Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Intermission

I received this in my e-mail this morning from my friend Gary and just had to share it with you all.

Some may be horrified, some amused, or some may just have difficulty breathing because you're laughing so hard.

There's a website referenced on the video. Again, I'm not responsible for the content of other sites.


video

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pandemic Part III

We continue the proactive preparations in this, part three of Pandemic.

HEPA Filters

HEPA filters can be set up and used within the structure to gather any possible contaminants that may have found their way inside. If one does find the need to construct an airlock, a HEPA filter may be placed inside to filter contaminants so that they do not enter the structure. HEPA filters are able to remove contaminants 0.3 microns OR SMALLER at a rate of 99.97% efficiency in order to meet the HEPA standard.

If one happens to be trapped in an area where the outbreak of disease happens to be moderate or severe, a HEPA filter can be used to filter outside air in order to remove most contaminants, and thus provide clean, fresh air to a structure.

Obtain extra filters for your HEPA unit ahead of time. Treat used filters as a potential source of contagion.

UV-C Lamps

There are a number of companies selling devices that generate UV light at a frequency of 235 nano-meters. These should not be relied upon a sole source of disinfection. It typically takes approximately twenty seconds of full exposure to UV-C to destroy the DNA of the contagion. UV-C is effective on mold, viruses, and bacteria. They may prove to be appropriate in areas where traditional decontamination chemicals may not be suitable for use.

Each individual will need to evaluate each situation to determine if UV-C lights are appropriate.

Do not look into the light as it may damage your eyes. Read all precautionary statements included with the device.

BLEACH

Obtain several bottles of plain chlorine bleach. A dilute solution of one part bleach to fifty parts water is sufficient to kill viruses, mold and bacteria according to the CDC.

Another recipe advises a mixture of 0ne part bleach, one part white vinegar, and eight parts water. The vinegar must be added to the water, and then the bleach must be added to the water vinegar solution.

OSHA recommends a 15% solution for decontaminating bio/medical labs. Each of these solutions is greater than 15%.

The recommended duration of exposure to the solution is 20 minutes. The second recipe is also valid for Anthrax spores, but the exposure to the solution is 60 minutes. The surfaces must be kept wet with the solutions.

Alcohol

Isopropyl Alcohol is effective against the Influenza virus. 99% pure isopropyl alcohol is available as a thinning agent in the paint department of many home improvement stores. Alcohol can be used to treat the exterior of some clothing before entering your home. Bleach usually has undesired effects on colored clothing even in a dilute solution.

Alcohol is EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE. EXTREME CAUTION must be exercised in deploying this as a virucide. Avoid open flames, sparks, even static discharge as these are all sources of potential ignition.

In an earlier life, I was a crew chief for a race team. I witnessed several alcohol fueled fires. The results were horrendous.


Spray Bottles

Obtain several heavy duty spray bottles to dispense the bleach solution and alcohol.

Garden Sprayer

Heavy duty use for decontamination of an airlock and the person within the airlock.

Latex Exam Gloves

Available in most pharmacies and even big box stores such as Target. If you are allergic to latex, obtain nitrile gloves. Nitrile gloves are more durable than latex gloves.

Gallon Ziploc style bags

Use for containing used masks, etc.

Plastic Garbage Bags

Use for disposing of waste such as the ziploc bags containing used masks, gloves, etc.

Paper Towels

General cleaning. Many people have started using cleaning cloths that are able to be laundered after each use in an effort to improve the environment. It may be wise to be able to discard used cleaning materials if they become heavily soiled.

Fire Extinguishers

If you choose to use alcohol, a CO2 fire extinguisher is recommended. If an accident occurs where a fire breaks out, you may not be able to rely on your local fire department during a pandemic.

Medications

Tamiflu has shown some effectiveness in treating the avian flu.

There are homeopathic and natural remedies available. Their effectiveness is open to debate, but some of you may prefer them.

Some people believe that colloidal silver is an appropriate response. Here is a solution of silver that will not turn you blue after continued use.


Over Garments

A Tyvek suit is easily worn over clothing, and can be discarded or decontaminated if activity outside the your area of shelter is required.



This concludes the proactive portion of a response to a pandemic. The next post will deal with the reactive response when a pandemic develops.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pandemic Part II

In the previous post, an outline of the flu pandemics after the 1918 Spanish Flu was given. It was noted that the world has not seen a serious influenza outbreak since 1968, and that the "Bird Flu" has the potential to mutate into a easily transmissible, highly lethal pathogen.

Since a potential threat has been recognized, a proactive and reactive response plan must be prepared to safeguard oneself and one's family against the possibility of a serious outbreak of influenza.

The first step in preparing one's family is to create a proactive plan, and to place it into operation. A proactive plan will cover the collection of emergency materials, and the staging of the materials so that they are readily available in case of emergency.

If the reader is aware of the current state of the world with its myriad economic, religious, political, environmental, regional, racial, ethnic, and the ad nauseam minor issues that serve to divide humanity, then the reader has already taken steps to prepare oneself for what is popularly referred to as "TEOTWAWKI", or The End Of The World As We Know It.

