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Author Topic: Foot And Mouth Disease Outbreak Due to U.K Wet Weather on the cards?  (Read 80010 times)

Offline rosalind dna

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Bluetongue has been re occuring recently and it's a few months before real winter sets in.

If it's a cold winter then these viruses/bugs might get killed off.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Good point, and that's what's usually observed. However Andrew seems to think that the effect of cold wet weather on the animals' immune system and body temperature will dominate.
Incidentally, does anyone have any data for the seasonal variation of body temperature among farm animals?
I know that humans maintain essentially the same temperature all year (with some daily variation) and I wonder if sheep and cattle do the same.
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Ever heard of the term fever BC? Are you aware that a period of horizontal bed rest causes the body temperature to drop by two degrees in healthy people? Have you read my post stating that this 2 degree temperature drop does not appear to happen on an inclined bed? Maybe the same avoidance of a 2 degree drop in body temperature is achieved when grazing animals lay down on a hill side all facing uphill? Maybe putting these animals on level ground in the bottom of a river valley area is not the wisest move for a farmer? Maybe preventing these animals from being moved to higher ground during an outbreak will compound the disease and turn it into a pandemic?

Remember cold air holds less water than warm air, so we don’t rely on the cold to reduce the animals resistance to infection. In fact higher temperatures and copious amounts of humidity should do just fine.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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"Ever heard of the term fever BC? "
Yes, its what you get after getting an infection. Becuse it's after the inecton srikes, it's a complete red herring.
"Are you aware that a period of horizontal bed rest causes the body temperature to drop by two degrees in healthy people?"
Yes, that's why I mentioned the daily variation. Most people lie down to sleep.
"Have you read my post stating that this 2 degree temperature drop does not appear to happen on an inclined bed?"
Interesting data. Do you have any indications that it might apply to non human species?
"Maybe the same avoidance of a 2 degree drop in body temperature is achieved when grazing animals lay down on a hill side all facing uphill? "
Maybe, do you have any data?
Here is story about the real data
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/2623809/Cows-point-north-thanks-to-in-built-compasses.html
Cows align temselves facing North, not uphill.
"Maybe putting these animals on level ground in the bottom of a river valley area is not the wisest move for a farmer? Maybe preventing these animals from being moved to higher ground during an outbreak will compound the disease and turn it into a pandemic?"
Maybe I will win the lottery, but until we know more about it this is empty speculation.

"Remember cold air holds less water than warm air, so we don’t rely on the cold to reduce the animals resistance to infection. In fact higher temperatures and copious amounts of humidity should do just fine."
Hot air certainly holds more water. Cows are generally slightly warmer than the air round them.
The air they breathe out is near saturated with water at roughly 101F so the net effect of wet air is to reduce the water loss from the cow's lungs.
You seem not to have noticed which way the water is going.



« Last Edit: 14/09/2008 14:04:33 by Bored chemist »
 

Offline backgroundwhitenoise

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I believe i read in an article a few months ago (Mind you I'm only pretty sure of this, it could be complete BS, if it is, please tell me) that FMD was also known as a form of cutaneous anthrax. Now anthrax spores are grown inside the infected animal and spread when infected blood comes in contact with a laceration in an uninfected animal, or if it is ingested or inhaled. Therefore if that strain of anthrax is actually FMD, then flooding or heavy rains could have carried the spores (which have been known to infect animals for up to 70 years after they are released) into the drinking water of the livestock, and after ingesting the spores the livestock were infected starting the process over again
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Anthrax is caused by a bacterium, FMD by a virus. They are completely unrelated.
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7008901.stm
Government vets have confirmed bluetongue disease is circulating in the UK and is now classed as an outbreak.
What is bluetongue disease?
It is a non-contagious virus spread by a species of midge and is most commonly seen in the late summer and autumn.
All ruminants, such as cattle, goats, deer and sheep, are susceptible, although symptoms are generally most severe in sheep.
However, in certain weather, midges can be carried much further, especially over water masses - up to 200km (124 miles).
Such distances vary according to local environmental, topographical and meteorological conditions, Defra says.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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WTF does this have to do with Foot and Mouth?
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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'Hunt and kill illegal Chinese deer', says GormleyBy Michael Lavery


Monday September 29 2008

TINY, four-footed Chinese "invaders" are to be shot on sight in Irish forests.

