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Old 08-13-2009, 08:26 PM   #1
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Exclamation SuperFlu SuperSpeculation

There appears to be a very strong correlation between narcotics use and pandemics. Both the 1918 and 2009 influenza pandemics were preceded by peak recreational use of cocaine. Not only that, cocaine appears to be a strong contributing factor in the development of a cytokine storm. Yes... it's true the 50 million people would died in 1918 were likely coke users; not impossible when you consider that cocaine was a key incredient in many consumer products at the time.

THEN

....Cocaine was soon sold over-the-counter. Until 1916, one could buy it at Harrods: a kit labelled "A Welcome Present for Friends at the Front" contained cocaine, morphine, syringes and spare needles. Cocaine was widely used in tonics, toothache cures and patent medicines; in coca cigarettes "guaranteed to lift depression"; and in chocolate cocaine tablets. One fast-selling product, Ryno's HayFever and Catarrh Remedy ("for when the nose is stuffed up, red and sore") consisted of 99.9 per cent pure cocaine. Prospective buyers were advised - in the words of pharmaceutical firm Parke-Davis - that cocaine "could make the coward brave, the silent eloquent, and render the sufferer insensitive to pain".....

http://www.homepagedaily.com/Pages/a...ocaineorg.aspx



.....Goto Shinpei, who was the chief civil administrator in Taiwan by 1898, created a policy for opium use by the nationals of Taiwan which was supposed to keep nonusers from taking up the habit, while allowing those who already smoked to continue to do so under government regulation. Addicts were required to be registered, but as Jennings explains, by the end of the 1920s, there were as many people using opium who were not registered as ones who were. There was no stigma among the Taiwanese for opium use. A subsequent lucrative monopoly system by the goyo shinshi working with the Medicine Manufacturing Bureau, later the Monopoly Bureau, imported raw opium from international sources, produced smoking paste, and delivered it. For a time, opium sales accounted for more than twenty percent of Taiwan's total annual income. Opium income reached a peak of more than eight million yen in 1918. Jennings created a table of opium revenue and total revenue in Taiwan from the year 1897 until 1941.....

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...4/ai_n9038979/



NOW


Surge In Heroin Abuse Concernig Many
Police across the country are reporting an alarming trend

Police across the country are reporting an alarming trend of increased heroin abuse and heroin seizures, according to an ABC news story. The rise in use is attributed to an increase in the availability of the drug, as well as a drop in prices.

The evidence supporting the increase in availability is the amount of the drug which has been confiscated recently by different law enforcement agencies and the number of drug addicts addicted to the drug.....

...The quality of the drug is also being greatly increased, while 20 years ago most of the heroin was imported into the country from the Far East, now the drug is being manufactured in Mexico and distributed by the large drug cartels operating in the United States and Mexico.

In fact an extremely pure form of heroin “china white” named for its white color is becoming more and more prevalent, this form of heroin can be snorted or smoke, in a process called “chasing the dragon”. This form of the drug is growing in popularity among the youth because no needles are necessary.

Heroin is highly addictive more so than most pharmaceuticals. This means that young adults trying heroin as an alternative to prescription drugs are getting hooked at an alarming rate.

Mary Rieser of Narconon of Georgia an addiction treatment facility located in Georgia says “ With prescription drug abuse in the media and laws being passed to handle doctor shopping we must be careful to keep the pressure on eliminating all drugs of abuse."

Narconon of Georgia is a non-profit Drug Treatment center located in Atlanta, Georgia.

http://www.transworldnews.com/NewsSt...=109717&cat=15


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Old 08-13-2009, 08:31 PM   #2
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This is an excerpt of a very detailed study of the effects of cocaine on the cytokine response to the influenza virus.


Effects of cocaine administration to influenza virus-immunized mice on cytokine profiles of individual splenic CD4+ and CD8+ T cells

In the present study we analysed the effects of repeated administrations of cocaine in mice at 6, 24, 48 and 72 h after immunization with PR8 influenza virus on the frequency of IL-2-, IL-4- and IFN-γ-expressing CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. We found that under these conditions of exposure, cocaine induced an increase, versus untreated controls, of the frequencies of virus-restimulated immune splenic CD8+ T cells singly or co-expressing IL-2 and IFN-γ, while the frequency of CD8+ T cells either singly expressing IL-4 or co-expressing this cytokine in combination with IL-2 or IFN-γ remained unchanged. In contrast, no effects were found on the frequencies of CD4+ T cells expressing any one of the three cytokines. We also observed a significant increase, in comparison with untreated animals, of the titres of IL-2 and IFN-γ, but not of IL-4, as determined by ELISA in the supernatants of PR8-restimulated spleen cells obtained from cocaine-treated animals.

Thus, our data indicate that cocaine administration specifically up-regulates type 1 cytokine production by the CD8+ T cell subset.

