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EV71 Outbreak In China Sparks Fears For Olympics 199

Posted by timothy
from the not-funny-at-all dept.
OMNIpotusCOM writes "CNN is reporting an outbreak of Enterovirus 71 (or EV71), that has affected more than 3700 children and killed over 20, is creating concern for the visitors and athletes expected for the Beijing Olympics in August. The virus can cause 'poliolike paralysis,' according to the article."
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EV71 Outbreak In China Sparks Fears For Olympics

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  • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Saturday May 03, 2008 @06:49PM (#23287338) Homepage Journal
    5... 4... 3...
    • by rob1980 (941751) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @06:52PM (#23287370)
      This is clearly Tibet's doing! Curse you, Dalai Lama!
      • by techno-vampire (666512) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @07:27PM (#23287586) Homepage
        You'd better be careful about that or you just might reincarnate as a Dali llama!
    • by mrbluze (1034940)

      Killed 20 children. How many children are there in China? or Peking?

      How many car accidents were there, or murders. Who cares, basically.

      Nerd/News/Importance Factor Zero.

      • You're absolutely right! I'm sure the virus won't spread any more, killing more children, or mutate in any way so as to make it resistant to treatment or affect adults. What a tool I was to think that may be possible. Here, hold my tinfoil hat, I'm not worthy to wear it any more.
    • 3720 / 1,321,851,888 = 0.0000028% chance of getting EV71... thats probably less than the risk of the plane you (don't) get there by crashing... which, will kill you, your kids, friends, that girl you bumped into in the line-up...

      According to the article ("Adults' well-developed immune systems usually can fend off the virus, but children are vulnerable to it, according to the CDC.") seems to only effect children...

      Wouldn't consider it conspiracy worthy, but definitely propaganda ("icky don't go there - stay
      • by Nikker (749551) *
        3720 / 1,321,851,888 = 0.0000028% chance of getting EV71

        I know you're new here but if you divide the number of people in a group by every one in the country that does not give you the possibility of some one joining that group.
      • 3720 / 1,321,851,888 = 0.0000028% chance of getting EV71.
        Actually... that'd be 0.00025% of the population who has it, which is in no way indicative of your chances of getting it.
    • by vikstar (615372)
      Yep, but from what I've seen of CNN, they're not to bad with propaganda. If it was from FOX I would burst-out laughing.
  • That's okay... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Tablizer (95088)
    ...it only affects Tibetans {ducks head}
         
  • by Anonymous Coward
    i'd hate to see what happens 28 days later
  • That's all this is. Wake me when it has killed off more than a tiny pin prick of some nation's population. Then we may worry.
    • Wouldn't it make more sense to deal with it while the death toll is only 20 people and not, say, 20% of China's population? 20 people is still a _lot_ of people dead.
    • by maxume (22995)
      But they're CHILDREN.

      Anybody who found this comment excessively callous or crass, please see the number of pediatric influenza deaths in the United States on this page:

      http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm [cdc.gov]

      If you look at this chart:

      http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/weeklyarchives2007-2008/IPD17.htm [cdc.gov]

      you will see that it is not uncommon for their to be 15-20 child flu deaths in a two week period.
      • by Belial6 (794905)
        Thanks for those links. I have had many debates about the intelligence of the Chicken Pox vaccine, and people arguing for it are always trying to claim that it is super dangerous. CDC links are always good for backing up an argument.
    • by Nullav (1053766)
      Bird flu is a lot of speculation. ("This thing might mutate and spread from birds to humans, and then there's a tiny chance that it may also spread to other humans.") On the other hand, a virus doesn't have to mutate (much?) to travel on planes. Also, considering the population density in China, I have a feeling it'll kill a few more than the 20 it has.
  • by Picass0 (147474) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @07:24PM (#23287566) Homepage Journal
    ... they could trigger a nice little pandemic.

    Sweet dreams.
    • ... they could trigger a nice little pandemic.
      I know! Because we've never had people from all across the world go to other places around the world. This is something totally new, a completely novel vector for disease!
    • by Carewolf (581105)
      OMG Polio!