The 19-inch-high Muntjac deer have been brought into the country and released illegally into the wild, Department of the Environment officials believe.

The non-native species, also known as "barking" deer, pose a threat to the Irish deer populations of Sika, Red and Fallow.

The Department's experts say the non-native populations are susceptible to, or may act as a reservoir for, bovine TB, foot and mouth disease, Lyme's disease and bluetongue virus.

They also have a reputation for damaging crops.

Sightings

The Muntjac have been spotted in Co Wicklow in three separate areas 15km apart and some have already been shot by licenced hunters.

Now Environment Minister John Gormley has declared "open season" on the Muntjac for the next 12 months under the Wildlife Act. Native deer species are protected and can only be hunted during very specific parts of the year. But licenced deer hunters will be able to hunt Muntjac throughout the State subject to the permission of the landowner.

"The introduction of the Muntjac deer in Britain has resulted in significant damage to commercial woodland, farm crops and gardens over the years," Mr Gormley said.

"I am of the view that this authorisation ensure that the species does not gain a foothold in the country.

"My Department are examining further measures with a view to eradicating this alien species before it becomes established."

The Muntjac's small size and its liking for woodland habitats together with its extended breeding season, allows it to build up numbers and reach high densities quickly.

The Department warned it is a criminal offence to introduce and release Muntjac deer and Mr Gormley said they would vigorously pursue "any individual introducing invasive species into the State."

- Michael Lavery
http://www.herald.ie/national-news/hunt-and-kill-illegal-chinese-deer-says-gormley-1485188.html
« Last Edit: 30/09/2008 09:22:06 by Andrew K Fletcher »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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So?
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Point is, we have a large number of wild animal populations in this country that are quite capable of maintaining virus strains indefinitely. Realising this has caused the proposed cull on deer in Ireland. We also have muntac deer, I know because I have seen one while driving slowly past it grazing on a verge. Also seen wallaby in large numbers around Bewdley in the Midlands. We also have wild boar, along with the more familiar cohabitants like badger fox and rabbit.

The point is that this possible viral reservoir is now being considered to act as a possible reservoir for foot and mouth disease and other diseases. These animals were in the countryside during the last two major outbreaks, so it is entirely possible that the viral reservoir is already out there among the native wildlife and that environmental factors are holding it at bay.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Point is that "non-native populations are susceptible to, or may act as a reservoir for, bovine TB..." just tells you that deer can get foot an mouth. They may also act as a reservoir for TB or whatever.

The words "may" and "or" in there strips the sentence of any real meaning. Clearly a deer that doesn't have the virus cant act as a reservoir for it.
This sentence "The point is that this possible viral reservoir is now being considered to act as a possible reservoir for foot and mouth disease and other diseases." is overstating the case. The quote might mean that these animals act as a reservoir for TB and are susceptible to F+M.

Anyway, we know there's no reservoir of F+M in the UK because we don't get outbreaks except when there has been a breach of quarantine.

There may a reason to cull these deer (and the wallabys etc) but F+M isn't it.
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Final foot-and-mouth restrictions lifted
By Stuart Richards
4/10/2008


THE spectre of foot-and-mouth has finally been removed from Surrey's countryside, with the lifting of the final disease restrictions around Egham and the Old Windsor area.

The opening up of the last remaining restricted land in the county comes 14 months after the first outbreak last summer, although the county council said the financial impact of foot-and-mouth would continue to be felt for some time.

Public rights of way around Milton Park Farm, Egham Whitehall Farm, Egham Manor Farm, Laleham Ankerwyke and Old Windsor were reopened on Friday.

Four cases of foot-and-mouth were confirmed around the Egham area last September, following on from earlier outbreaks in Normandy and Elstead, near Guildford.

Restrictions at Westwood Lane, Hook Farm and Willey Green Farm, in Normandy, were lifted in early August this year.

Surrey County Council's trading standards manager, Peter Denard, said: "It is fantastic news that the final restrictions that were the legacy of last year's outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease have now been lifted, but it is important that we do not forget the disastrous impact this outbreak had on the rural economy and the huge effect it had on the local and national economy.

"To be able to say to the public that the countryside is open to all again is very welcome news, especially as it has taken more than a year to get to this point.