Our results differ from previous reports, some of which have been contradictory. In fact, it has earlier been reported that acute (1 mg/kg) and subchronic (1 mg/kg per day for 7 consecutive days) cocaine administration to male BALB/c mice reduced IL-2, IFN-γ and IL-4 production by mitogen-stimulated spleen cells [6], while chronic administration (40 mg/kg per day for 6 weeks) to female C57Bl/6 mice enhanced the production by Con A-stimulated splenocytes of IL-2 and IL-5, and inhibited the production of IL-4 and IL-10, whereas IFN-γ was not affected [3]. Finally, acute cocaine administration (30 mg/kg) to female B6C3F1 mice induced an increase of IL-4 and IL-10 production in anti-CD3-stimulated spleen cells while IL-2 and IFN-γ production was unaffected [7]. Whether the different effects are due to the experimental conditions used or reflect the complexity of the pharmacological action of cocaine remains to be determined. However, our experimental model has at least three features which support the ‘physiological’ relevance of the results obtained. First, to generate cytokine-producing T cells we used a naturally occurring virus-specific stimulus rather than polyclonal stimuli like Con A or anti-CD3 which are known to induce different patterns of cytokine production [16,17]. Second, regarding the schedule of cocaine administration, each animal was injected with the drug 6, 24, 48 and 72 h after immunization with influenza virus. This allowed the determination of the in vivo effects of cocaine on T cells during the initial step of the immune response, i.e. at the time of the antigen (virus)-induced differentiation of naive T cells into ‘effector’ T cells, which are characterized by the capacity to produce very large amounts of immunoregulatory cytokines upon antigen restimulation [18,19]. In addition, we chose a cocaine dose (10 mg/kg) that did not significantly alter the percentage of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, even when administered for 30 consecutive days [13]. Third, the effects of cocaine on the cytokine profiles of the single CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were determined in bulk cultures of virus-immune spleen cells restimulated with PR8. This provided conditions for possible cross-regulatory activities by the different T cell subsets through the cytokines produced by these cells.

The mechanisms by which cocaine may selectively act on CD8+ T cells, at least in the present experimental system, remain unclear. However, we have earlier reported [14] that primary immunization with influenza virus induces heterogeneous patterns of cytokine response in both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, but with substantial differences between these two populations. In fact, immune CD4+ T cells were seen to express almost exclusively a single cytokine per cell, whereas immune CD8+ T cells were found to express either a single cytokine or co-express combinations (i.e. IL-4/IL-2, IL-4/IFN-γ and IL-2/IFN-γ). As the frequencies of CD8+ T cells co-expressing different cytokines were not statistically different, we suggested these cells might belong to a single subset of type 0 cells co-expressing all three cytokines; therefore, influenza virus-immune CD8+ T cells can express, unlike the CD4+ T cells, a type 0 phenotype at the single-cell level. This may explain the different effects of cocaine on the two T cell subsets. In fact, type 0 cells represent a subset of cells that exhibit an unrestricted cytokine profile and that, unlike cells already committed to either type 1 or type 2 phenotype [9], can be induced to acquire a specific cytokine profile under the influence of different immunological, hormonal and environmental factors [9,20,21].

The finding that cocaine increased the percentage of cytokine-positive CD8+ T cells while the total percentage of CD8+ T cells in the spleen remained unchanged, supports the hypothesis that cocaine may act by specifically altering the pattern of cytokine production in a subset of precursor CD8+ T cells, rather than by altering their absolute number or distribution. Furthermore, we can reasonably exclude that the differences in the effect of cocaine on the two T cell subsets could depend on differences in experimental conditions. In fact, the cytokine profiles of both the T cell populations were evaluated in spleen cells obtained from the same animal, under similar conditions of activation, at the same time after restimulation with influenza virus, in the presence of the same complexity of immunocompetent cells and at comparable assay sensitivity.

Whether the up-regulation of IL-2 and IFN-γ expression by CD8+ T cells may be related to the immunopathogenic mechanism responsible, either partially or completely, for cocaine-induced immune dysfunctions remains to be determined. However, recent studies [20–22] have shown that CD8+ T cells can be divided into two distinct subsets that secrete type 1 or type 2 patterns of cytokines with different physiological roles. In particular, type 1 CD8+ T cells, which produce IL-2 and IFN-γ, can inhibit type 2 (antibody) responses [20]. Thus, the inhibitory effects of cocaine, e.g. on B lymphocyte response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and antibody response to sheep erythrocytes [23–26], could be caused by the increase of IL-2- and IFN-γ-expressing CD8+ cells.

Our findings demonstrating that CD8+ T cells are the target (or one of the targets) of immune effects of cocaine are in agreement with earlier data suggesting that cocaine can induce an increased susceptibility to infections [1]. Indeed, CD8+ T cells play a central role either in anti-viral immunity [27,28] or in many bacterial and protozoan infections [29]. Recent studies have also clearly established that these cells, in addition to their cytotoxic activity against virally infected cells, can exert, through differential cytokine production, a regulatory role on differentiation and activation of other immune cells involved in the anti-viral response [10,22,28,30]. Thus, the fact that cocaine induces a dysregulation of CD8+ T cell cytokine production suggests that by this mechanism the drug can affect the immune response to infections, and may also explain the data in humans suggesting an increased risk of infection, including HIV infection, among drug users [31–33].

In conclusion, we demonstrated that cocaine administered during the in vivo differentiation of effector T cells stimulated by antigen (influenza virus) increased both the frequency of CD8+ T cells singly or co-expressing IL-2 and IFN-γ and the titres of these cytokines in virus-restimulated spleen cell culture supernatants. In contrast, no effect was found either on IL-4-positive CD8+ T cells or on IL-2-, IFN-γ- and IL-4-positive CD4+ T cells. Our findings suggest that the immunomodulatory effect of cocaine may be due to the up-regulation of the production of IL-2 and IFN-γ in CD8+ T cells of type 0 cytokine profile.
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/art...?artid=1905446
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:53 PM   #3
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The British have been aware of the link between cocaine and pandemic flu for nearly 100 years; but, hid this finding to protect the image of their national icon - Sherlock Holmes (aka Conan Doyle), who actually was one of the first to die of Spanish flu.

This is the real reason UK drug addicts have been given priority access to swine flu vaccine.
</EM>

Drug addicts get 'priority access' to swine flu vaccine
Lords report will criticise the Government's handling of crisis and blame it for failing to quell the panic that has gripped the nation
By Jane Merrick, Political Editor

Sunday, 26 July 2009


PA
Swine flu patient Sharon Pentleton was flown to Sweden for care. Meanwhile, large gaps have appeared in the UK's Tamiflu distribution network
  • enlarge


Drug addicts could be among those given priority for vaccines against the virus, the official in charge of the Government's response to the swine flu pandemic has suggested.


