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Author Topic: Greatest Threat to National Security we never even think about.  (Read 15299 times)
N2EY
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Posts: 3925




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« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2010, 04:15:54 AM »

Quote
Worldwide new figures estimate that in the 1917-1919 pandemic a minimum of 50 million and more probably nearly 100 million people died.  Today that number would be over a billion.
Would like to see your references.
The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

You can't extrapolate those death numbers (which are estimates
disputed by many scientists anyway) merely using population
growth figures. Yes, it's a fact: influenza has become more virulent
in the last few decades, but there's no comparing the state
of medicine in 1917-1919 to today.



Let's check the numbers:

In 1918 the world population was about 1.8 billion.

Today the world population is about 6.7 billion. That's about 3.7 times what it was in 1918.

So if 50 million died in the 1917-1918 flu pandemic with a world population of 1.8 billion, the same percentage works out to 185 million with a world population of 6.7 billion.

If 100 million died in the 1917-1918 flu pandemic with a world population of 1.8 billion, the same percentage works out to 370 million with a world population of 6.7 billion.

Both are horrendous figures, but nowhere near a billion people.

How much difference modern medicine would make is unknown. Obviously we have much better treatment today, but we also have more people and more ways of spreading disease quickly and thoroughly.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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K7VV
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Posts: 32




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« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2010, 10:09:41 AM »

Ya,
but rational thinking rarely scares the liver outta people.
And scaring the liver outta people was the intent.
Just like the 'terrorist threat'.
Greatly inflated.
But, it serves the purpose of keeping people scared, upset and, hence, willing to do what you want them to do.
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KU2US
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Posts: 74




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« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2010, 05:46:09 AM »

Medically, 1917 was like living in the stone age. The 1917 pandemic was started in Europe. We did not have it here! Until the soldiers & others who came back from WW1 brought it. No one at the time knew what it was until it was to late! No one was prepared, no one knew how to treat it initially, so it spread like wildfire with no deterents. They had no vaccines then. People were dying from whooping cough, scarlet fever, dysentary, and polio. Can it happen again? Yes, but to a much smaller extent. How EMCOM plays in all of this, I dont know, but it may help to some degree. Yes, I think the electrical grid threat may be a greater catastophe. And yes, then EMCOM may play a greater role, for those with alternative sources of electricity (Generators and batteries).
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AB4ZT
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Posts: 179




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« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2010, 04:07:55 PM »

I think the greatest threat would be an asteroid striking the Earth and breaking it into three pieces.  We should prepare for that.
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N2EY
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Posts: 3925




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« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2010, 06:38:49 PM »

Medically, 1917 was like living in the stone age.

Not really. But it was a lot less advanced than today.

No one at the time knew what it was until it was to late! No one was prepared, no one knew how to treat it initially, so it spread like wildfire with no deterents. They had no vaccines then.

Actually, there were vaccines for a number of diseases in 1917. But not the flu.

More important, vaccines don't cure a disease. They confer immunity to it.

Can it happen again? Yes, but to a much smaller extent.

You don't know that for sure. Nobody does. Here's why:

There are still lots of diseases against which there are no vaccines (such as AIDS) and there are very few drugs that work against viral diseases. Some bacterial diseases have developed resistance to antibiotics, too.

And while we have much better medical treatments now, we also have much better ways of spreading disease. The "spanish flu" of 1917 had to come here by ship, which took days; today a bug can be spread all over the world in just hours by means of jet planes crowded with people all breathing the same air for hours.

The point the OP was trying to make isn't about any particular disease, but about what could happen if a serious infectious disease got loose and infected millions of Americans.

73 de Jim, N2EY

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KASSY
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Posts: 167




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« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2010, 04:41:02 PM »

I think Darwin would take over.  People who live too densely packed would die in large quantities.  People who live more remotely, rural, agricultural land would survive.  As usual, those in the most resilient living situations would survive.

Consider: you cannot contract a communicable disease if your lifestyle does not bring you into routine contact with other humans.  Such is the life of the rural farmer, who goes to town perhaps monthly for supplies....

- k
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K6AER
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Posts: 3535




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« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2010, 10:04:26 PM »


"Greatest Threat to National Security we never even think about"

Although everyone thinks about disease I am far more worried about...fiber optic buildings.

The east west fiber optics are run next to railway rightaways along the major highways. We have five, only five major east/west rightways here in the western US. Every 10 miles or so is a fiberoptic relay building. These buildings are used by all the carriers. If the unprotected buildings get taken out by fire the ability for coast to coast communication is lost for weeks and even months.

When the Trade Center buildings went down in 9/11 we lost over 2 trillion dollars in commerice and plunged the US into a ression. Just emigine what would happen if we lost the fiber optic network connecting the US was down for months. I know we have sonnet rings but their are choke points when you get west of Kansas.

I hope someone is on top of this.
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KC7MF
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Posts: 47




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« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2010, 08:40:43 PM »

Quote
Medically, 1917 was like living in the stone age. The 1917 pandemic was started in Europe. We did not have it here!

None of these three things is true.  Medically the people in 1917 had perhaps a better chance of surviving the pandemic than we do.  I have already mentioned why.  Secondly the pandemic was NOT started in Europe.  It first appeared in Kansas and we spread it to Europe.  Finally, we had it here and our troops took it to Europe.  Where do you get your information? 



 
Quote
No one at the time knew what it was until it was to late! No one was prepared, no one knew how to treat it initially, so it spread like wildfire with no deterents.