"However, the farming community and the local authority will have to live with the financial implications of the outbreak even longer, which has left us frustrated and disappointed."

Mr Denard said the county council and its local partners had not been reimbursed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for their work in containing the initial outbreak, or for the monitoring of the closed rights of way, while the government had also cut funding for animal welfare and health.

"These financial issues cause us concern for the future because we have been telling the government that measures need to be put in place to reduce the impact of an animal disease outbreak," he added.

Farmer Robert Lawrence, who lost 350 cattle after discovering foot-and-mouth in some of his animals at Milton Park Farm, in Egham, told getsurrey.co.uk at the end of August this year: "You wouldn’t want to see the like of it again, it was devastating.

“I couldn’t bear to see my cattle suffering, but the emptiness of the fields afterwards was even more haunting.

“If it happened again I don’t think we’d come back from it.”
http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/s/2036666_final_footandmouth_restrictions_lifted
 

Offline Bored chemist

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So, even the slugish and paranoid world of local government realise that there is no FMD in (their bit of) the UK.
Do you?
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Whether there is foot and mouth disease here already or not is irrelevant. We have plenty of people flying from areas all around the world that do have foot and mouth disease in domesticated and wild animals, and let’s face it, the arrival of the bluetongue virus proves that sooner or later boundaries will be surmountable. And let’s not forget the migratory birds and insects are more than capable of bringing it in from overseas.

But my point is that we remain free from F&M while the animals are capable of maintaining their defence against it. The problem arises when environmental factors like keeping animals in valleys during horrendous weather with widespread flooding takes it toll and reduces the body temperature and circulation to the point where the virus finds it easy to invade the cells. We must not forget that a good environment has the opposite effect and the infected animals quickly recover.

The slaughter policy during the last major outbreaks is quite bizarre when you think about it for a while. The wholesale slaughter of the farm animals was thought to have eradicated the disease, when the wild dear, boar, wallaby etc were not subjected to the same pointless onslaught, yet somehow survived the disease without the help of a bolt from a gun and a blazing inferno, or indeed a vaccination programme.

So why did these animals present little infection rates? Was it because they were free to move to higher dryer ground? A practice in farming for thousands of years and now the lessons have been forgotten because Joe Bloggs owns the Highland and Dave Bloggs owns the lowland so movement of farm animals is not going to happen is it?

Down comes the rain, fields become swamps, animals get sick and opportunistic pathogens take hold of the stock.

Not rocket science just common sense farming practices and we can avoid the next F&M disaster.

Move the animals to high ground! In case anyone reading this may have missed the last line here it is again. Move the animals to high ground when the weather causes widespread flooding! And in Winter grow crops rather than livestock in the lower river valley areas!

I have spoken with farmers who had no problem with infections during any of the last outbreaks and all of them had their animals on HIGH GROUND!
 

Offline Bored chemist

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"Whether there is foot and mouth disease here already or not is irrelevant. "
You didn't say that when you were trying to say it was endemic in the UK, in fact there was quite a long debate about the exact meaning of the word "endemic".

"But my point is that we remain free from F&M while the animals are capable of maintaining their defence against it."

Odd then that every outbreak has been traced back to a breach of quarantine.

You still haven't answered the question put to you earlier. This has been one of the wettest Summers on record so why no FMD?

Until you can answer that your conjecture that wet weather begets FMD ourtbreaks doesn't tally with reallity.

While it's often true that wild animals can move freely that is grounds to supose that they are not infected with FMD. If thery were then the disease would keep popping up all over the place.

You keep preaching that the humidity makes a difference (in spite of being told that cattle breathe more water out than in- on cold days you can see their breath "steam" just like people's) and you kept saying that the vius is here.
If those were both true then after a wet Summer and during this wet Autumn there would be an outbreak.
Thankfully there isn't one.
Incidentally, this "A practice in farming for thousands of years and now the lessons have been forgotten because Joe Bloggs owns the Highland and Dave Bloggs owns the lowland so movement of farm animals is not going to happen is it?" is dross too.  For thousands of years farmers have let their cattle drink from streams. That means the cattle always have access to wet marshy low ground.
I have yet to see a farm that neatly follows the contour map so all the fields are either "on the high ground" or "on the low ground". Have you? What I do remember is that the peak distrrict ran into a problem with the tourist trade during the latest FMD outbreak. The peak district is the high ground- the clue is in the name.