Professor Lindsey Davies, director of Pandemic Influenza Preparedness, told a parliamentary committee that people with long-term maintenance conditions, such as those receiving methadone treatment, could be included in the "vulnerable" groups that the NHS will target first.
The suggestion, which is likely to cause controversy, was made to the Lords science and technology committee, which will publish a damning report this week into the Government's handling of swine flu.

With more than 100,000 people reported to have caught swine flu last week, the Government said last night that its new helpline and website were working well. More than 58,000 assessments were made by the National Pandemic Flu Service, 89 per cent of which were completed on the internet, and 5,584 courses of Tamiflu were collected, the Department of Health said.

Doctors in Stockholm, Sweden, continued to treat a pregnant swine flu victim, Sharon Pentleton, 26, who is described as "stable, but still critical". She was flown from Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock, Scotland, to Karolinska University Hospital for specialist care involving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (which involves pumping oxygen into her blood) after she suffered a rare and severe reaction to the virus and developed adult respiratory distress. The Foreign Office is still assisting at least 160 British nationals in quarantine because of swine flu in China, Singapore, India, Egypt.

The IoS has learnt that the Lords committee will criticise the belated introduction of the national swine flu helpline and website, swamped by anxious sufferers and "worried well" after they were launched last week. The peers will also demand to know why "whole-system testing" – from the moment a suspected flu sufferer contacts the NHS to their treatment and recovery – was not carried out until the swine flu virus was already in Britain.

The committee began a follow-up inquiry into pandemic influenza last year, after its 2005 report on the avian flu outbreak, and held an evidence session in March on the Government's preparations for the possibility of a major flu outbreak, just weeks before swine flu emerged.

Professor Davies was asked by the Tory former cabinet minister Lord Crickhowell about measures put in place for those with "long-term maintenance conditions", including those on kidney dialysis and drug addicts, in the event of a pandemic. He replied: "We are encouraging, through the guidance, every local NHS organisation to look carefully at these vulnerable people – and all those with long-term conditions come into that. The Cabinet Office has recently produced guidance on vulnerable people in emergencies generally, but we are working on something more specific for people with health issues."

The term "vulnerable" is crucial because the NHS is preparing a list of those who would be given priority for vaccines. This is expected to include the young, the elderly and diabetics, but it is the first suggestion that people on methadone would also be towards the front of the queue.
"We can't confirm that people on methadone treatment are classed as people with long-term conditions," the Department of Health said yesterday. "Professor Davies was talking generally about people who have immune suppressive systems – the actual priority groups are yet to be decided."

A report by the committee in 2005 on the threat of a flu pandemic recommended that "whole system" or "end-to-end" testing be carried out – which the committee will say was ignored by ministers and officials.
Huge gaps emerged in the distribution network for Tamiflu on Friday with claims that there were not enough locations to get the drug. In one example, sufferers in Leeds were told to visit chemists up to 70 miles away.
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-st...e-1761471.html



Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who first appeared in publication in 1887. He is the creation of British author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A brilliant London-based "consulting detective", Holmes is famous for his intellectual prowess, and is renowned for his skilful use of astute observation, deductive reasoning and inference to solve difficult cases.

Conan Doyle wrote four novels and fifty-six short stories that feature Holmes. The first two stories, short novels, appeared in Beeton's Christmas Annual for 1887 and Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in 1890, respectively. The character grew tremendously in popularity with the beginning of the first series of short stories in The Strand Magazine in 1891; further series of short stories and two serialised novels appeared until 1927. The stories cover a period from around 1875 up to 1907, with a final case in 1914.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlock_Holmes

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Old 08-14-2009, 12:54 AM   #4
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Sir Arhthur Conan Doyle died in 1930.

This is "Flu Spculation", not "Make Shit Up" thread.
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Old 08-14-2009, 07:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Sir Arhthur Conan Doyle died in 1930.

This is "Flu Spculation", not "Make Shit Up" thread.
The Sherlock Holmes series likely ended (died) becacuse of the Spanish flu
Quote:
Conan Doyle wrote four novels and fifty-six short stories that feature Holmes. The first two stories, short novels, appeared in Beeton's Christmas Annual for 1887 and Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in 1890, respectively. The character grew tremendously in popularity with the beginning of the first series of short stories in The Strand Magazine in 1891; further series of short stories and two serialised novels appeared until 1927. The stories cover a period from around 1875 up to 1907, with a final case in 1914.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlock_Holmes

...What Conan Doyle thought would be his last Sherlock Holmes story, The Valley of Fear, was serialized in the Strand magazine in 1914-1915. He was fifty-five when the First World War began, and although he tried to enlist, was Considered too old. He became a military correspondent instead, and in 1915 began writing his six-volume history of the British Campaign in France and Flanders. He was able to visit the British and French fronts, and completed the history in 1920. The war took its toll on Conan Doyle. He lost both his son, Kingsley (who had been wounded in the Battle of the Somme) in 1918, an his brother, Innes, to the Spanish flu pandemic, as well as two brothers-in-law and his two nephews.

