking advantage of what we know about evolution, and that will almost certainly become necessary.

Let's say a strain of antibiotic resistant bacteria begins to systematically infect the American beef supply. Let's say it is deadly. Bacteria that are deadly may not be able to be killed, but sometimes we can still treat the symptoms until our immune systems fight it off. Let's say our immune systems can't. How long do you think it would take to recognize that strain? How long before we cut the supplies of beef? With information transported faster than ever, all it would take to prevent new spreads would be news reports to not buy beef.

A new plague not only means a strain of something that we can't kill, but a delivery method we can't control.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
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09-07-2013, 10:03 AM
RE: The imminent threat of a new plague!
I'd agree with BeardedDude.

Disease isn't likely to be a problem until several other sectors of society are disrupted.

That is to say, the imminent, which is climate change, and the ensuing mass disruption of coastal populations, along with the sometimes drastic shifts in arability. And the probable, which is depletion of fossil fuels and inadequate substitute infrastructure. There are also more localized considerations, such as groundwater depletion and contamination.

All of these factors will interrupt power generation, food production, and transportation, and therefore resource supply chains. Populations in flux living in poor conditions just so happen to be the perfect breeding ground for new diseases.

So yes.

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09-07-2013, 10:10 AM
RE: The imminent threat of a new plague!
(09-07-2013 09:52 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(09-07-2013 09:47 AM)Dom Wrote:  Well, yes, but our meat is loaded up with antibiotics, and already there are strains that we have no antidote for.

Many people die in hospitals because of infections they contracted in the hospital. Because of the environment there, heavily loaded with antibiotics, the resident viruses have mutated to where they don't mind any of the antibiotics.

As long as we pump the environment and our food and bodies full of antibiotics, we can almost be guaranteed that a virus will evolve that we cannot combat.

A couple of points first A) antibiotics don't combat viruses, just bacteria
B) we do indeed feed animals antibiotics to keep them from getting sick, but the same bacteria do not necessarily threaten humans
C) antibiotic resistance is an issue, that we combat by developing new antibiotics. There are probably better ways to limit this use by taking advantage of what we know about evolution, and that will almost certainly become necessary.

Let's say a strain of antibiotic resistant bacteria begins to systematically infect the American beef supply. Let's say it is deadly. Bacteria that are deadly may not be able to be killed, but sometimes we can still treat the symptoms until our immune systems fight it off. Let's say our immune systems can't. How long do you think it would take to recognize that strain? How long before we cut the supplies of beef? With information transported faster than ever, all it would take to prevent new spreads would be news reports to not buy beef.

A new plague not only means a strain of something that we can't kill, but a delivery method we can't control.

My ERROR ERROR ERROR button seems to be broken. Of course, this is about bacteria.

The antibiotics we feed animals because they live in such crowded conditions that any bacteria would spread like wildfire, not because they are sick, have also not proven to be harmless to be ingested by humans on a continual basis over a lifetime. Their interaction in your body with any meds you may be taking hasn't been researched.

The long term actions and interactions of "foreign" substances we all consume on a daily basis is not studied. Throw in the meds we take. The long term anything can't even be studied without halting progress.

Look at asbestos. Considered safe after testing, extremely wide spread use, tons of dead people and suffering, too. They don't die easy or fast.

Research regarding all the things we ingest or are exposed to these days, things that we did not evolve to ingest, is lacking sorely. There is no money in it.

As far as distribution method - my guess would be the food or water supply. That would have the largest impact.

But, this is all a guessing game anyway. If we could be sure of anything, we could prepare for it and it wouldn't work. It has to blindside us.

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09-07-2013, 10:22 AM
RE: The imminent threat of a new plague!
(09-07-2013 10:10 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(09-07-2013 09:52 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  A couple of points first A) antibiotics don't combat viruses, just bacteria
B) we do indeed feed animals antibiotics to keep them from getting sick, but the same bacteria do not necessarily threaten humans
C) antibiotic resistance is an issue, that we combat by developing new antibiotics. There are probably better ways to limit this use by taking advantage of what we know about evolution, and that will almost certainly become necessary.

Let's say a strain of antibiotic resistant bacteria begins to systematically infect the American beef supply. Let's say it is deadly. Bacteria that are deadly may not be able to be killed, but sometimes we can still treat the symptoms until our immune systems fight it off. Let's say our immune systems can't. How long do you think it would take to recognize that strain? How long before we cut the supplies of beef? With information transported faster than ever, all it would take to prevent new spreads would be news reports to not buy beef.

A new plague not only means a strain of something that we can't kill, but a delivery method we can't control.

My ERROR ERROR ERROR button seems to be broken. Of course, this is about bacteria.

The antibiotics we feed animals because they live in such crowded conditions that any bacteria would spread like wildfire, not because they are sick, have also not proven to be harmless to be ingested by humans on a continual basis over a lifetime. Their interaction in your body with any meds you may be taking hasn't been researched.

The long term actions and interactions of "foreign" substances we all consume on a daily basis is not studied. Throw in the meds we take. The long term anything can't even be studied without halting progress.

Look at asbestos. Considered safe after testing, extremely wide spread use, tons of dead people and suffering, too. They don't die easy or fast.

Research regarding all the things we ingest or are exposed to these days, things that we did not evolve to ingest, is lacking sorely. There is no money in it.

As far as distribution method - my guess would be the food or water supply. That would have the largest impact.

But, this is all a guessing game anyway. If we could be sure of anything, we could prepare for it and it wouldn't work. It has to blindside us.

The idea that something can only be used if we understand the "long-term" consequences is highly subjective. One could make the argument that "long-term" would be 10 years or a lifetime or 10 generations. So, with the feeding of animals antibiotic-rich diets, we know that it provides a short-term benefit and a long-term drawback of increasing resistance. An obvious need for a change in the system and one of several reasons to change the system we raise our animals in.