As for the demand to move the animals to the high ground it seems odd to me.
If anyone else is still reading this thread (I doubt there are many) they might want to picture a world in which Andrew is "minister of health" and where a 'flu  pandemic is about to reach the UK.
His proposed solution is to crowd all the people onto the hilltops.
Obviously, it will be more difficult to feed and water them (and look after waste disposal). The crowding will make transmission of the diesase easier and the lack of food and water will reduce people's immunity.
Even more importantly, one of the things about the high ground is that it's cold. People are warm blooded; one of their best inbuilt mechanisms for fighting disease is fever- essentially, you "cook" the bugs.
Of course it's difficult enough to keep warm on a hillside without proper food, water or shelter, and it's even more difficult to maintain a fever.
Another thing that makes life that bit more difficult for the immune system is dealing with several infections at once. It's pretty good at this, but it certainly doesn't help matter. One way to ensure that it gets lots of infections to deal with is to crowd lots of people together.

Now, I'm not saying that cattle are the same as people or even that 'flu is the same as FMD, but does anyone see why I don't support Andrew's idea?


Finally Andrew, do you remember me saying (12/8) "Also, please dont waste time saying things like "you can't quarantine a virus.", at least not while you live in a country that has been kept free of rabies for decades. Also, don't say "The virus is here all the time." unless you have real evidence to back it up."?

« Last Edit: 07/10/2008 20:55:27 by Bored chemist »
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Nice attempt, but fails miserably to address the infection risk from birds, insects and imported animals! Good how you avoid the meat and go for the two veg?
Below is one example of avian importation of Lyme Disease.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 1989 August; 55(8): 1921-1924
Lyme disease and migrating birds in the Saint Croix River Valley.
A R Weisbrod and R C Johnson
St. Croix National Riverway, Spring Creek Field Laboratory, Minnesota 55047.
ABSTRACT
During a study of migrating land birds in 1987, we examined over 9,200 individual birds representing 99 species from the Saint Croix River Valley, a Lyme disease-endemic area of east central Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. We found that 250 deer tick (Ixodes dammini) larvae and nymphs infested 58 birds from 15 migrant species; 56 ticks (22.4%) were positive for the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Five ground-foraging migrant bird species favoring mesic habitats, veery (Catharus fuscescens), ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus), northern waterthrush (S. novaboracensis), common yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), and swamp sparrow (Melospiza georgiana), accounted for nearly three-quarters of parasitized individuals. Nearly half of the spirochete-positive ticks were removed from migrating birds taken in a riparian floodplain forest. Recaptured migrants with infected ticks indicate that they transmit B. burgdorferi to hexapod larvae. We suggest that birds may be both an important local reservoir in the upper Mississippi Valley and long-distance dispersal agents for B. burgdorferi-infected ticks to other regions of the continent.
 
Appl Environ Microbiol. 1989 August; 55(8): 1921-1924


"Whether there is foot and mouth disease here already or not is irrelevant. "
You didn't say that when you were trying to say it was endemic in the UK, in fact there was quite a long debate about the exact meaning of the word "endemic".

”Odd then that every outbreak has been traced back to a breach of quarantine.”
Yes it is conveniently odd isn’t it?

”Until you can answer that your conjecture that wet weather begets FMD ourtbreaks doesn't tally with reallity.”

Yes it does tally with reality. Reality is that all of the major outbreaks in the UK have been assisted by unusually prolonged wet weather. It may also be worth considering that bluetongue could further weaken animal resistance when the next outbreak arrives, and arrive it undoubtedly will!

Asking why haven’t we got an outbreak right now is rather odd coming from a chemist. Perhaps there is a correlation with the seasonal changes? You know being a chemist, you must have seen more snotty noses in the winter? Hay fever when pollen is higher? Coughs and colds when humidity is higher?

”While it's often true that wild animals can move freely that is grounds to supose that they are not infected with FMD. If thery were then the disease would keep popping up all over the place.”

My point exactly. The fact that F&M does not keep popping up in the wild animal population means they are somehow avoiding it and beating the infection without the need for either vaccination or being slaughtered in the fields.

