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Toy Imports and the Swine Flu Pandemic


Cyclone Trooper
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I haven't seen any other posts on here about this yet, so I thought I'd share something I heard tonight...

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past week, you know that the World Health Organization has just raised the "threat level" to Level 5, the second-highest level before the Swine Flu is officially considered a full-blown worldwide pandemic. Some countries are treating this like its a real-life version of Stephen King's The Stand, while others (including here in the US) are only just starting to take the threat seriously. Tonight on the news, there was talk about how this will affect the world economy, since many countries are banning travel and imported goods outright until this whole thing either blows over or takes a turn for the worse.

I realize that this isn't exactly the cheeriest of subjects to bring up, but if anyone has something in transit from overseas, don't be too shocked if it doesn't arrive in a timely manner. But honestly, in light of the current situation, I'm going to doubt that whether or not your Yammie arrives on time is going to be the biggest of concerns... :unsure:

Edited by Cyclone Trooper
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OK, I can understand shipment of live pigs being banned and even shipment of pork products, even though it's a bit of a knee jerk reaction, but other goods, what the heck for?

Let's say a postal worker in Japan infected with swine flu sneezes on your toy package from HLJ, the virus would be long dead before it reaches another country.

Graham

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I think the Mexican authorities did the right thing about the swine flu this time, at least they don't keep this threat a secret until it got out of hand like how China dealt with SARS. Goods imported from Japan will not be a problem unless it made a stop in Mexico before it gets to you. And not that I'm saying that now is a good time for a pandemic, but since the economy is down, I hope the swine flu can be contained in time for the economy to pick up.

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OK, I can understand shipment of live pigs being banned and even shipment of pork products, even though it's a bit of a knee jerk reaction, but other goods, what the heck for?

Let's say a postal worker in Japan infected with swine flu sneezes on your toy package from HLJ, the virus would be long dead before it reaches another country.

Graham

Yeah but some of us EMS our toys. I think I might just let any new packages sit around for a few weeks before opening them.....maybe. I haven't heard any reports that Japan/China has been infected. I think toys are still okay.

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From my understanding, you can't get swine flu unless you somehow physically touch someone or around someone who's already sick with the virus. All it really is is just another flu strain and by catching it and realizing you have it, you can take the necessary steps on getting yourself help.

The reason so many people have died from this is for a number of reasons, ignoring it, or not being able to get aid from hospitals. It's just a really bad flu virus and it'll go away.

Personally, the reasons why this is such a "pandemic" is purely political and racial to me.

But your chances of getting it from a fin toy box is like saying "Omigod! I can't go get tacobell cause I'll come incontact with a mexican! And that's where it all started! AHHHH!!!!"

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I think this is all being blown a TAD out of proportion.

well, H1N1 is a variant of the spanish flu that killed, some say, 100 million people back in the day (early 1900s). So who knows, maybe it will be the super virus that scientists have been predicting.

I'm gonna stick with 'meh' though.

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From my understanding, you can't get swine flu unless you somehow physically touch someone or around someone who's already sick with the virus. All it really is is just another flu strain and by catching it and realizing you have it, you can take the necessary steps on getting yourself help.

The reason so many people have died from this is for a number of reasons, ignoring it, or not being able to get aid from hospitals. It's just a really bad flu virus and it'll go away.

Personally, the reasons why this is such a "pandemic" is purely political and racial to me.

But your chances of getting it from a fin toy box is like saying "Omigod! I can't go get tacobell cause I'll come incontact with a mexican! And that's where it all started! AHHHH!!!!"

H1N1 is air born.

Pandemic just means it's in multiple countries and verified for sustain human to human transfer.

And the reason why people are worried is because of the historical mortality of this influenza subtype.

I agree a lot of the hype has a dangerous racist undercurrent though. Some countries in Europe are talking about travel bans to Mexico and calling this "mexican flu"

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Yeah this is a very real threat but I highly doubt it'll affect the shipment of toys and goods other than agricultural products and livestock...

This whole flu epidemic came so fast that it caught ppl off guard... Even top health officials don't fully know how to stop it from spreading and what the exact causes are. All that's known is that it is transmitted like a cold virus and human or animal contact causes it to spread.

There's no sound evidence that the flu can lie dormant and incubated for a long period of time.

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The funny thing is that the normal influenza virus here in the US kills thousands of people each year :( , I agree that there is disproportionate attention in the media due to the fact that it's "foreign" in origin.

Yup, the regular flu kills about 36,000 people a year in the United States. But the newer flu gets more attention by the press. <_<

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From what I understand from a hospital working friend of mine, the current swine flu is not genetically different enough to be a truly massive pandemic. The swine flu responds to standard flu treatments... the pandemic everyone is afraid will happen is a flu that does NOT respond to the standard flu treatments. There are still lots of mysteries surrounding the current baddy but I'd gratefully accept late shipments from anywhere if it was understood that that was a prudent measure... from the sounds of what they've discovered so far though it looks like we may get through this one.

