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alstry (< 20)




June 26, 2009 – Comments (3)

Otherwise known as CRAP!!!!!!!

And this from out buddy Karl Denninger:

Bah.  I'll tell you what I think they're preparing for:

CDC is now estimating that the novel H1N1 virus will be “Category 2” in severity. They are closely watching the situation in the Southern Hemisphere for validation of this estimate.

A category 2 pandemic has the following characteristics:

Case fatality ratio of 0.1 percent to less than 0.5 percent. Between 90,000 and 450,000 deaths in the U.S. (compared with estimated 36,000 deaths during a typical influenza season). Excess death rate of between 30 to less than 150 per 100,000 people. Illness rate of between 20 and 40 percent. Similar to 1957 pandemic.

Eek.  Let's not.  And by the way, if the attack rate is between 20 and 40% the death rate, if the "serious complication" rate looks anything like it has thus far, will end up closer to that upper boundary.

Why?  Lack of ability to treat, and that's in the US.  In other parts of the world, especially out of the "first world" western nations, the death rate will be insanely high.

Here's the problem: If you need a ventilator you're in deep trouble and there's a decent chance you'll be leaving the hospital in a pine box.  But if you need one and there is none available, you are almost certainly going to leave the hospital in a pine box!

Hospitals run with a fairly small number of "free" ICU beds and vent equipment at any given time.  They simply are not geared up for something that happens once every 50 years, nor should they be.

Our medical system, indeed all of western medicine, does a great job of treating the usual illness cycle where the events are (mostly) random and well-modeled.  But if we have 2 million people showing up at hospitals within a few weeks and a significant percentage need supportive respiratory therapy, all pretty much at the same time, a huge percentage of those people are not going to get it, as the equipment simply does not exist, and they will die.

If this flu bug turns into that sort of event nations will go on "lockdown" almost immediately in a last-ditch defensive attempt to control contagion.  It will help but not fix it (there is no fix) but in that situation having local currency will be critical to be able to have basic needs delivered to you - like for instance food!

By the way should that sort of event occur you can say goodbye to any idea of "green shoots".  The economic damage of such an event will be tremendous.

Let's hope we avoid it; pay attention to that part of the world where its winter now for some sort of indication as to what we're in for here in the northern hemisphere's "western world" developed economies in six months or so.

Alstry better slow down....he just surpassed last months record blogging......but you gotta admit is makes an interesting read!!!!!

3 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On June 26, 2009 at 5:59 PM, gmxBatteringRam (28.94) wrote:

We thought you'd like this post:

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#2) On June 26, 2009 at 6:10 PM, RonChapmanJr (30.33) wrote:

Forget green shoots, a pandemic would destroy a healthy economy. 

The time to prepare for the possibility this gets worse is now.  Compared to an economic collapse a pandemic is easy to prepare for.

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#3) On June 26, 2009 at 8:45 PM, angusthermopylae (37.72) wrote:

Thank you, thank you, thank you--I mentioned on one of dwot's blogs that it's the auxillary factors (respirators, beds, etc) that will determine the outcome of the flu...or any other outbreak.

Not that I'm convinced either way about the pandemic severity...but it's the public reaction and economic factors that will have the lasting effects.

(And yes, that's cold-hearted to anyone who loses a family member to this.  But economics and politics deal with large groupings and their overall reaction.)

What's that old saying about one death being a tragedy?  I would say that, if the flu gets nearly as bad as the above says, the public reaction will be more Katrina-like than anything else:  "Why weren't there enough vaccines?"  "Why weren't there enough ventilators?"  "Why did my [husband/wife/child] get turned away from the hospital?"  "Why can't I go there to save my family?"

After that, the Magic 8-Ball gets hazy...too many implications...

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