He had always been fascinated by spiritualism and the occult, but with the deaths o those close to him, he became obsessed with the subject. Spiritualism believing that the dead communicate with the living also provided a degree of peace of mind. During the 1920s, he embarked upon a worldwide crusade for spiritualism, taking his wife and children to America, Australia and Africa, where his ideas were not always well received. They dabbled in suances, made contact with their own spirit guide (Pheneas) and Jean even went so far as to develop the questionable talent of trance-writing.....
http://www.sherlockholmes.com/index....50&It emid=27
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Old 08-14-2009, 07:46 AM   #6
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This is one way to get rid of the problem of drug addicts.
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Old 08-14-2009, 01:49 PM   #7
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This is one way to get rid of the problem of drug addicts.
Ja wolle! Of course, simply legalizing drugs and not driving drug users underground might do the trick, too.
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Old 08-14-2009, 02:00 PM   #8
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Yes, SO many of the pregnant women, children etc. who've died so far have been coke addicts.

Speculation is one thing but out & out fantasy is another.
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Old 08-14-2009, 06:08 PM   #9
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Question Infectious Football

8/4/2009 12:37:00 PM Swine flu cancels Grid-o-Rama
Michael Hupp
Sports Editor

BUFFALO - Most people associate football season with passing around the old "pigskin", but not with passing the swine flu.

Last weekend's Boone Lincoln Midget League "Grid-o-Rama" was scheduled to be played with the Buffalo Bison hosting the Duval Yellowjackets and the Guyan Valley Patriots. A Buffalo player was diagnosed with the dangerous flu strain putting the scrimmage and possibly Buffalo midget league's season to a halt.

"The league vice president of the league contacted me Thursday evening to tell me about the situation and we have decided it was in everyone's best interest to not participate in the scrimmage," Guyan Valley league president Kevin Porter said before practice Friday evening.

According to Porter, Duval was contacted and made the same decision. Parents of the Patriots were asked if there were any objections to not playing and everyone was in understanding of the risk and backed the decision to not play.

The league will split proceeds at regular season games with Buffalo to allow teams to make up lost revenue.

Several other Buffalo players were possibly being tested for other cases of the flu. Buffalo has been asked by the BLMFL to disinfect all locker rooms, equipment, and facilities to stop the spreading of the flu before returning to league play.

http://www.lincolnstandard.com/main....16&TM=78970.43





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Old 08-14-2009, 06:57 PM   #10
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Yes, SO many of the pregnant women, children etc. who've died so far have been coke addicts.

Speculation is one thing but out & out fantasy is another.
No CS, that's not it. They are likely good mothers , trying to do the right thing. It's just that....well it's the baby's stems cells OK!

A stem cell can grow into anything, right? So if a pregnant woman catches the flu, the virus invades all the un-coded stem cells and when they divide, they become flu viruses too....really, really big ones.


Influenza infections after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation:

Background.
Community-acquired respiratory viruses, such as influenza virus, are thought to be major causes of morbidity and mortality in patients who had undergone hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Risk factors for acquisition, progression to pneumonia, and the effect of antiviral therapy are unknown.

Methods.
We reviewed records from patients with documented influenza over 12 consecutive respiratory-virus infection seasons at a single transplantation center.

Results.
From 1 September 1989 through 31 March 2002, influenza virus was isolated from 62 of 4797 persons undergoing HSCT (1.3%); 44 patients had upper respiratory tract infections (URIs) alone, and 18 developed pneumonia. Among patients with influenza virus infection, pneumonia developed more commonly among those infected earlier after transplantation (median, 36 vs. 61 days, P = .04) and those with concurrent lymphopenia. Of the 51 cases that were initially diagnosed as URIs, 17 were treated with antivirals, and 34 were not treated. Six untreated patients (18%) developed pneumonia, whereas 1 (13%) of 8 patients treated with rimantadine and 0 of 9 treated with oseltamivir developed pneumonia. The duration of influenza virus shedding was longer in patients treated with steroid doses of >1 mg/kg than among those treated with doses of <1 mg/kg (mean, 15 vs. 9 days); there was a trend towards decreased shedding with oseltamivir therapy (but not rimantadine therapy) after controlling for steroid use (P<.08). The 30-day mortality rate was highest among patients who had progression to pneumonia (5 [28%] of 18 patients); pulmonary copathogens (such as Aspergillus fumigatus) were commonly isolated.

Conclusions.
Influenza virus infection is an important cause of mortality early after HSCT. Our nonrandomized data suggest that early antiviral therapy with neuraminidase inhibitors may prevent progression to pneumonia and decrease viral shedding, which may prevent both influenza-related death in index patients and nosocomial transmission to others.

http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=16311946


Last edited by caonacl; 08-14-2009 at 10:09 PM. Reason: spell'n
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Old 08-14-2009, 07:48 PM   #11
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www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1107636.html
Getting rid of drug addicts what about the HIV people,they must be dieing like flies.
Any-way Jewish Rabbis have dubbed the S.F. "Evil" and are fasting.
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:23 PM   #12
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Now seriously..,

Isn't this another one of the way, way, way outside the box threads.

This isn't even valid speculation. The thread doesn't even speculate about a superflu?

Lock and discard, if I had my way..,
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:59 PM   #13
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Now seriously..,

Isn't this another one of the way, way, way outside the box threads.

This isn't even valid speculation. The thread doesn't even speculate about a superflu?

Lock and discard, if I had my way..,
Is it because you misread the post about Sherlock Holmes; or is it that you are really reading the articles?

AB, I don't think you're seeing the big picture.
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Old 08-15-2009, 12:01 AM   #14
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No, AB, this was deliberately opened for the super-weird stuff. Sort of an OTB thread for the Flu Spec, to keep it all in one place.
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Old 08-15-2009, 06:29 AM   #15
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super flu for drug addicts ?
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:20 AM   #16
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super flu for drug addicts ?
As in post #2, opiates can trigger a cytokine storm, so maybe consumption of legal/illegal opiates was a factor in 1918 and now.