EDIT - new flus deserve a lot of attention... history tells us they can decimate world populations.

Edited by jenius
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This flu can be treated by one of drug called Tamiflu. Yet people my side rushed to buy stocks of it, even though our govt ensured there are sufficient stockpiles. And face mask is out of stock now! Wonder people here overreacting a bit?

And the W.H.O. is trying to change the name "Swine" as its not supposed to originate fm pigs & so far hv not read that a pig dies of this flu. I guess everyone is already used to the "Swine flu". Even our Chinese translation here hv the word "pig" on it.

Edited by Javabean
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This flu can be treated by one of drug called Tamiflu. Yet people my side rushed to buy stocks of it, even though our govt ensured there are sufficient stockpiles. And face mask is out of stock now! Wonder people here overreacting a bit?

And the W.H.O. is trying to change the name "Swine" as its not supposed to originate fm pigs & so far hv not read that a pig dies of this flu. I guess everyone is already used to the "Swine flu". Even our Chinese translation here hv the word "pig" on it.

yup, they tested the pig farms near where the suspected patient zero is and the tests came back negative.

I prefer H1N1.

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Border closure apparently cannot effectively contain the virus.

That is because, a person can be infectious BEFORE ANY symptoms show.

What is more, some people will not show any symptoms while being infected.

Thus, the thermal scanners used at customs all around the world cannot effectively stop the carriers and consequently the virus from spreading.

Well, bringing it back to the topic, that menas that it is simply foolish to stop trading activities. Humans are the vectors, not cargo.

Best thing to do is to maintain personal hygiene and take necessary precautions (face masks, seek medical attention for illness and stay away form crowded places and minimise/ eliminate contact with high risk potentials....blah blah)

Edit: Information source from my local newspaper... Yeah... agree that the whole thing is blown a tad out of proportion...

Edited by BlueMax
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Edit: Information source from my local newspaper... Yeah... agree that the whole thing is blown a tad out of proportion...

Frankly, if it was a real pandemic, deaths in Mexico alone should be much higher than the 7 confirmed (downgraded from 20-something) and 80 suspected. Somewhere around 500-1000 would be more worrysome.

Also, I can't remember these kind of reactions from when there were outbreaks of ebola and Marburg-virus in Africa and Germany, which caused around the same number of deaths while being MUCH more deadly (90% of infected people or so die...)...

The 21st century: age of hysterics? :p

Edited by Salamander
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Pandemic doesn't mean it's the plague of doom, you know. It just means a wide spread epidemic. And epidemic doesn't mean plague of doom either, it just means a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease. H1N1 meets the criteria. We know it's contagious through person to person contact, we have substantiated reports of sustained human contagion, which means, unlike West Nile, it doesn't need a vector to spread it along. We know it's wide spread, it's all over North America and it's in several other countries.

All modern outbreaks of ebola and marburg were geographically contained... Even the current outbreak in the Congo that's been going on since late 2007 has only killed around 100 people. Half what the suspected death toll of H1N1 in Mexico is thought to be and a mere fraction of the estimated 100 million people the Spanish Flu killed back in the early 1900s. And Ebola is relatively easy to spot and contain as the symptoms manifest quickly and since the victims tend to die rather quickly (if untreated) it tends to burn out quickly. Influenza is much sneakier this way, the symptoms take time to manifest while the actual disease is contagious before the coughing starts.

Thats the big difference, flu is a known killer and the H1N1 historically has killed FAR more people than ebola or marburg put together (estimated up to 100 million) and this new strain is now confirmed all over the world. Maybe it's not a big deal in the industrialized world but if this strain hits an impoverished nation it could be a completely different story. Think what sort of disaster it could be if it hit Africa, for example. Already suffering from an astonishingly awful medical system on top of a potentially uncontrolled HIV/AIDS epidemic and compounded by a growing TB epidemic.

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I haven't seen any other posts on here about this yet, so I thought I'd share something I heard tonight...

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past week, you know that the World Health Organization has just raised the "threat level" to Level 5, the second-highest level before the Swine Flu is officially considered a full-blown worldwide pandemic. Some countries are treating this like its a real-life version of Stephen King's The Stand, while others (including here in the US) are only just starting to take the threat seriously. Tonight on the news, there was talk about how this will affect the world economy, since many countries are banning travel and imported goods outright until this whole thing either blows over or takes a turn for the worse.

Never read The Stand but if its as good as his other works then I should. Ironically the BBC not long ago finished the run of the first series of the re-imaged "Survivors" where a flu pandemic decimates the world population and the Immune struggle to get some normality back in life, with out law and order or any social structure.

Maybe this is not the one but you cant help the media they love a big news story and will blow it all out of proportions.