      Sorry, that doesn't worry me one bit.
  • That's okay (Score:5, Funny)

    by Fear the Clam (230933) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @07:24PM (#23287572)
    I'm sure the Chinese have some sort of perfectly safe medicine for this.
    • by v1 (525388)
      ... and it's either lead-coated, or lead-based, depending on the level of effectiveness required.

  • Consideration (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Narpak (961733) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @07:27PM (#23287588)
    I guess a gathering of people from all over the world, who stay for a while then go back home, does provide a certain degree of danger when it comes to spreading any type of contagious disease.
    • Without doubt, I caught a nasty virus at the 2006 linux.conf.au. It was a norovirus and put me and about 50% of the delegates in recovery mode for about 4 days.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Opportunist (166417)
        (Windows fanboy mode on)

        See? I always told you Linux does not protect you from catching a virus!
  • Why do these illnesses always spring up in China first? Is there a severe lack of hygiene there, or something?
    • Probably a combination of less than North American standard of hygiene, as well as sheer probability. Pick a random person on Earth to infect with a zombie virus. 1/6th chance you'll end up with a mainland Chinese zombie.
    • Re:Always China (Score:5, Informative)

      by v1 (525388) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @08:10PM (#23287840) Homepage Journal
      virus crossover can occur when one species can be infected by viruses from more than one other species. Chickens can get avian type viruses. Humans can get human type viruses. Pigs, lucky them, can get some of both. And in china it's common to raise pigs and chickens together.

      Perfect breeding ground for avian-to-human crossover viruses. And crossover evolution works a lot faster than regular evolution.

      • And crossover evolution works a lot faster than regular evolution.

        I didn't know that. When I get home, I'm going to download CrossOver, and speed up my email.
      • And crossover evolution works a lot faster than regular evolution.

        Everyone knows evolution is just a theory.

        There must be some intelligent design at work to make the Chinese sick.

    • by Cheapy (809643)
      Well, when you have a good chunk of the world's population, things will tend to happen to you first.
    • Pretty much. Peasants live with farm animals in the same house. They're not too picky about cleanliness. Going out into the countryside is like taking a trip in a time machine. You go further back in time the farther you get from an urban area.
  • Let's pander to maternal instincts and do whatever the liberal crowd want "in the name of the children!"

    That's all this is. Next up: athletes refuse to compete as UN surgeons warn of the contagious nature of this bug and they don't want to leave them at home to watch their parents on TV from the other side of the planet... ...and that's my conspiracy theory.
  • What could go wrong (Score:4, Interesting)

    by frovingslosh (582462) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @07:37PM (#23287638)
    So we'll soon have hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world traveling into a very densely populated area with a deadly virus which has no vaccine available (which hardy matters since the people would be unlikely to get vaccinated) and then all roughly at the same time traveling back across the globe. Add to this China's documented sanitary and even pollution problems. And a government with a history of hiding facts that might impact it financially or even just embarrass it. What could go wrong? Lets just pretend we didn't see this coming and act surprised when the pandemic hits.
    • So we'll soon have hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world traveling into a very densely populated area

      This has been a problem in very rural China. Likely there will be few tourists or Olympic travelers even remotely exposed.

      with a deadly virus which has no vaccine available

      possibly true to very low values of "deadly" - it's fairly mild in adults.

      Add to this China's documented sanitary [problems]

      in rural villages, yes, this is a issue for those living there ...

      and even pollution p

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by frovingslosh (582462)
        Your reassurance that this is limited to villages is pretty lame. Unless you want everyone to believe that all of the food that will be consumed at the Olympics will actually be produced in Beijing and not in those remote villages. I expect there to be a serious flow of food, people and viruses between the remote villages and Beijing.