Cytokine Storm may be Cause of Swine Flu Pneumonia, Deaths Flu and Cold
Submitted by Kathleen Blanchard RN on May 6th, 2009

Researchers say that H1N1 swine flu may be especially dangerous for young health adults because the H1N1 virus may cause a “cytokine storm” – a sudden release of inflammatory chemicals that prevent the lungs from functioning properly. Scientists, in reviewing cytokine storms in literature, wonder if high levels of cytokines cause so much inflammation when the H1N1 virus activates the immune system, that fluid and inflammation occur at the site of the infection, leading to pneumonia and death.

A concern about the H1N1 swine flu is the number of deaths that have occurred in young adults with healthy immune systems, perhaps because of cytokine storm. The same held true for the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic that also caused deaths in healthy young adults.

"We do not know how long ago this virus emerged, how deadly it is, whether it has pandemic potential, how the severity of infection relates to patient age, and why some infected patients die - whether a cytokine storm is responsible for these deaths," according to David L. Woodland, PhD, Editor-in Chief of Viral Immunology. Research articles about cytokine storm are published this month in the Viral Immunology Journal.

Dr. Woodland says we still have a lot to learn about the H1N1 swine flu virus. "We do not know how long ago this virus emerged, how deadly it is, whether it has pandemic potential, how the severity of infection relates to patient age, and why some infected patients die—whether a cytokine storm is responsible for these deaths."

The review of current literature suggests that cytokine storm is the cause of pneumonia and severe infections seen with H1N1 swine flu in young adults, based on past evidence. In the upcoming months, cytokine storm as the cause of severe illness related to H1N1 swine flu may become a research focus.
http://www.emaxhealth.com/1020/90/30...ia-deaths.html
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:08 AM   #17
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Whisky, Weed to Ward Off Swine Flu
August 3, 2009

Good news for those who like to imbibe!
A company called Cannabis Science is hoping the FDA will approve its marijuana lozenges for use in children, teens, and adults. Robert Melamede, the owner of Cannabis Science, believes that marijuana lozenges could help curb deaths from swine flu.

“The approach relies on the principle that the chemicals in marijuana known as cannabinoids have a dampening effect on the immune system. Melamede said doctors may be able to take advantage of this effect to curb the risk of death from the immune system overdrive that resulted in many of the deaths of young adults during the 1918 influenza pandemic — a scenario that some worry could occur once more if swine flu were to become more virulent.”

Both the former CEO of Cannabis Science, Steve Kubby, and his successor, Melamede, have self-tested the lozenges. “Within half an hour of taking it, my runny nose, aching muscles and throat congestion are all significantly relieved,” Kubby said, adding that users of the lozenge will not get the “high” or “stoned” effects that come with smoking marijuana. Kubby and Melamede maintain that the chemical compounds in marijuana could decrease the chance of a “cytokine storm” situation, in which the immune system (especially in young adults) goes into overdrive and causes the lungs to fail.

Of course, Cannabis Science has quite the uphill battle before marijuana lozenges are passed out in school. And don’t think doctors are about to go advise patients to smoke up if they come down with the flu.

“While marijuana’s anti-inflammatory properties are widely accepted as a treatment for glaucoma or arthritis, its use as an antiviral raises eyebrows even among pot-friendly physicians. “Though it may have some antiviral effects, these have not been proven scientifically,” says Dr. David Allen, a chest surgeon and cannabinoid research scientist from California…
One thing, however, is clear: Smoking marijuana likely will do much more harm than good if you happen to have a respiratory infection — not to mention that smoking anything is damaging to someone with flu-related respiratory ills.”

In other news, Russian soccer fans are being encouraged to drink Welsh whisky to combat the swine flu.

“Welsh whisky is on offer to Russian supporters as a disinfectant,” Alexander Shprygin, head of the national team’s fan club, said Monday. “This will relieve any symptoms.”
http://plaguegirl.wordpress.com/tag/cytokine-storm/

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Old 08-15-2009, 04:21 PM   #18
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Influenza means birds; it always means birds. We have lost track of the root cause carriers of this pandemic. Birds.

WHO's to say it's not the birds that will cause the killer strain of H1N1 to develop. Think about it....when a bird catched H5N1, it drops dead in it's tracks. But, what happens if a bird contracts H1N1?

We started the global flu watch by tracking sick&dying birds. But, were there many reports of sick and dying birds in 1918?

H1N1 - 10 Genes, Furiously Evolving


Partly because they can mutate very fast and can mix genes, viruses are turning out to be astonishingly diverse.

The New York Times, May 5, 2009, by Carl Zimmer – Evolutionary biology may sometimes seem like an arcane academic pursuit, but just try telling that to Gavin Smith, a virologist at Hong Kong University. For the past week, Dr. Smith and six other experts on influenza in Hong Kong, Arizona, California and Britain have been furiously analyzing the new swine flu to figure out how and when it evolved.

The first viruses from the outbreak were isolated late last month, but Dr. Smith and his colleagues report on their Web site that the most recent common ancestor of the new viruses existed 6 to 11 months ago. “It could just have been going under the radar,” Dr. Smith said.

The current outbreak shows how complex and mysterious the evolution of viruses is. That complexity and mystery are all the more remarkable because a virus is life reduced to its essentials. A human influenza virus, for example, is a protein shell measuring about five-millionths of an inch across, with 10 genes inside. (We have about 20,000.)

Some viruses use DNA, like we do, to encode their genes. Others, like the influenza virus, use single-strand RNA. But viruses all have one thing in common, said Roland Wolkowicz, a molecular virologist at San Diego State University: they all reproduce by disintegrating and then reforming.

