H5N1: Going Human to Human?

Dan at Riehl World View is wondering if H5N1 (the Avian flu we’ve been hearing about) has begun transferring from human to human.

Dan’s also got an important update containing information from Hyscience.

Hyscience – I believe the report, and have actually reported of H to H transmission of H5N1 over a year ago – and not picked up on by media and agencies. here, here, and( here which sourced this research report that human to human transmission actually occured in July / early August 2004 – but not covered by media or agencies)

Hyscience is always a really good source of news for stuff like this. Richard has done a really nice job with the site. It’s been one of my long time favorites. You can’t find information like this at many other places:

Indonesia was in the news in November as a result of its decision to begin manufacturing (pirating) the anti-flu drug Tamiflu (oseltamavir), but they are likely to be disappointed in the results, should they elect to depend upon it for protection against the H5N1 virus (it’s already showing resistance to tamiflu). Previously, genetic sequencing of influenza A (H5N1) virus samples from human cases in Vietnam and Thailand showed resistance to the antiviral medications amantadine and rimantadine, 2 of the other medications commonly used for treatment of influenza. This would leave 1 remaining antiviral medication (zanamavir) that may still be effective against currently circulating strains of H5N1. This fact has not been sufficiently covered by cable and print media.

I usually wouldn’t write about this sort of topic, simply because it doesn’t really affect me at this exact point in time, call me selfish. And I’d be seriously pissed if I were to lose my life to a bird flu. I can’t imagine dying from a bird flu. If I did and it were possible, I’d be ashamed of my death. This does deserve attention though, especially if it’s confirmed human to human transmission has occured. I wonder exactly how much quicker it would spread, given human to human transmission is possible at this time.

Officials in at least two nations now suspect the avian flu bug has mutated into a virus that is being transmitted from human to human – a development world health authorities have estimated could result in the deaths of tens of millions.

Thai health officials have expressed concern that the country’s two latest confirmed victims may be the beginning of the much feared human-to-human transmission.

Go read Dan’s post at Riehl World View for a link to the full article above. I don’t think it’s all bad though. The sheer amount of people on Earth is getting a little out of hand, something like H5N1 could put a nice little dent in the number. We are due for another “cleansing” event, I can’t imagine a better time than now.

This post is linked at Mudville Gazette, Wizbang, Jo’s Cafe, basil’s blog, and The Political Teen.


Wilma is Intense

Hurricane Wilma is the most intense hurricane ever.

Hurricane Wilma rapidly gained strength overnight and is now a category 5 storm! A recon plane found a pressure of 892 mb around 2:30 this morning, then 884 mb around 5 a.m., ranking Wilma as the most intense hurricane to ever be recorded in the Atlantic basin! It is also the fastest intensification of any hurricane in recorded history. Wilma is packing winds over 175 mph, with higher gusts. Accuweather.com Senior Hurricane Expert Joe Bastardi says it is a very compact storm, with an eye just 4 miles wide and hurricane force winds extending outward only 15 miles from center.

Sounds pretty exciting. I wish I wasn’t smack dab in the middle of Iowa, I love bad ass weather like that. Dan at Riehl World View has links to various radar loops, including one that’s really trippy.


Wicked Katrina Photos

California Conservative has some really wicked looking photos of hurricane Katrina as it was making landfall. One of their readers submitted the photos. I’m not gonna post them here, just head over to California Conservative to check them out.

The second picture is 100% pure amazing. I can’t believe how high the cloud walls extend. Very, very good pictures. Check em out.

Peenie Wallie brought to my attention these aren’t Katrina photos. Just various weather phenomenon photos. Still worth taking a look at.


Rita Preparations

I so badly wanted to punch New Orleans mayor Nagin in the face the other day. He’s a total asshat, getting pissed off because Thad Allen warned people not to go back to New Orleans. At least Nagin has enough of a brain to listen to Thad, nevermind Nagin berating Thad for warning the people of New Orleans not to go back.

Supposedly, it’ll take about 3″ of additional rain in New Orleans to breach the levee system again. Scary, as 3 inches of rain at once isn’t uncommon even here in Iowa. I’d expect more than that on the Gulf coast, aside from there being another major hurricane approaching.

Michelle Malkin has some good links, including one to Jason Smith (Generation Why). Jason’s got pictures comparing the evacuation of Houston compared to that of New Orleans.

PowerPundit has word that Rita is approaching level 5 hurricane status. The WeatherBlog has the same information. Wasn’t Rita still a tropical storm yesterday?

Heather, who has written for HurricAid and lives in Houston, is evacuating her residence tonight. She has contact info for anyone staying in Houston who wants her to publish some information for them. Could be useful once Rita makes landfall.

The Political Teen has Rita’s expected track. The stormtrack has been basically the same for a few days now. I think it’s expected to make landfall slightly more north of their original estimates. In all reality, it could do anything from hitting Mexico to clobbering New Orleans and the rest of the northern gulf coast again. Should make for an interesting next couple of days.

I’ll be interested to see what level of hurricane this is when it makes landfall. I believe it’s technically still a level 4 hurricane, but a powerful level 4. Sounds like Katrina. Looks like Katrina.

I hope it doesn’t hit New Orleans again. Or anywhere in the U.S. If it does, and causes serious damage like Katrina, expect the islamo-nuts to praise Allah for sending Rita to destroy all us dirty kuffars. Just like they did with Katrina. They’re silly. claim.


More Daylight Saving

Assholes! Why do they insist on making daylight saving longer?

Daylight saving time will be extended a total of 4 weeks in 2007. If Bush signs the bill he’s expected to sign today. “Newswriter” at What It Is Today thinks this will actually make energy costs higher, exactly opposite of the intended effect of the bill. He’s probably not far off.

Even if oil doesn’t get more expensive due to the DST extension, the cost of upgrading various software pieces will be quite expensive. It could be argued this would have a positive impact on our economy. Creating a surge of hiring in IT departments.

There’s basically an infinite number of things that could happen though. No matter what though, some pieces of software will need fixed. The last time DST was changed was in 1987. You can always manually set the time, but that’s no fun.

It’s expected this will save 100,000 barrells of oil for every day that DST is in effect. Adding one month onto DST will save us roughly 1% on oil costs. So basically it won’t be noticed by anyone that actually buys oil products. Some of these asshats need to start thinking before they do something. And they should really start listening to the people they were elected to represent.

The Barking Moonbat headline for this really cracked me up. Congress Screws Up Technology. Geek News Central has a pretty good summary of how this could affect devices from VCR’s to mobile phones.

Bottom line is this won’t help the average american citizen at all. It’ll just create a pain in the ass for a lot of people.

UPDATE: I can’t believe I forgot. Peter Jennings died yesterday at the age fo 67. I loved watching him when I was younger. I stopped being able to watch him many years ago it seems like. I read of his death on Fark lastnight around midnight. I’m usually pretty critical of the media and people in the media. Jennings seemed like he made more of an attempt to be fair and un-biased than most reporters. MaxSpeak has an interesting note about what Jennings said about 9/11 and those involved.