1. Linz

    Linz Active Member

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    Pandemic/serious disease outbreak during summer?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Linz, Jun 19, 2018.

    Hi all.

    Are there any viral/bacterial outbreaks that occur (or could occur) in summer that could force a London hospital into quarantine status?

    Thanks in advance. :)
     
  2. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    Very few viruses or bacteria care what the season is (as long as it's not freezing.) The reason that some diseases are more seasonal than others is because other species spread them and those species are active during certain seasons (like how malaria is only a threat during mosquito season.)

    I imagine the NHS of the UK has similar guidelines to US hospitals where if they suspect certain contagions, they will immediately quarantine. Smallpox, ebola... but I would think the easiest way to do it would be just create your own outbreak. Most outbreaks happen because an existing disease mutates and becomes orders of magnitude worse. For example the virus that became SARS has existed in China for ages, it just suddenly mutated.
     
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  3. Linz

    Linz Active Member

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    Huh. I thought I posted this. :meh:

    Thanks.

    I've gone for a different threat that would cause a hospital lockdown. :)
     
  4. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    This is just not true.

    Neither of these statements are true either.


    SARS did cause hospitals in Hong Kong to lock down and their employees were not allowed to leave. That didn't happen in Canada. With a good public health infrastructure staff were allowed to self-isolate at home.


    QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION: LESSONS LEARNED FROM SARS A Report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    I can't find any news articles on the quarantined hospital, on the quarantined apartment complex.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
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  5. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Isn't there also a theory of some pathogens going into suspended animation in colder weather? Hence it can survive for longer outside a host and is more likely to be transmitted, so becomes more prevalent in colder climates.

    WRT the original question, I don't believe a hospital would be able to authorise a complete quarantine of the whole facility as this would involve potentially placing healthy individuals at risk of exposure, and hence serious illness or death. It would also mean depriving people of their human rights as you would be refusing to allow them to leave the building, and could even deprive them of life. This would probably be a government decision, maybe even Secretary of State. If you want to be sure, you'd need to check the Health and Social Care act, which is available on the UK government web site:

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/7/contents/enacted
     
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  6. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Not true either. Viral outbreaks like the flu do peak during winter months in temperate climates. You do know, right, that when it is summer here it's winter in Brazil and Australia?

    Surviving outside a host is another complex issue depending on the pathogen. Seasonal spread can be related to kids returning to schools and people indoors closer together as well as the weather.

    It would take me an hour to discuss all the aspects of epidemics, there is no one size fits all and viruses and bacterial pathogens also have all sorts of differences.

    Quarantine in Western countries is affected by laws. In other countries like China, the government can make up the laws as they go. And in third world countries there often isn't the public health infrastructure to implement a large quarantine like a whole hospital or town.
     
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  7. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Of course I do. You don't need to be rude. I just didn't know that those outbreaks peaked at the same time of year globally.

    Sure, and a quick search of some medical journals revealed many articles suggesting that lower temperature may be a factor.

    Ok, but the OP was asking specifically about a hospital in London, which is why I provided a link to the UK legislation.
     
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  8. Linz

    Linz Active Member

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    I'm not sure about America, but here, last year, we didn't have any flu vaccinations ready in time for flu season, because there was confusion over which strain was going to be the most dangerous.

    The reason I mention this, is because I vaguely remember hearing during a news announcement that flu season hits Australia and the surrounding areas during our summer, so that we usually have the time to develop a vaccine against it.

    Thanks for the replies - I appreciate them all, and perhaps I can revisit this thread/other people may find it useful at a later date, but for now, instead of a pandemic, I've gone with a disgruntled/grieving maniac of a relative who's threatening to blow the place up. :p
     
  9. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Influenza doesn't peak at the same time of the year globally, it peaks in the same season. When we get flu in the winter in the northern hemisphere, there is very little flu in the summer in the southern hemisphere. When the seasons reverse, influenza increases also reverse.

    Rather than 'hibernating', some seasonal viruses migrate around the globe. (Epidemics in the tropics have a different pattern altogether.) There's an interplay between host resistance, influenza's mutations and the environment.

    There are pathogens that tend to peak in winter but some peak in the spring and some in summer and some aren't seasonal at all but correlate with crowds, like the Haj.