”You keep preaching that the humidity makes a difference (in spite of being told that cattle breathe more water out than in- on cold days you can see their breath "steam" just like people's) and you kept saying that the vius is here.”

Not preaching. This is based on many years of researching into humidity and its affect on increased human health problems, including cot deaths and sudden adult deaths. When humidity is very high the fluid to gas exchange in cattle and other animals is compromised as they breathe in wetter air. If you fail to see this then there is no point continuing.

For example. A child with croup in a padded cot that was in distress next to my son’s bed while in hospital was administered what could only be described as a massive amount of visible moist air flooding the cot. Each time they did this the child fell asleep within a few minutes. Now this could have been because it eased his airways or it could have induced lethargy and caused the child to fall asleep.

I have worked in a river valley area doing heavy manual work and felt the life drain from my body, gasping for air, sweating profusely and ironically so were the other three workmates I was with at the time. We were doing a house removal for some people who were moving out of Buckfastleigh Valley due to health concerns. We drank lots of fluids and rested lots of times and became thoroughly lethargic due to the horrendous humidity. The people moving out confirmed that when they had moved into the valley they were in good health 2 years previous, but had, like ourselves found life in the valley was not all it was cracked up to be. Indeed the locals had given days like this a name, calling it Buckfastitis. On days like this, they told us, there is a mass exodus out of the valley when people move to less oppressive air! This should speak volumes for this discussion but doubt it will.

On finishing the removal which took forever and left us totally drained and ready for a sleep we drove a short distance to “you’ve guessed it” a higher, more elevated terrain where we began to unload. Miraculously we all regained our full potential and all of our aches and lethargy had vanished. Now this could have been due to the 30 minutes rest we had on the journey to the new home or it could have been to the reduction in humidity. I will let you ponder on it.

 “Thankfully there isn't one.”
For once we agree on something.


The name Peak District should also indicate troughs, you know peaks and troughs, valleys and hill sides, high ground and low ground.

Again you have conveniently ignored my mentioning of farmers on high ground that did not get F&M problems and some of these were in Bristol.


As for the demand to move the animals to the high ground it seems odd to me.

Picture moving sick animals to the hills to recover? Why BC don’t you realise that this was done with respiratory conditions for those that could afford it? People did go to the mountains to aid recovery!

In fact people with multiple sclerosis at elevations of 3,000 feet somehow become elated, full of energy and are able to rise from a wheelchair and abandon walking sticks, but then when they go back to sea level they become lethargic and unable to walk again. Several published personal accounts of this were found and included in my theory on MS.

As for feeding and watering animals on the high ground, we now have a thing called an automated drinking trough and fortunately vehicles are able to move hay to them, lets face it vehicles were able to move soldiers to the fields to slaughter the animals so a few bales of hay should not prove more difficult.

 immunity.
Even more importantly, one of the things about the high ground is that it's cold. People are warm blooded; one of their best inbuilt mechanisms for fighting disease is fever- essentially, you "cook" the bugs.
Of course it's difficult enough to keep warm on a hillside without proper food, water or shelter, and it's even more difficult to maintain a fever.
Another thing that makes life that bit more difficult for the immune system is dealing with several infections at once. It's pretty good at this, but it certainly doesn't help matter. One way to ensure that it gets lots of infections to deal with is to crowd lots of people together.

Animals on high ground have the benefit of being able to rest facing uphill when they lay down. Your argument that this may be because they are pointing North is not working as there would be more chance of them facing downhill and on the horizontal when this points North. They always face uphill! Yes all of them laying down face uphill. Why do you think this is the case? Could it be predation worries? If it were predation they would be far more observant looking down the hills for an attacker?

They face uphill because being on an incline increases body temperature and increases circulation, particularly noticeable for people who have cold hands and cold feet in bed.

As you quite rightly mention, cooking the virus is a great defence, so maintaining your body temperature is of paramount importance for protecting your cells from invaders.

Sleeping in a valley with severe damp conditions, flat ground and water logged soils is hardly the Ritz is it? Farm animal waste squelching between their hooves is hardly a sterile environment is it?

You mentioned moving a group of people to the high ground as a mechanism for compounding the disease.