If you've already taken basic steps to ensure your family's well being in an adverse situation, then this will be a simple add-on to your preparedness plan. If you have not, we will go over the basics by linking you to established, respected websites that already contain this information. There are numerous sites on the web that offer advice on preparing for arduous situations where society has become unstable and unreliable.

One of the best books for the novice "preper" can be found here: "Dare To Prepare". It is written in plain language and avoids the jargon that has permeated the preparedness community. If you are unable to purchase a book, visit this page on the Millennium-Ark. It has FREE information on the basics needed to prepare for emergency situations.

The information goes beyond the basics often recommended by FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Red Cross and other governmental and non-governmental organizations.

The end of this post will contain links to other websites that host additional preparedness information.

Proactive Plan Materials:

These items should be gathered ahead of time and staged in a manner where everyone within the household will have access to them. Typically everything you will need will fit inside a plastic tote designed to fit underneath a bed.

Face-Masks

These will need to be worn when outdoors, or while in contact with other people.

The NIOSH N95 mask may not provide sufficient protection against the viruses we are concerned with, although it has been often promoted as a solution. The N95 mask came to prominence in the wake of the Anthrax attacks following the 9/11 event. The letter "N" means that the mask is not oil proof or resistent. Exposure to oil will reduce its effectiveness as a filter. The "95" means that the filter is 95% effective at removing particulates at a normal rate of respiration.

The N95 mask will filter particulates larger than 0.3 microns. This is fine for organisms such as Anthrax, but not for viruses that cause Influenza A, B, and C. These viruses are 0.08 to 0.12 microns in diameter.

The N95 mask also does not destroy the infectious agents. When the mask is used, it gathers the infectious agent, and concentrates it in a small area. The infectious agent is able to survive in the media due to the moisture and warm temperatures provided by the respiration of the wearer.

Criticism of these types of masks is centered around the fact that they are unable to form a seal between the user and the mask. The flexible metal strip on the bridge of the nose is designed to help with the fit, but most critics find it less than effective. Without a full seal, unfiltered air can be inhaled by the wearer.

The NanoMask, manufactured by Emergency Filtration Products, filters particulates down to 0.027 microns in size., and is able to form a seal between the mask and the wearer. It is constructed in such a way that the warm, humid environment that is hospitable to viruses is minimized. It also incorporates in its construction chemicals that destroy pathogens. The mask has filters that are able to be replaced.

3M manufactures a line of reusable full face and half face respirators. The 3M 5N11, N95 particulate filter, and the 7093, P100 particulate filter designed for use with these respirators is advertised as able to reduce inhalation exposure to biologicals. I was unable to locate any definitive numbers for the amount of reduction. There is also a line of disposible respirators.

3M has also produced a line of respirators specifically designed for use by the public in case of a pandemic. They may be viewed and purchased here.

A full size poster of how to properly wear a respirator is available for download here.

After use, the filters and disposible respirators will need to be treated as a source of contagion. They may have become saturated with a pathogen. Do not re-use a disposible respirator. When removing filters, or a disposible mask, wear gloves if possible. Place used filters and masks in a plastic bag and seal it. Avoid reopening the bag once the filters and masks have been placed inside. Incinerate the waste at the earliest opportunity. Wash your hands after removing a mask or changing filters, and decontaminate anything that may have come in contact with the exterior of the mask or filter.

Plastic Sheeting and Duct Tape

If you have already gathered Visqueen, or similar plastic for dealing with potential fallout from a nuclear incident, good for you! One less thing to worry about. Everyone should have a number of rolls of duct tape on hand.

The plastic sheeting and duct tape will be used to construct a "clean room". You probably will not want to spend the entire duration of the pandemic confined to wearing a mask, or respirator. You will need to construct an area where it is difficult for the pathogen to invade.

One can actually fairly well seal an entire house or apartment using these materials. What one must do is cover all exterior doors and windows using the plastic sheeting. Seal the plastic in place using the duct tape. In addition, any source of outside air must be sealed off. These include, but are not limited to, bathroom vents and fans, wall sockets and switchplates, access to crawlspaces and attics, the hood above the range, access points for cable for TV or satellite, etc.

If a serious pandemic does erupt, chances are people will be confined to their homes to minimize the spread of the contagion. There probably will not be a need to construct an "airlock", however it might be prudent to have the materials on hand to do so. You will need a manner in which to transit a person from within the home to outside without exposing the entire home to the outdoors.

Great. Now what do I do after the air runs out and we all suffocate?

Chances are unlikely that will happen. If one lives in an area where the infection rates are low, one can probably safely open the windows on the side of the structure that faces full sunlight during the day. Viruses and bacteria are easily destroyed by a component of sunlight known as UV-C. Close the windows and reseal them when the sun begins to fade. This will allow plenty of exchange for fresh air to enter the structure.

Wait for full sunlight to be present for at least one hour to ensure sterilization before opening a window.


To be continued....

Friday, October 24, 2008

PANDEMIC

I think that the lack of serious flu outbreaks, especially since the non-events of Swine Flu, Russian Flu, SARS, and initial over hyped Avian Flu scare in combination with the always touted "flu shots" have worked to breed a level of complacency that could prove to be catastrophic for the population of the United States.