    I'm sorry for my no nonsense responses but it's annoying when people answer these kinds of questions when they don't really know. What good is asking research questions in a writers' forum when people give answers that amount to something they heard from someone at some point in their lives. Then the writer who asked the question has bad information. They don't have 'no' information, they have 'bad' information.

    People should not answer questions they don't really have at least a minimum level of expertise on.

    On the other hand, it's great to do some research for someone. I often double check my memory by checking something on the internet before posting if I'm not positive about an answer.

    Yes, a factor with some pathogens. That's not what you posted. And spore-forming bacteria do indeed 'hibernate' so to speak. Viruses don't form spores.

    I didn't object to the information you posted about UK quarantine information, I agreed with it. That was an example of something meaningful when a person asked a research question in the forum.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
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  10. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    That sounds interesting.

    Influenza is a winter infection in Australia. We watch to see how sick you all get down there to predict how bad it might be for us when winter and the flu hits here.

    But anywhere in the world an influenza epidemic can occur out of season. In 2009 the new variant of flu that hit very hard began to increase here in late summer. Not only was it unusual but it took a few years for the winter pattern of flu increases to return to its usual peak season.

    Vaccine supplies and the composition of the flu vaccine is a complicated subject.
     
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  11. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    "Study Shows Why the Flu Likes Winter":

    https://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/05/health/research/05flu.html

    Edited to add:

    Almost totally off the topic, I remember reading that the Little Ice Age causd the Black Death--that is, didn't cause the germ, but mass starvation made people more vulnerable to it.

    Now I see a claim that the Black Death caused the Little Ice Age?!

    https://boingboing.net/2006/02/27/black-death-triggere.html

    The argument being that so many farmers died that there was a bunch of extra trees and all that carbon dioxide caused the climate to cool...

    I really struggle to buy that. Is boingboing a joke sort of site? Am I doing the equivalent of quoting a story from The Onion?

    Anyway.
     
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  12. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Here's the actual study if anyone is interested: http://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.0030151

    The problem with this is two-fold and I'm not saying winter weather doesn't facilitate influenza spread because it is accepted that it does contribute.

    But if you think about it, not everywhere in the northern hemisphere experiences cold dry weather at the same time. Yet influenza spreads within every state and EU country during the winter. And the tropics have their share of influenza epidemics. So the weather cannot fully explain seasonal influenza transmission.

    The other problem is drawing too broad of a conclusion from that one study. They looked at airborne transmission and they looked at guinea pigs, not person to person transmission. We know transmission varies widely from the extensive data we have on influenza in different species. It's why the H5N1 highly pathogenic flu wipes out bird populations but has yet to take off with human to human spread. The target cells in one's airway and the amount of viral shedding differ greatly between birds, pigs, and humans.

    And there is some debate whether influenza is spread by droplets or airborne. It appears to differ with different strains.

    Then there's this finding:
    Influenza is fascinating because it is so well studied.
     
  13. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Ok, I misunderstood what you posted previously. I thought you were saying that flu peaks simultaneously across the globe despite it being summer in the southern hemisphere when it's winter in the northern hemisphere.

    Well to be fair, I posed a question about whether or not there is a theory about pathogens hibernating. Which there is. So your rebuke was not only impolite, it was unjustified.

    I didn't say anything about viruses. I said pathogens. So my suggestion is still valid.


    This will be my last reply to you in this thread. I'm mainly replying now because I don't appreciate being responded to as though I'm incompetent. If you want to be argumentative, feel free to send me a PM and do it there. But if you actually want to discuss this topic, I would ask that you try to be respectful. I'm all in favour of being disagreed with and told if I have made an error. But there's no need to be impolite when doing so.
     
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  14. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You said:
    Spore forming bacteria don't hibernate in cold weather. They form spores most often when conditions are not conducive to their growth due to chemicals, heat, radiation and dehydration.

    There is nothing rude about these statements:
    This is just not true.
    Neither of these statements are true either.
    Not true either.​

    I apologize for this one:
    You do know, right, that when it is summer here it's winter in Brazil and Australia?
    People pass around a lot of bad information in this forum. It's not helping anyone.
     
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