        Your discounting of the deadliness of this virus is also not very reassuring. The percentage of deaths of those affected is high enough to cause me concern (perhaps even high

        • Look at this CDC article [cdc.gov] concerning the 1988 EV71 outbreak in Taiwan. It is clear that this (and similar) viruses are responsible for epidemics but so far there is no evidence for any pandemic spread. These outbreaks have been temporally and geographically limited. An article in Medscape [medscape.com] (registration required) quotes a New England Journal of Medicine editorial:

          Recent experience with EV71 epidemic disease also evokes a sense of déjà vu for those familiar with the history of poliomyelitis, he no

          • Ah, whew! That cools things off. We don't have to worry about any pandemics, ever! And heck, why worry at strangling viruses in the crib when we can just ignore the problem and let them spread?
          • You know, you dismissed my original post by throwing around the term FUD. But I think you misused it. We normally use that term for troublemakers like Micosoft or SCO in their wars against Linux, when the actors know exactly what their position is, but refuse to state it. We say they are out to cause Fear Uncertainty and Doubt and that one reason they do not back up their claims with facts is because the facts are lacking. But my point wasn't that I'm certain that I know there is going to be a pandemic, bu
    • by hackingbear (988354) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @10:04PM (#23288450)
      After the SARS outbreaks in 2003, China has been much more open on reporting outbreaks of transmissive diseases. The suppression of SARS taught them that openness would not cause panic but solve it. We just hope they apply the lesson during the Olympics and to other areas of governing.
  • John Titor... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ArsenneLupin (766289) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @07:50PM (#23287716)
    ... was right after all!

    Torino was the last (summer) olympics of human history.

    But this is EV71's merit, not Tibet's merit!

  • The International Symposium of Computer Architecture is in China next month. This is more relevant to slashdotters than the Olympics.
  • by boyko.at.netqos (1024767) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @07:54PM (#23287734)
    Let's cancel the olympics.

    No, seriously.

    The Olympics exists for two purposes - to allow athletes to compete against others around the world for sport and to promote the idea of international competition taking the form of athletic events instead of warfare. To promote sport and to promote peace.

    In the case of the former, per-sport international athletics associations can more than supplant the role.

    In the case of the latter, no one can take a look at the bloody history of the 20th and early 21st centuries since the modern olympics were founded and believe that the Olympics has been terribly successful at promoting peace.

    Instead, what ends up is that every two years (now that they're staggered) there's a massive orgy of corruption and controversy; and from time to time we have to put up with someone like China or Nazi Germany hosting - or sometimes the U.S. will boycott Moscow or Moscow will boycott the U.S...

    I think it's time to get rid of the Olympics.
    • /signed

      It's become way too political, and it never was supposed to be. The main reason China was even chosen was politics, to show that they were 'coming out' into the world as a good citizen.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      But every few Olympics, we have someone like South Korea hosting, and dictatorships get weakened. Is South Korea an extreme? Perhaps. Are they an isolated case, and will they be an isolated case in the future? I think not.
    • Just to be a pissant, and carry on your point in a much more extreme fashion (in a slightly Ambrose Bierce-y fashion):

      Olympics: An intermittent event which is used by highly evolved nations pretending they honour the value of each other's citizen, which lasts for a couple of weeks separated by long periods of the subjugation, dehumanisation, and murder of those same citizens. Not to be confused with treaties or peace accords, which lack the same level of athleticism.
    • The Olympics exists for two purposes - to allow athletes to compete against others around the world for sport and to promote the idea of international competition taking the form of athletic events instead of warfare. To promote sport and to promote peace.

      Wrong. The Olympics now exists for only one purpose -- a venue for the advertisers. Don't overrate it.

    • by 2Bits (167227)
      Wow, that's a first. You managed to invoke Godwin's law in the first post of a new thread. How is the conversation supposed to be carried on?
      • by Winckle (870180)
        Godwin's law only applies when nazis aren't related. Since Hitler did in fact invent the torch running, h doesn't invoke the law.
  • Whenever I get a disease from China, I'm hungry for another global pandemic like, thirty minutes later.
  • by rsmith-mac (639075) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @08:06PM (#23287814)

    From Wikipedia, Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease [wikipedia.org] the disease that results from this virus:

    HFMD usually affects infants and children, and is quite common. It is highly contagious and is spread through direct contact with the mucus, saliva, or feces of an infected person. It typically occurs in small epidemics in nursery schools or kindergartens, usually during the summer and autumn months. The usual incubation period is 3-7 days. It is extremely uncommon in adults, however still a possibility. Most adults have strong enough immune systems to utterly defeat the virus...