We've been bombarded for years with dire warnings about the coming "pandemic". The fact of the matter is that we haven't seen a true pandemic since 1968.

The Asian Flu of 1957-58 killed an estimated 69,800 people in the United States. The flu appeared in two waves, one appearing between October and December of 1957, and the second between January and February of 1958. Total worldwide deaths attributed to the Asian Flu stands at two million.

In 1968, I actually remember this even though I was only four at the time, another flu raced through humankind. Some of you also may remember the Hong Kong Flu. Estimated US deaths were near 34,000 people.

That would be like killing everyone in my town. Six times.

The evening news was filled with stories of the spread of the flu, and I remember the tension in the house as my mother and father watched Walter Cronkite and Roger Mudd on the CBS news. Total worldwide deaths are estimated at 700,000.

In each outbreak, the highest rates of infection were among school age children aged five to nineteen. The rates of infection were also high among pregnant women, and young adults aged 20 to 30. The elderly suffered the highest mortality rates.

1968 marked the end of the pandemic influenzas for the 20th Century.

However, it was not the end of the threat of a potential pandemic.

1976 is the year the American Public was threatened with the "Swine Flu". It was discovered in the area immediately surrounding Fort Dix, New Jersey, but never spread beyond its initial area.

1977 The Russian Flu. The most severe outbreak was limited to an area of northern China. It affected primarily those under the age of 23.

1997 Avian Influenza Subtype H5N1. "Bird Flu"is the more common name we are familiar with.

1999 Avian Influenza Subtype H9N2. Also known as "Bird Flu".

The Bird Flu is interesting in that it appears that its primary transmission vector is from infected birds directly to humans. In other words, it is difficult for a human to contract the virus. There does not, at this time, seem to be any verified case of human to human transmission. There have been 122 verified cases of human infection with a total of 62 deaths.

This is where the significant area of concern is.

The influenza virus mutates readily due to its structure. It is able to recombine with other viruses easily, swapping traits between the two viruses. The fear is that the Bird Flu virus will find a virus that likes humankind. The two viruses will begin the swapping of genetic code. Eventually the Bird Flu virus will adopt a gene to allow the Bird Flu to change into something that is able to hop from human to human as easily as it hops from bird to bird.

Watch this YouTube video courtesy of Hybrid Medical Animation (http://www.hybridmedicalanimation.com/) for a visual overview of the process:



Bear in mind that out of 122 people, 62 of them died. Even with today's modern miracles, there was a greater than 50% mortality rate.

As of November 2005, the virus has been detected in most areas of the world in migratory bird populations.

May of 2005 was the first detection in pigs. Swine are thought to be where most flu viruses make the jump from animal hosts to human hosts.

There is the possibility that the virus will mutate itself out of being a threat to mankind, but so far it appears to be on track to become more of a threatening pathogen.

Current estimates of world wide deaths resulting from a pandemic Bird Flu are a conservative CDC (US Centers For Disease Control And Prevention) number of 1.7 to 2 million. Dmitri Lvov, Director of the Ivanovsky Research Institute of Virology, estimates a potential ONE BILLION deaths globally in the FIRST SIX months of a Bird Flu pandemic.

The conservative numbers of two million people would, in all probability, not significantly affect the day to day operation of the world. However, one billion people could pose a significant challenge for our modern, increasingly interconnected world.

Think of what could potentially happen if a significant number of key people were unable to perform their duties due to illness or death? Air traffic controllers, pilots, truck drivers, police and firefighters, doctors and nurses, longshoremen, military personnel, nuclear plant operators, train engineers, farmers, ranchers, butchers, etc. Now couple that with a serious storm, either atmospheric, or what we are currently experiencing economically.

I think it becomes rather obvious for the potential of a serious breakdown in the supply chain, and the normal functioning of our society.

Now, what can you do to prepare for the potential of a flu pandemic?

NEXT POST

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Forget Obama, be afraid of his VP

This guy is a loser, in my opinion. Do you really want this nut case to potentially control our military and nuclear arsenal? This is a video of Joe Biden singing. Where is that bloody Englishman from "American Idol" when you need him?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Complacency



Do not confuse complacency with confidence. To do so, will result in your failure at the most critical time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Another Day....


I thought I'd just throw this up here as kind of a "blast from the past". I find it amazing how much can change in just a few short years. I haven't seen many funny images lately for all the crap our fellow countrymen have to endure in that God-foresaken hell hole known collectively as the "Middle East".


Monday, October 20, 2008

First Post

Well, now I've gone and done it.

I'm officially a "blogger". Kinda sounds vaguely obscene when I say it that way.

Girl 1: Ewww...you're dating HIM? Didn't you know he's a "blogger"?

Girl 2: Well, that's not as bad as that ChiMo you're dating! That guy could be your dad!

So...stay tuned!

The photo in my profile is Aloysius (usually just referred to as "Al"). Al is "special". I wonder if there's a government program somewhere I can loot for his benefit.

I may rotate through the photos of my menagerie. I haven't made up my mind.