A human flu virus, for example, latches onto a cell in the lining of the nose or throat. It manipulates a receptor on the cell so that the cell engulfs it, whereupon the virus’s genes are released from its protein shell. The host cell begins making genes and proteins that spontaneously assemble into new viruses. “No other entity out there is able to do that,” Dr. Wolkowicz said. “To me, this is what defines a virus.”

The sheer number of viruses on Earth is beyond our ability to imagine. “In a small drop of water there are a billion viruses,” Dr. Wolkowicz said. Virologists have estimated that there are a million trillion trillion viruses in the world’s oceans.

Viruses are also turning out to be astonishingly diverse. Shannon Williamson of the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Md., has been analyzing the genes of ocean viruses. A tank of 100 to 200 liters of sea water may hold 100,000 genetically distinct viruses. “We’re just scratching the surface of virus diversity,” Dr. Williamson said. “I think we’re going to be continually surprised.”

Viruses are diverse because they can mutate very fast and can mix genes. They sometimes pick up genes from their hosts, and they can swap genes with other viruses. Some viruses, including flu viruses, carry out a kind of mixing known as reassortment. If two different flu viruses infect the same cell, the new copies of their genes get jumbled up as new viruses are assembled.

Viruses were probably infecting the earliest primordial microbes. “I believe viruses have been around forever,” Dr. Wolkowicz said.

As new hosts have evolved, some viruses have adapted to them. Birds, for example, became the main host for influenza viruses. Many birds infected with flu viruses do not get sick. The viruses replicate in the gut and are shed with the birds’ droppings.

A quarter of birds typically carry two or more strains of flu at the same time, allowing the viruses to mix their genes into a genetic blur. “Birds are constantly mixing up the constellation of these viruses,” said David Spiro of the J. Craig Venter Institute.

From birds, flu viruses have moved to animals, including pigs, horses and humans. Other viruses, like H.I.V. and SARS, have also managed to jump into our species, but many others have failed. “It’s a very rare event when a virus creates a new epidemic in another species,” said Colin Parrish of Cornell University. In Southeast Asia, for example, a strain of bird flu has killed hundreds of people in recent years, but it cannot seem to move easily from human to human.

Only a few strains of influenza have managed to become true human viruses in the past century. To make the transition, the viruses have to adapt to their new host. Their gene-building enzymes have evolved to run at top speed at human body temperature, for example, which is a few degrees cooler than a bird’s.

Influenza viruses also moved from bird guts to human airways. That shift also required flu viruses to spread in a new way: in the droplets we release in our coughs and sneezes.

“If the virus settles down on the floor, then it’s gone,” said Peter Palese, chairman of microbiology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Winter is flu season in the United States, probably because dry air enables the virus-laden droplets to float longer.

Up to a fifth of all Americans become infected each flu season, and 36,000 die. During that time, the flu virus continues to evolve. The surface proteins change shape, allowing the viruses to evade the immune systems and resist antiflu drugs.

Dr. Spiro and his colleagues have also discovered that human flu viruses experience a lot of reassortment each season. “Reassortment may be the major player in generating new seasonal viruses,” Dr. Spiro said.

From time to time, a new kind of flu emerges that causes far more suffering than the typical swarm of seasonal flu viruses. In 1918, for example, the so-called Spanish flu caused an estimated 50 million deaths. In later years, some of the descendants of that strain picked up genes from bird flu viruses.

Sometimes reassortments led to new pandemics. It is possible that reassortment enables flu viruses to escape the immune system so well that they can make people sicker and spread faster to new hosts.

Reassortment also played a big role in the emergence of the current swine flu. Its genes come from several ancestors, which mainly infected pigs.

Scientists first isolated flu viruses from pigs in 1930, and their genetic sequence suggests that they descend from the Spanish flu of 1918. Once pigs picked up the flu from humans, that so-called classic strain was the only one found in pigs for decades. But in the 1970s a swine flu strain emerged in Europe that had some genes from a bird flu strain. A different pig-bird mix arose in the United States.

In the late 1990s, American scientists discovered a triple reassortant that mixed genes from classic swine flu with genes from bird viruses and human viruses. All three viruses - the triple reassortant, and the American and European pig-bird blends - contributed genes to the latest strain.

It is possible that the special biology of pigs helped foster all this mixing. Bird flu and human flu viruses can slip into pig cells, each using different receptors to gain access. “We call the pig a mixing vessel because it can replicate both avian and mammalian influenza virus at the same time,” said Juergen Richt of Kansas State University. “The mixing of these genes can happen much easier in the pig than in any other species.”

Fortunately, the new swine virus seems to behave like seasonal flu in terms of severity, not like the 1918 Spanish flu. “Right now it doesn’t have what it takes to be a killer virus,” Dr. Palese said. But could it? Dr. Palese said it was highly unlikely.

If the swine flu peters out in the next few weeks, virus trackers will still pay close attention to it over the next few months. As flu season ends in the Northern Hemisphere, the virus may be able to thrive in the southern winter or perhaps linger in the tropics, only to return to the north next fall. It will no doubt change along the way as its genes mutate, and it may pick up new genes.

The scientists will be watching that evolutionary journey with a mixture of concern and respect. “Viruses are incredibly adaptable,” Dr. Spiro said. “They have managed to exploit our modern culture and spread around the world.”
http://blog.targethealth.com/?p=5347
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Old 08-15-2009, 04:53 PM   #19
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Is there a correlation between the 2nd and 3rd Spanish flu waves and bird migration patterns? Maybe the Carrier pigeons?