Wrong again.  They thought it was a form of Pneumonia.  Some thought it was caused by Haemophilus influenza bacteria formerly called Pfeiffer's bacteria but even if they had known it was a filterable virus it would not have changed the outcome in the slightest.    You may be unaware but they could treat is just about as well as we can.  Short of some antiviral drugs we have in limited supply the only treatment for influenza is bedrest, anti pyretics and fluids.  We can stave off some opportunistic bacterial infections with antibiotics but the 1917 bug loose in the US today would kill FAR more than it killed then.  We do not have the hospital space, equipment not staffing to do better than they did and we might not do so well.  We are a more densly populated country now and we have millions of imunocompromised citizens who would be in real trouble.  The few antiviral drugs we have stockpiled might keep our health care professionals alive but that may be about it.  For all the good they will do us.  People in 1918 did not die because there were not enough doctors.  They died from lack of nursing.

Get your mind wrapped around this.  The 1917-18 epidemic killed 500,000 Americans in 24 weeks.  24 weeks is not nearly enough time to isolate a vaccine and deploy it.  The CDC estimates that a pandemic ala 1918 could kill between 1.5 and 10 million Americans even with our improved medical care.   
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K7VV
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« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2010, 08:57:05 PM »

"When the Trade Center buildings went down in 9/11 we lost over 2 trillion dollars in commerice and plunged the US into a ression (sic)"

Really?!  And the evidence for this is what?  What's ur data source?
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K6AER
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Posts: 3535




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« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2010, 09:33:14 PM »

In the summer of 2000 the NASDEQ was at a high of over 5000 the dot com bubble was starting to fracture. By the summer of 2001 the NASDEQ was hovering at 2200 and was well below half of the 2000 worth. Then came 9/11. The NASDEQ dropped to 1400. There was a slight recovery at Christmas but the NASDEQ stayed well below 1800 and did not rise above 2000 until February of 2004. The two trillion was in stock loss only for the two year period. The GAO had much higher loss figures taking in account other business, GDP and economy factors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dot-com_bubble

The American public has a short memory when it comes to what the 9/11 strike did to our business climate.

Speaking of which the American dollar has lost 30% of its value in the last 18 months. Anyone who owns property will already know this.
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N0YXB
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Posts: 330




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« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2010, 09:21:39 AM »

Maybe this thread should be renamed to, "Read this if you want to get yourself worked up about pandemics, the economy, or telecommunications."  There's a lot of half-baked information here about all three topics.
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KC0SHZ
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Posts: 372




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« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2010, 11:42:39 AM »

Medically, 1917 was like living in the stone age. The 1917 pandemic was started in Europe. We did not have it here! Until the soldiers & others who came back from WW1 brought it. No one at the time knew what it was until it was to late! No one was prepared, no one knew how to treat it initially, so it spread like wildfire with no deterents. They had no vaccines then. People were dying from whooping cough, scarlet fever, dysentary, and polio. Can it happen again? Yes, but to a much smaller extent. How EMCOM plays in all of this, I dont know, but it may help to some degree. Yes, I think the electrical grid threat may be a greater catastophe. And yes, then EMCOM may play a greater role, for those with alternative sources of electricity (Generators and batteries).

Not true.

The H1N1 epidemic in 1918 had its human index case in a farmer in northeastern Kansas.  Soldiers from Ft. Leavenworth took the virus with them to embarkation stations in the east, infecting the civilians.  They then took it to the front.   The virus spread rapidly amongst the armies on both sides.   The Germans took it back to Germany, where it damaged their war time economy so badly, that modern historians speculate that it may have shortened the war.

The interesting thing about the H1N1 epidemic in 2009 vs 1918 is the number of people who didn't die in this most recent one.  This has lead to a discovery that has changed the concept of flu immunity.   

It is true that there was very little supportive care for the secondary infections that came in the 1918 outbreak, and this took a lot of lives, but the virus was more lethal than subsequent H1N1 attacks (like the one in the 1950s, or the Swine Flu outbreak in the 1970's), so it killed a bunch of folks all by itself (and will do so again if ever unleashed from the labs where it is studied--even with modern medicine).   The interesting thing about this last H1N1 outbreak is that it is a recombinant virus with part of the lethal 1918 virus in it (so it should have been pretty scary, but the mortality was lower overall and lowest in the oldest populations (which is not the case normally.)

This difference in mortality was attributed to oldsters getting flu shots at a higher rate, but when studied closer, it was found that these people had long lasting antibodies from the 1950s outbreak that gave them greater immunity and that those of us not alive in the 1950's, were SOL, thus dying at a high rate.


Now, as for the issue of pandemics, ham radio will not be useful.   The EMA professionals don't know how to use us, and don't seem to care to learn.   The public health people never get a crack at using us because they don't want to interfere with the EMA people.   Therefore, we will be well equipped, but unused people.

Ham radio will be fun to use if and when they order all of us to isolate in place (staying home to avoid catching the infection.)  At least we will have something to do rather than listen to daytime TV.
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K7VV
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Posts: 32




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« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2011, 06:42:15 PM »

Ah, K7AER, so, the stock market lost more than half it's value BEFORE 9/11, and  yet 9/11 was the cause of the recession?  Tell me again how reverse causation works?
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WX4O
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Posts: 101




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« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2011, 08:34:36 PM »

EMP
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KU2US
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Posts: 74




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« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2011, 04:44:42 PM »

In 1917 they didnot even know what an inoculation against disease was! Remember that in 1944-45, I believe they just discovered penicillin! Sanitary systems, if there was one (EU?) were archaic. Yes, if a pandemic were to hit us like the one in 1917, it would be terrible, but how did the pandemic of 1917 happen here? Soldiers from EU comming home from France et.et brought it here. It spread like wildfire because no one knew what is was at first and how to treat it, if that mattered. we could help, only if people involved with our civil com systems all got sick. Take multi-vitamins, keep your immune system up, constantly wash your hands and stay away from large people gatherings, if the threat of this appears. I really do agree with the poster-it will happen again, its just a matter of time. How much time? no one knows.
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