Let’s strip the same people naked and move them into a river valley and have them standing for months on end in their own urine and crap and see how many survive? The pig is thought to be very close to our own physiology, so close that body parts are used for transplants. So should we expect pigs to fair any better than our naked peoples experiment in the valley? Yet this is exactly what happens every year.


”Now, I'm not saying that cattle are the same as people or even that 'flu is the same as FMD, but does anyone see why I don't support Andrew's idea?”

I would be very interested to hear your views too on.

”Finally Andrew, do you remember me saying (12/8) "Also, please dont waste time saying things like "you can't quarantine a virus.", at least not while you live in a country that has been kept free of rabies for decades. Also, don't say "The virus is here all the time." unless you have real evidence to back it up."?”

You can’t quarantine a virus! I stand by this! You may be able to slaughter the animals that have it but you can’t prevent it from moving around because of birds, deer, boar, rabbits, mice, rats, badgers, insects, people, dogs, cats, horses, vehicles, aircraft, military, holidays, tractors, earth movers, landfill,

Saying you can quarantine a virus is stupid!
 

Offline Bored chemist

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"Nice attempt, but fails miserably to address the infection risk from birds, insects and imported animals! Good how you avoid the meat and go for the two veg"
So, you missed the point about the lack of rabies in this country; quarantine works- even though we can't quarantine birds etc. because you need the right vector for a given disease and FMD doesn't have a wild vector that can fly (unless you count man).

It would also make life simpler if, in this thread about FMD, you stopped introducing red herrings like Lymes disease- it's a fascinating subject but not relevant.

"Asking why haven’t we got an outbreak right now is rather odd coming from a chemist. Perhaps there is a correlation with the seasonal changes? You know being a chemist, you must have seen more snotty noses in the winter? Hay fever when pollen is higher? Coughs and colds when humidity is higher?"
I'm not sure wtf chemistry has to do with it- pharmacy perhaps, medicine certainly, but not chemistry.
Yes diseases are often seasonal. As I said, cold weather (as found on high ground) does upset the immune response of mammals. Of course the absolute humidity is generally higher in Summer and the relative humidity is often near 100% in the UK whether it's Summer or Winter.
Perhaps I should repeat that bit
the absolute humidity is generally higher in Summer
in case you missed it.

However you only need immunity to FMD if the virus is about.
Here in the UK, except when quarantine fails, the virus isn't about so there are no cases.


"lets face it vehicles were able to move soldiers to the fields to slaughter the animals so a few bales of hay should not prove more difficult."
You only need to do one of those once, and soldiers walk better than any bales of hay I have ever seen.
(don't get me wrong, I don't think the slaughter policy was the best available).

"Animals on high ground have the benefit of being able to rest facing uphill when they lay down. Your argument that this may be because they are pointing North is not working as there would be more chance of them facing downhill and on the horizontal when this points North. They always face uphill! Yes all of them laying down face uphill. Why do you think this is the case? Could it be predation worries? If it were predation they would be far more observant looking down the hills for an attacker?"
You really missed the point here.
All the cows faced North (give or take a few degrees) Unless they all happen to be in fields with a south facing aspect (which simply isn't possible) they were observed not to be facing uphil.
Do you understand that this means they don't face uphil, they face North?
Since they don't face uphil, that means you can't use their facing uphil as evidence.

Anyway, the top of a hill (or the bottom for that matter ) isn't a good place to try and lie down on a slope. The sides of the hill are better because they do slope.
The slope is zero at the top and bottom.
While we are on the hilltops,
The hospitals people with lung complaints were sent to, often on top of hills, were called isolation hospitals. Can you see how that might be different from crowding people together?
Also, while the city air was full of polution, it made a lot of sense to give people who's lungs were struggling an opportunity to get up into the clean air of the hills. Clearly, it's easy enough to provide food and water to a few hospital patients. It would be more of a problem if you put the whole population up there.


You say "My point exactly. The fact that F&M does not keep popping up in the wild animal population means they are somehow avoiding it and beating the infection without the need for either vaccination or being slaughtered in the fields."
You can't have it both ways.
If birds and wild animals spread FMD to cattle that can't move away from wet valleys because they are fenced in then they would also spread it from the wild animals that (according to you) have the disease and recover (incidentally, there's nothing magic about recovery, FMD isn't usually fatal).
There are few outbreaks of a disaes that's known to be very infectious so there cannot be a source of infection and a vector. Since FMD doesn't really need a vector there cannot be any reservoir of infection or we would have cases. These cses would be spotted (not lesat because they would rip through the national herd).



