SARS....is this true?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
SARS....is this true?
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Thu, 04-10-2003 - 11:13am
I read an article in The Olympian the other day that speculated on the origin of the new virus SARS.

One of the points mentioned was that in the area of China in which the first cases were reported there is a cultural practice of tethering a pig to a duck for life -- for some religious reason. The co-habitation of these two species lends the perfect breeding ground for fowl virus' to mutate to a harmful-to-humans flu-type virus.

Is this true? If so, why doesn't someone tell these people to knock it off!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 1:23pm
That's a new one! My DH also had one new to me last night: he heard soemthing about a connection between SARS & cockroaches. Not sure whether they had it, or just carried it. Anyhow, in hte report he read, it said something about the area of origin doens't have sanitary plumbing, and the cockroaches come up through the drains... Don't know about that theory, or yours, but I'll keep my eyes open~

~Miki

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 8:31pm
I have not heard that one, but it would not surprise me that there is such a custom. What I read regarding roaches was that they might carry it, but I find that a bit implausible, considering the "experts" have pretty much concluded the primary "cause" (or organism associated with the condition, although they have not ruled out other, concurrent associated organisms/factors) is a variation fo a coronavirus (related to the common cold viruses). Do roaches typically carry the common cold? Not that I have heard; it is communicated via body fluids and contact with surfaces carrying such fluids.

I think the far more plausible speculation is that this might be an accidentally (or not) released product of biological warfare research, which is known to occur in that area of China. What better "bug" to focus on than a common cold virus, for which there is no treatment, no vaccine, a high rate of communacability? "Superflu", aka "Captain Trips" to those of us who are literate in Stephen King, lol! (which, btw, was a "bug" accidentally relaeased from a US bioweapons lab;)

But, of course, such viruses are known to mutate rapidly, so this may just be a new mutation.

Or, it could be unrelated to the virus, and instead related to some other factors.

I think that whatever it is, far more of us have already come into contact with it than we think, and without noticable problems. They say the flu pandemic of the early 1900s spread worldwide in a few mths, despite the lack of international travel common today. Seems that this one, if of the same ilk, would have already wrought its destruction, given the much faster movement of today, jmo.

Who knows?

I guess, as always, keep your immune systems "UP" and be aware.:)

Kimberly

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 10:32pm
Great, this thing makes me nervous anyways. I was wondering if someone had sent out a "bug". You just never know these days. I am glad that the 7 yr old in FL is doing well. Gosh who is getting the bubbles to live in? ROFL

God Bless,

carla

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2003
Sat, 04-12-2003 - 3:15am
Eh, this new board format is terrible.

Here's the deal with the pig/duck thing in China and why it is important to the molecular epidemilogy of influenza. I think the cohabitation of ducks and swine is a farming practice and not one of religion. In any case...

Influenza contains 8 segments of RNA and has a total of 10 genes. Two of these genes encode surface markers called Ha and NA and the rest of the genes encode the internal machinery of influenza. Sucessful replication of viable influenza must assure that each virus gets one of each segment. The surface markers of influenza are what the immune system recognises. There is slow natural mutation that occurs in influenza virus which produces small changes in their appearance. These changes occur gradually enough that the virus still looks similar to flu viruses the body has seen before and an immune response can be mounted quickly. This phenomenon is called 'antigenic drift'

The big nasty brother of drift is 'antigenic shift'. This is why I had to explain how the genome of the flu virus is set up. In shift, instead of one flu virus infecting one cell, two or more flu viruses infect the same cell at the same time. When new viruses are produced, there is random distribution of those original eight gene segments. In other words, the parts of virus 'A' and virus 'B' can get mixed up with each other. No mutation has occured, but an entirely new type of influenza virus has been created. If an 'old' influenza virus ends up with 'new' surface markers that have not been in humans, then the immune system may fail to recognize the invading virus as quickly.

There are several families of the surface markers Ha and Na and they are given numbers (i.e. H1, H2, H5, N1, N3). An individual influenza virus is named according to its type, place of origin, and its surface marker families- for example A/Nanchang H3N2.

In addition to humans, ducks and pigs are also suceptible to influenza infection. However, the flu viruses are quite different sometimes. The shift and drift phenomena occur between the ducks and the pigs forming new combinations of flu with duck and pig flu components. The farmer comes along and introduces human flu viruses. Now all three exchange components and when the farmer is re-exposed to the flu that has been passed between the ducks and pigs, he becomes infected again. He can then pass the 'new' human flu on to other people.

The WHO and CDC monitor certain areas of China closely for the emergence of new flu strains. Every year, they try to predict what the most common types of flu are going to be. This is why you need a new flu vaccine every year.

I suppose that you cannot tell Chinese farmers to "knock off" their farming practices because they have no other means of survival and certainly centuries of culutre and tradition cannot be expected to change overnight.

SARS is now thought to be caused by a coronavirus. Completely different from influenza virus and much more like a common cold virus. Coronavirus cannot take advantage of the swine/duck resivoir in the same manner as influenza.

Avatar for keeley_14383
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 04-14-2003 - 3:16pm
Kimberly, you haven't been having any dreams about old ladies, have you?!

Keeley

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 7:01pm
Oh, LOL! Keely, I was seriously thinking, "gee, HAVE I lately had any such dream?" then "Why in the world would she ask this?" LOL! Had to re-read my post to get it;)

(Hey, been at the beach "chillin'" for a week, so sue me;)

No, no dreams oF Mother Abigail OR the Dark Man to report, lol!

But you have to admit, King was on the money with his fictitious renderings of a virus which mutated to counteract the actions of the immune system a few yrs before HIV/AIDS was even thought of. (not to mention his pegging of it as a bioweapon gone amok, imho;) Remember, this is the same guy who wrote about "kamikaze" terrorists using an airplane as a bomb to attack a building, oh, almost a decade prior to 9/11. (Insomnia, c. 1994)

Kimberly



Avatar for keeley_14383
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 04-22-2003 - 9:54am
You know, reading some of his books I am absolutely horrified at myself for reading such trash on one level (because he has written some truly awful things -- and also some truly harshly emotional things, like the beginning of Rose Madder was one of the most difficult things I have ever read, had to put it down for days at a time before I could continue) but when he is good, he is incredible. He tells a story like no one else I've ever read. Absolutely brilliant.

I'll have to go back and read Insomnia again -- I didn't know that. You're giving me goosebumps here -- if Stephen King's wildest musings start coming true, it really WILL be the end of the world as we know it!!

Keeley

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 04-22-2003 - 10:54am
Keeley- if you want to read truly terrifying, twisted horror~ try Clive Barker. He makes S. king look like Mr. Rogers meets Sesame Street & the Wiggles, LOL~ Favorites~ "Imajica" , "Coldheart Canyon" chilling!, "Everville", "The Fifth Dominion"

I went on a Barker fest one summer, reading one book after the other- had to stop after 4 or 5, as they do explore the darkest side of human nature & thoughts~ and I hope some of it is truly fiction~

Miki

Avatar for kidoctr
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 04-22-2003 - 11:01pm
Wowsy - another Stephen King fan here. I've read all his books except Insomnia. The guy is creepy and a great author, but a *terrible* actor, lol.

Eve (ps - Miki - what happened to your hat? You got your little devil friend back...)

 
 
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Wed, 04-23-2003 - 10:10am
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~Miki


Edited 4/23/2003 10:21:18 AM ET by cl-mferkul

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