    And outbreaks in April alone:

    1. Outbreak at Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA, USA 2. Outbreak in South Portland, ME, USA Infection may have spread to an isolated section of Westbrook, ME, as well 3. Outbreak in Auckland, NZ. 4. Reported in Santa Clara County, California, USA 5. Late March - mid April: 2,600 cases reported in Singapore, no serious cases; 1000 cases reported in the week of 14 - 20 April.[1] 6. Late April: it is reported in the chinese website (sina.com.cn) that in Fuyan, Provinz Anhui, 19 dead. 7. Late April: San Francisco, CA nursery schools.

    Now I'm not saying it's of absolutely no concern, but it's not as if there's some massive killer disease rampaging through China. The average adult has nothing to worry about, and even in children the effects are rather mild with appropriate medical care. This will burn itself out well before the Olympics, and in a year no one will remember it; use some common sense here. If you want to avoid the Olympics (or encourage others to do so) there are much better reasons than this.

    • by OMNIpotusCOM (1230884) * on Saturday May 03, 2008 @10:10PM (#23288472) Homepage Journal

      Try harder, read the whole sentence on CNN, and make sure that your source doesn't end up proving you wrong.

      Enterovirus 71 (EV71) [wikipedia.org]

      Enterovirus 71 (EV71)infection may be asymptomatic or may cause diarrhea, rashes, and hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). However, EV71 also has the potential to cause severe neurological disease. To date, little is known about the molecular mechanisms of host response to EV71 infection. It is stated in [4] that: "EV71 infection led to increases in the level of mRNAs encoding chemokines, proteins involved in protein degradation, complement proteins, and proapoptotis proteins."

      "Enterovirus 71 (EV71), one of the major causative agents for hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), is sometimes associated with severe central nervous system diseases. In 1997, in Malaysia and Japan, and in 1998 in Taiwan, there were HFMD epidemics involving sudden deaths among young children, and EV71 was isolated from the HFMD patients, including the fatal cases. The nucleotide sequences of each EV71 isolate were determined and compared by phylogenetical analysis. EV71 strains from previously reported epidemics belonged to genotype A-1, while those from recent epidemics could be divided into two genotypes, A-2 and B

    • HFMD usually affects infants and children, and is quite common. It is highly contagious and is spread through direct contact with the mucus, saliva, or feces of an infected person. It typically occurs in small epidemics in nursery schools or kindergartens, usually during the summer and autumn months. The usual incubation period is 3-7 days. It is extremely uncommon in adults, however still a possibility. Most adults have strong enough immune systems to utterly defeat the virus...

      Damn. That sounds like a virus that I would have invented. I hate kids. Although I think I would have introduced some Marburg and Lassa (Ebola Zaire used to be so cool until they invented that damn vaccine) traits into the mix as well. It's not deadly enough. Is there some way that I can improve the virulence? I realize that there aren't many virologists on slashdot but you never know.

  • There actually is an antiviral which I expect would be active against this virus -- Pleconaril [wikipedia.org]. Unfortunately, it has not been approved, and I haven't heard of much work being done with it after Phase II trials finished.

    That being said, this particular virus really isn't a danger to healthy adults, mostly to children and the immuno-suppressed.

  • In that part of the world people, ducks and pigs live in close proximity which facilitates the exchange of viruses. They use human waste as fertilizer also. This is why the origin of most flu viruses begins there. I still remember the Hong Kong flu. Three days of feeling like death warmed over for me and most of my friends, took a month to only need a normal amount of sleep after getting over it.
  • I mean, over 100 comments in a story about the Olympics and a virus that causes polio like symptoms, and not a single joke about athlets staying for the Paralympics?

    Either the SA crowd has left the building or they grew up...
  • welcome, media and honored guests! see what China is like in these here modern times!

    well, yah, sure, we'll see for ourselves, then how you've grown.

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