On the side of the media at least in this modern age we will have an accurate figure of how many do die and probably what car they drive and what breakfast cereal they eat too.

Then at least if it does mutate into a medication proof variant then we will all know before its too late. Unlike many I'll bet from the 1900's who just got ill and died before the news got to them.

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Yes, agree H1N1 is more appriopriate.

Not sure what the name is today (was out all day), but when it broke, it was referred to as 豚インフルエンザ (Pig/Swine Influenza). The next day it was 新型インフルエンザ (new type of/the latest influenza).

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Holy crap guys don't be as bad as the press and "spread the fear". :angry: You would think you where talking about a broken toy! :lol:

Is Swine flu a problem? Yes. Is it the next 1918 Pandemic? Probably not. I'll agree that allot of people might get sick but medical science has advanced allot since 1918. Never mind that most of us lived very comfortably in climate control homes that make it that much easier to get over illness.

Very few of the cases outside of Mexico have been fatal. From the Globe and mail:

There is actually very little hard data on who has been infected with swine flu. As of last night (April 29), there were only 26 confirmed cases, including seven deaths in Mexico. Media reports say there are 159 suspected deaths. Either way, we don't know the denominator - how many are actually infected with the virus - so it's impossible to figure out the kill rate or what age groups are affected.
Crap read this article. It will make you more informed:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/sto...RT2241/TPStory/

I know they have reported allot of deaths in Mexico but I would like to think that most of us come from countries that have Health systems far superior to Mexico. The world health organization is working on it don't stress your lives over it. The only thing you can do is what you should always be doing. WASH YOUR HANDS! AND SNEEZE/COUGH INTO YOUR FOREARM! And dear god you are not going to get it from your recently shipped toys. The odds of that are fricken astronomical. It's about as stupid as people saying "If it eat pork can I get swine flu?"........... and now some governments have banned imports of pork. :wacko:

As to Tamiflu. In my country they are telling us not to bother with it as there is no proof that it will protect you from this flu. Quoted from the Ottawa Citizen

"recent laboratory tests, including some by the National Microbiology Laboratory, show Tamiflu is not effective against the H1N1 virus that causes the common flu."

I sorry I know I am ranting but come on people! The WHO knows what it's doing so have a little trust.

Edited by logos
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Dude, Egypt is going around slaughtering all their pigs... though there's some talk that this action, rather than out of genuine public health concern, is a move by islamic fundies to stick it to the christians.

Anyways, I don't think anyone here is trying to 'spread the fear'. There's a lot of hype and misinformation out there, mostly from people who learned about diseases from TV and movies and from books like "Hotspot" or "The Coming Plague".

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Yeah I know I'm just ranting but that's all you see on TV and hear on the radio lately and then I come here and now we are talking about it.......you know I was only going to write like 2 sentences and then it turned into that. :lol: FYI that Globe and Mail article mentions what Egypt did as well. It is very informative.

Edited by logos
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The "Swine Flu" isn't very deadly on its own. I think the reported lethality rate is what, 2.6% of infected?

The danger here isn't the "Swine Flu", but the "Flying Pig Flu". The concern is that the (apparently) human-human communicable "Swine Flu" would meet its old friend the "Avian Flu", have a one-night stand, and the next day the "Flying Pig Flu" is born.

Why is that a concern? The "Avian Flu" isn't human-human communicable, and the last outbreak was all fowl-human transmission. But it was a 60% lethality rate amongst the humans (it's apparently 90% amongst the birds). Imagine if the "Flying Pig Flu" has that lethality, PLUS human-human transmission.

Edited by Lynx7725
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I work for a hospital and was put on alert for a possible Code Green (external disaster) this past Sunday afternoon after we received two suspected cases of swine flu through our emergency department. Our command center was opened as a precaution and preparations were made since things had reached a national level.

Here is the simple and short of the U.S. being proactive with this situation. If this was to become a widespread pandemic and millions of people become sick, as a nation, we do not have the medical supplies, equipment (vents), or certified staff (respiratory therapists and pulmonologists) to support that number of sick people. There will be deaths. Not because the healthcare is not available, but just because there isn't enough to take care of everyone. Our healthcare system will buckle and it is scary to think about. I'm not saying what I think; I'm saying what I know.

I work for a children's hospital and even with our patients having priority, chances are we would have to turn patients away. I think the WHO is wise to overreact so that nations can at least ramp up on supplies should the worst happen.

As far as ratios with number of deaths with regular flu, you have to look at the number of deaths with swine flu and the relatively low number of people diagnosed with it. At the end of the day you are looking at a larger ratio of deaths related to the swine flu.

Your number one defense against any flu is good handwashing.

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No one should ever, EVER underestimate the power of human stupidity. The media will turn this into the gravest threat the world has ever seen, and the sheep will lap it up. Trust me.

I'm glad that I live in a country, and am from another country that both have responsible media.

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