Monday, July 27, 2009
Study shows poultry resistant to 2009 H1N1
Recent studies suggest that commercial poultry is resistant to the newly emerged 2009 H1N1 flu strain which has now assumed pandemic status among humans. A research paper to be published in the Journal of General Virology from the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute in Riems, Germany showed that chickens in contact with infected pigs failed to develop the disease.
The 2009 H1N1 virus will spread from infected pigs to their pen mates under controlled experimental conditions carried out in a Bio-Safety Level 3+ facility. In addition, a recent study conducted at the Southeast Poultry Laboratory in Athens, Ga., demonstrated that chickens, turkeys and ducks were refractory to 2009 H1N1 virus isolated from human patients.

The focus of research is now directed at developing a suitable vaccine to protect humans since it is anticipated that there will be an upsurge in cases in the U.S. in fall and winter. Readers are referred to the July 10 edition of Science, which incorporates two articles on the origin of the 2009 H1N1 virus and its genetic characteristics.

In the context of commercial production, no individual suspected of being infected with 2009 H1N1 or any influenza virus should have any contact with live poultry during the clinical phase and for at least seven days thereafter.
http://poultryproductionnews.blogspo...t-to-2009.html
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Old 08-15-2009, 05:30 PM   #20
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Bird Flu May Have Sparked 1918 Pandemic

Health Officials Fear Similar Situation with Current Outbreak

by Richard Knox

listen

http://www.npr.org/templates/player/... 810&m=1647280

All Things Considered
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Old 08-16-2009, 12:28 AM   #21
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http://www.reuters.com/news/video?vi...ideoChannel=76


Influenza inspires art

(01:16) Report
Aug 15 - An artist in India creates sand sculptures to make people more aware of the risks of the H1N1 strain of the virus.
Paul Chapman reports
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Old 08-16-2009, 11:22 AM   #22
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Question

Swine flu infections seem to have increased as atmospheric water vapor has increased. This appears to be at odds with prior research showing low absolute humidity favors influenza efficaciousness.

I would think water vapor would not only provide a more favorable environment for virus survival (wet/warm), but also provide greater shielding against solar radiation.



Link Found Between Influenza, Absolute Humidity
ScienceDaily (Feb. 10, 2009) — A new study by Oregon researchers has found a significant correlation between "absolute" humidity and influenza virus survival and transmission. When absolute humidity is low – as in peak flu months of January and February – the virus appears to survive longer and transmission rates increase.

Results of the study were published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Researchers have long suspected a link between humidity and flu transmission and prevalence; however, these efforts have focused on relative humidity, according to lead author Jeffrey Shaman, an Oregon State University atmospheric scientist who specializes in ties between climate and disease transmission. Relative humidity is the ratio of air water vapor content to the saturating level, which itself varies with temperature, while absolute humidity quantifies the actual amount of water in the air, irrespective of temperature.

The PNAS study re-analyzed data from a 2007 study published in PLoS Pathogens, which found a tenuous relationship between influenza transmission and relative humidity. Shaman used the team's research data and substituted absolute humidity for relative humidity in analyzing potential correlations with flu transmission. This effort led to additional investigation of the relationship between absolute humidity and influenza "survival," which is the length of time the virus remains viable once airborne.

"The correlations were surprisingly strong," Shaman said. "When absolute humidity is low, influenza virus survival is prolonged and transmission rates go up." Shaman's co-author on the study is Melvin Kohn, an epidemiologist with the Oregon Department of Health Services.

The 2007 PLoS Pathogens study, by researchers at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York, looked at the effects of temperature and relative humidity on transmission of influenza using influenza-infected guinea pigs in climate-controlled chambers. The researchers used 20 different combinations of temperature and relative humidity in an effort to identify a trigger point for changes in transmission of the virus between infected guinea pigs and adjacent control animals.

In general, the study found that there were more infections when it was colder and drier. However, Shaman and Kohn demonstrated that relative humidity could only explain about 12 percent of the variability of influenza virus transmission from these data. In addition, numerous other experiments, dating back to the 1940s, have shown that low relative humidity favors increased influenza virus survival.

However, in their PNAS analysis, Shaman and Kohn demonstrated that relative humidity only explains about 36 percent of influenza virus survival. The Oregon researchers then retested the various data using absolute humidity and found a dramatic rise in accounting for both transmission (50 percent, up from 12 percent) and survival (90 percent, up from 36 percent).

For decades, researchers have been searching for answers as to why there is such a pronounced seasonality of influenza incidence, which peaks during the winter in temperate regions. Potential explanations are that people spend more time indoors and thus transmit the virus more easily; less sunlight may have a chemical effect on the virus and/or people's immune response; or there might be an unknown environmental control.

The findings of Shaman and Kohn indicate that absolute humidity is the control. Though counter-intuitive, absolute humidity is much higher in the summer. On a typical summer day in Oregon there is twice as much water vapor in the air as in winter, even though it may be raining.

"In some areas of the country, a typical summer day can have four times as much water vapor as a typical winter day – a difference that exists both indoors and outdoors," Shaman said.

"Consequently, outbreaks of influenza typically occur in winter when low absolute humidity conditions strongly favor influenza survival and transmission."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0209205148.htm
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Old 08-16-2009, 11:29 AM   #23
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Study suggests H1N1 virus more dangerous than suspected

July 13th, 2009 by Terry Devitt Enlarge
The pandemic H1N1 flu virus (red) has been shown to be more virulent than scientists previously believed. The filamentous shape of the virus, which in this image have recently budded from infected cells, is also unusual.Image: courtesy Yoshihiro Kawaoka
(PhysOrg.com) -- A new, highly detailed study of the H1N1 flu virus shows that the pathogen is more virulent than previously thought.



Writing in a fast-tracked report published today (July 13, 2009) in the journal Nature, an international team of researchers led by UW-Madison virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka provides a detailed portrait of the pandemic virus and its pathogenic qualities.

