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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 video

Environmental Science
Course Code
Jovan Stefanovic

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Lecture 7 Video: Laurie Garrett on lessons from the 1918 flu
Why worry about a pandemic threat?
Pandemic threat (of a disease) prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or
the whole world; epidemic over a large area
1.Globalization has increased travel and has increased the chances of worldwide
diseases (“microbial hitchhikers are moving w/ you). A disease in India can happen
in Canada too
2.Cant rely on the govt to be capable and ready to tackle an outbreak (e.g. govt wasnt
ready to tackle Katrina when Katrina hit)
Big Concern is bird flu a.k.a. H5N1 flu. Flu found in birds, people or both
Bird flu originated in S. China in the mid 1900s but was only found in 1997. In Christmas
of 2008, only 13 countries had it but by Apr 2009 55 countries got it (most countries except
the Americas)
Bird flu has caused birds to mutate
Bird flu has mutated over 2 yrs and there is 2 distinct types of bird flu
People believe bird flu vaccine wont be effective in a bird flu pandemic
To fight pandemic, CANT shut down airports that travel to different countries b/c masks
are purchased from different countries like China and w/o planes, cant deliver vaccines to
different parts of the world
Bird flu can be transmitted from eating raw meat of infected animals
On animals , such as rodents and ferrets, the following symptoms from bird flu was found:
seizures, central nervous system disorders, partial paralysis
What kills a person is not the virus itself, it is your immune system overreacting stating:
What ever this [virus] is so foreign, Im going beserk
Most deaths have occurred from people under 30; young healthy adults
Bush administration more focused on anthrax and bioterrorism so not ready for pandemic
Govt responsibility to try to keep virus out of country (which is pretty impossible) and to
mitigate the impact on the economy. Rest of the responsibilities relies on local govt (mayor)
In Apr 2009 they had a vaccine but since bird flu mutates, the vaccine will be useless
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