Monday, May 01, 2006

Immigration issues - bird flu

I've been thinking a lot about the push for immigration reform. I realize it isn't anything new but the White House seems to be pushing hard for a resolution and they seem to need one pretty quickly.

I think the impending bird flu virus has something to do with this. If this flu turns out to be anything like the Spanish Flu, we are in for some really bad days ahead. I suspect, the U.S. can't help everyone and we need to clear out those that aren't supposed to be here. Once the virus hits, people are going to try to flood our borders seeking medical assistance.

This evening, a customer shared with me a conference call he had with his company that was focused around HR concerns regarding the bird flu virus. They are anticipating how much of their work force is going to be hit and how it's going to affect their business.

I'm trying to imagine what it's going to be like when it hits. It's sort of like the way we all anticipated Hurricane Rita. We knew it was coming but it seemed so surreal. It hit, then we dealt with it. Except we were lucky and weren't hit so badly as we thought. Will bird flu be like that? Will it hit and turn out to be less than we thought?

The mortality rate in birds is close to 50%, I think some report it to be has high as 75%. I think they anticipate that rate to be around 2% among humans. That can be low if the percentage of the population it hits is low. But 2% could be a lot if the virus can affect a majority of the population. I suspect chaos and we will be extremely vulnerable to our enemies.

I hear we, the U.S., are bringing in nurses, and probably doctors, from all over the world. We're stocking up!

Yeah, the more I consider the issue the more I think this is the driving force behind immigration reform and why Bush wants to make it a felony to be here illegally. In light of this, I think I support him on this.


A Girl From Texas said...

I have a correction to make. According to these figures

The mortality rate among humans is about 50%. But these are third world countries where the medical facilities are far less than what we have.

It was a researcher who told me the projected mortality rate was 2%. So, I'm not sure what that number will be.

Cathy said...

The Spanish flu of 1918 was bad. The thing to consider as far as the bird flu is that we have ant-biotics now that they didn't have back then.

Most of the people who die from these types of infections die from pnuemonia. Back in 1918 if you got phuemonia you were a gonner most of the time because of the lack of anti-biotics.

We have Tami-flu which can be taken. It won't cure you but it does slow down the progress of the disease which allows for more time for treatment, which, in turn will mean lives being saved.

What needs to be done is this...the federal government needs to give funding to hospitals so that hospitals can stock up on anti-biotics. You know, be ready just in case instead of waiting for an actual outbreak. Having immediate treatment on hand will keep down a lot of the chaos and lower the death rate.

I also think that anyone who is travelling to or from Asia should be made to take Tami-flu. That way if they do become infected then at least medical professionals will be given more time to identify the infection and treat it. That would go along way toward slowing the spread of the disease.

My plans, incase there is an outbreak is to stock up on food, water and over the counter drugs and stay in my home and out of contact with the general public. In my opinion that is your best defense against whatever might happen in a situation like that.