In contrast with run-of-the-mill seasonal flu viruses, the H1N1virus exhibits an ability to infect cells deep in the lungs, where it can cause pneumonia and, in severe cases, death. Seasonal viruses typically infect only cells in the upper respiratory system.

"There is a misunderstanding about this virus," says Kawaoka, a professor of pathobiological sciences at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine and a leading authority on influenza. "People think this pathogen may be similar to seasonal influenza. This study shows that is not the case. There is clear evidence the virus is different than seasonal influenza."

The ability to infect the lungs, notes Kawaoka, is a quality frighteningly similar to those of other pandemic viruses, notably the 1918 virus, which killed tens of millions of people at the tail end of World War I. There are likely other similarities to the 1918 virus, says Kawaoka, as the study also showed that people born before 1918 harbor antibodies that protect against the new H1N1 virus.

And it is possible, he adds, that the virus could become even more pathogenic as the current pandemic runs its course and the virus evolves to acquire new features. It is now flu season in the world's southern hemisphere, and the virus is expected to return in force to the northern hemisphere during the fall and winter flu season.

To assess the pathogenic nature of the H1N1 virus, Kawaoka and his colleagues infected different groups of mice, ferrets and non-human primates — all widely accepted models for studies of influenza — with the pandemic virus and a seasonal flu virus. They found that the H1N1 virus replicates much more efficiently in the respiratory system than seasonal flu and causes severe lesions in the lungs similar to those caused by other more virulent types of pandemic flu.




"When we conducted the experiments in ferrets and monkeys, the seasonal virus did not replicate in the lungs," Kawaoka explains. "The H1N1 virus replicates significantly better in the lungs."

The new study was conducted with samples of the virus obtained from patients in California, Wisconsin, the Netherlands and Japan.

The new Nature report also assessed the immune response of different groups to the new virus. The most intriguing finding, according to Kawaoka, is that those people exposed to the 1918 virus, all of whom are now in advanced old age, have antibodies that neutralize the H1N1 virus.

"The people who have high antibody titers are the people born before 1918," he notes.

Kawaoka says that while finding the H1N1 virus to be a more serious pathogen than previously reported is worrisome, the new study also indicates that existing and experimental antiviral drugs can form an effective first line of defense against the virus and slow its spread.

There are currently three approved antiviral compounds, according to Kawaoka, whose team tested the efficacy of two of those compounds and the two experimental antiviral drugs in mice. "The existing and experimental drugs work well in animal models, suggesting they will work in humans," Kawaoka says.

Antiviral drugs are viewed as a first line of defense, as the development and production of mass quantities of vaccines take months at best.
Provided by UW-Madison

http://www.physorg.com/news166722748.html
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Old 08-16-2009, 04:07 PM   #24
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Osteoporosis drugs effective in killing flu viruses

Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:44am EDT

HONG KONG, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Two existing drugs used to treat osteoporosis may be effective in killing influenza viruses, including the new H1N1 swine flu and the H5N1 bird flu viruses, researchers in Hong Kong have found.

The two drugs are pamidronate and zoledronate, which are marketed by Novartis AG (NOVN.VX) under the brand names Aredia and Reclast, respectively.

In their experiment, the researchers exposed human cells that had been infected with the influenza viruses to the two drugs.

They observed that the drugs triggered extra production of a type of white blood cell called yd-T cells, which went on to kill human cells that were infected with the flu viruses.

Flu viruses can only replicate in living human or animal cells and killing infected cells would stop the viruses from replicating, the researchers said.

Professor Lau Yu-lung at the University of Hong Kong's pediatrics and adolescent medicine department described the infected human cells as "factories that will produce viruses".

"These drugs attack the viruses specifically ... This approach kills the factories that are producing viruses."

Malik Peiris, also part of the research team, said the drugs could enhance immune responses of the human body.

That was especially important as flu viruses mutate constantly, which reduces the efficacy of vaccines, he added.

The researchers plan to move next into animal and then human clinical testing. (Reporting by Tan Ee Lyn; Editing by Bill Tarrant)

http://www.reuters.com/article/asiaCrisis/idUSHKG233114
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:04 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caonacl View Post
Osteoporosis drugs effective in killing flu viruses

Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:44am EDT

HONG KONG, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Two existing drugs used to treat osteoporosis may be effective in killing influenza viruses, including the new H1N1 swine flu and the H5N1 bird flu viruses, researchers in Hong Kong have found.

The two drugs are pamidronate and zoledronate, which are marketed by Novartis AG (NOVN.VX) under the brand names Aredia and Reclast, respectively.

In their experiment, the researchers exposed human cells that had been infected with the influenza viruses to the two drugs.

They observed that the drugs triggered extra production of a type of white blood cell called yd-T cells, which went on to kill human cells that were infected with the flu viruses.

Flu viruses can only replicate in living human or animal cells and killing infected cells would stop the viruses from replicating, the researchers said.

Professor Lau Yu-lung at the University of Hong Kong's pediatrics and adolescent medicine department described the infected human cells as "factories that will produce viruses".

"These drugs attack the viruses specifically ... This approach kills the factories that are producing viruses."

Malik Peiris, also part of the research team, said the drugs could enhance immune responses of the human body.

That was especially important as flu viruses mutate constantly, which reduces the efficacy of vaccines, he added.

The researchers plan to move next into animal and then human clinical testing. (Reporting by Tan Ee Lyn; Editing by Bill Tarrant)

http://www.reuters.com/article/asiaCrisis/idUSHKG233114
From a pure research point of view, this news is intereesting, but from a practical perspective it's not a very cost effective way to fight flu.

Reclast runs a minimum of $1000 a dose as far as I can find..,
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