"Look at asbestos. Considered safe after testing, extremely wide spread use, tons of dead people and suffering, too. They don't die easy or fast."

Asbestos is a bad example actually. Asbestos really refers to a mineral structure. As such, there are numerous minerals that have asbestiform crystal habits and the vast majority of them are inert. Making most of the asbestos abatement irrelevant. Especially since the harm in asbestos would be exposure and the asbestos that is being removed (in most cases) is not exposed (I am surrounded by asbestos at this moment and have access to drawers full of asbestiform minerals.).

And as far as the distribution method of food or water: boil the water and thoroughly cook the food. The reason why something like the black plague was so bad, was because the distribution method was unknown and therefore couldn't be stopped. If you know how it is transmitted and what the carrier is, you can take action against each of those and not need to use antibiotics.

Let's use the bird flu or swine flu. If it became apparent that these were threats at the plague-level, we stop the distribution of these products out of contaminated areas and confine it. If it can't disperse, it can't spread.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
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09-07-2013, 10:30 AM
RE: The imminent threat of a new plague!
(09-07-2013 10:22 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(09-07-2013 10:10 AM)Dom Wrote:  My ERROR ERROR ERROR button seems to be broken. Of course, this is about bacteria.

The antibiotics we feed animals because they live in such crowded conditions that any bacteria would spread like wildfire, not because they are sick, have also not proven to be harmless to be ingested by humans on a continual basis over a lifetime. Their interaction in your body with any meds you may be taking hasn't been researched.

The long term actions and interactions of "foreign" substances we all consume on a daily basis is not studied. Throw in the meds we take. The long term anything can't even be studied without halting progress.

Look at asbestos. Considered safe after testing, extremely wide spread use, tons of dead people and suffering, too. They don't die easy or fast.

Research regarding all the things we ingest or are exposed to these days, things that we did not evolve to ingest, is lacking sorely. There is no money in it.

As far as distribution method - my guess would be the food or water supply. That would have the largest impact.

But, this is all a guessing game anyway. If we could be sure of anything, we could prepare for it and it wouldn't work. It has to blindside us.

The idea that something can only be used if we understand the "long-term" consequences is highly subjective. One could make the argument that "long-term" would be 10 years or a lifetime or 10 generations. So, with the feeding of animals antibiotic-rich diets, we know that it provides a short-term benefit and a long-term drawback of increasing resistance. An obvious need for a change in the system and one of several reasons to change the system we raise our animals in.

"Look at asbestos. Considered safe after testing, extremely wide spread use, tons of dead people and suffering, too. They don't die easy or fast."

Asbestos is a bad example actually. Asbestos really refers to a mineral structure. As such, there are numerous minerals that have asbestiform crystal habits and the vast majority of them are inert. Making most of the asbestos abatement irrelevant. Especially since the harm in asbestos would be exposure and the asbestos that is being removed (in most cases) is not exposed (I am surrounded by asbestos at this moment and have access to drawers full of asbestiform minerals.).

And as far as the distribution method of food or water: boil the water and thoroughly cook the food. The reason why something like the black plague was so bad, was because the distribution method was unknown and therefore couldn't be stopped. If you know how it is transmitted and what the carrier is, you can take action against each of those and not need to use antibiotics.

Let's use the bird flu or swine flu. If it became apparent that these were threats at the plague-level, we stop the distribution of these products out of contaminated areas and confine it. If it can't disperse, it can't spread.

Like I said, anything that will do the job that nature tends to like to do on all levels - wipe out what has become too numerous - has to blind side us.

So you think that we are so advanced that nothing of that sort can harm us? I don't think so. We don't know it all, and we don't have everything under control.

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09-07-2013, 10:34 AM
RE: The imminent threat of a new plague!
(09-07-2013 10:30 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(09-07-2013 10:22 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  The idea that something can only be used if we understand the "long-term" consequences is highly subjective. One could make the argument that "long-term" would be 10 years or a lifetime or 10 generations. So, with the feeding of animals antibiotic-rich diets, we know that it provides a short-term benefit and a long-term drawback of increasing resistance. An obvious need for a change in the system and one of several reasons to change the system we raise our animals in.

"Look at asbestos. Considered safe after testing, extremely wide spread use, tons of dead people and suffering, too. They don't die easy or fast."

Asbestos is a bad example actually. Asbestos really refers to a mineral structure. As such, there are numerous minerals that have asbestiform crystal habits and the vast majority of them are inert. Making most of the asbestos abatement irrelevant. Especially since the harm in asbestos would be exposure and the asbestos that is being removed (in most cases) is not exposed (I am surrounded by asbestos at this moment and have access to drawers full of asbestiform minerals.).

And as far as the distribution method of food or water: boil the water and thoroughly cook the food. The reason why something like the black plague was so bad, was because the distribution method was unknown and therefore couldn't be stopped. If you know how it is transmitted and what the carrier is, you can take action against each of those and not need to use antibiotics.

Let's use the bird flu or swine flu. If it became apparent that these were threats at the plague-level, we stop the distribution of these products out of contaminated areas and confine it. If it can't disperse, it can't spread.

Like I said, anything that will do the job that nature tends to like to do on all levels - wipe out what has become too numerous - has to blind side us.

So you think that we are so advanced that nothing of that sort can harm us? I don't think so. We don't know it all, and we don't have everything under control.

I'm not saying we are too advanced for anything to harm us, but I think that next major population catastrophe is not going to be some blind-side by a new virus. It will be the same old stuff and we will be the only thing in the way of stopping it.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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