Stop ignoring the fact that there's no rabies in this country. It proves that you can keep a virus out by quarantine. It has essentially worked for over a hundred years- why don't you accept this?
Why do you say that the observed fact, shown to be true for a hundred years, is stupid?
« Last Edit: 08/10/2008 20:57:59 by Bored chemist »
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Sunday, 24 November, 2002, 21:59 GMT
Man dies from rabies after bat bite

 
David McRae worked with bats as a conservationist

A man has died after contracting Britain's first case of rabies for 100 years, hospital bosses have confirmed.
David McRae, a 56-year-old conservationist from Guthrie, Angus, Scotland, failed to recover from European Bat Lyssavirus (EBL), a type of rabies found in several northern European countries.

Mr McRae, who was licensed to handle bats, was bitten by one of the creatures on at least one occasion.

 
Mr McRae died in Ninewells Hospital
 

His licence was issued by wildlife agency Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), for whom he had carried out research.

A SNH spokesman said Mr McRae's death was a "bleak day" for everyone involved in conservation in Scotland.

He added: "Everyone at Scottish Natural Heritage is completely devastated by this terrible news."

The Oldham-born wildlife artist moved to Angus three years ago and has spent much of his time painting and working with bats.

Doctors announced on Tuesday that Mr McRae was being treated in an isolation unit at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

He was bitten by a species known as Daubenton's Bat some weeks ago.

There is no cure for the disease.

Close contact

Tayside NHS Trust has confirmed clinical staff closely involved in treatment of the patient will be offered advice and vaccination where appropriate.

Rabies is a serious infection of the nervous system that is caused by a virus which is usually transmitted by a bite from an infected animal.

Mr McRae had prolonged close contact with bats over many years and had been bitten on at least one occasion.

He had also carried out work for SNH under contract.

In Europe, where the EBL strain is common, there have only been three cases of humans catching rabies since 1977.

This is the first case of indigenous rabies in Britain since 1902.

NHS Tayside director of public health, Drew Walker, said his deepest sympathies were with Mr McRae's family.

He repeated advice that only members of the general public who handle bats or who have been bitten or scratched by them are at risk of infection.

A helpline has also been set up to offer reassurance and advice.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/2509375.stm
 

Offline Bored chemist

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OK A man dies in 2002 and the last one died in 1902.
I think you can legitimately say that quarantine kept the problem at bay for a century.
EBL isn't classical rabies anyway.

"Mr McRae had prolonged close contact with bats over many years and had been bitten on at least one occasion. "
So most of the bats he dealt with didn't have this virus, or he would have become infected on previous occasions.
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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You miss an important point in the line above.

"In Europe, where the EBL strain is common, there have only been three cases of humans catching rabies since 1977."

The whole of Europe has only reported 3 cases of humans catching Rabies. Britain is minuscule by comparison to the whole of Europe, certainly in human population and, bat population, yet we have 1 reported death from rabies in 2002 from contact with indigenous bats. The ratio is certainly indicative that we do have this virus well established among the bat population. How can we be sure that foxes has not been infected? The fox population now only has vehicles as a means of keeping the numbers down. 

I agree that the other bats that did bite David McRae could not have had the disease.
Rabies is often terminal among human and animal populations, so there is a natural suppressing factor for the virus in that any animal or human coming into contact will probably die unless early treatment is available. Not a luxury the bat population is afforded.

It is also safe to say that this bat that had rabies was infected by another animal and therefore indicates we do have rabies in the UK, despite our strict quarantine laws.


 

Offline Bored chemist

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Not as important as the point you have missed.

EBL isn't rabies.

We may have EBL circulating the the UK but we don't have rabies.
This is because it has been kept out by quarantine.
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Splitting hairs?

The death from rabies of a bat conservationist in Dundee in November 2002 was well publicised in the media.  The case was noteworthy not only because it was the first fatal infection acquired in the UK since 1902.  The causative virus was the European bat lyssavirus type 2 (EBL 2), a strain closely related to but distinct from the classical rabies virus (1).  As the name of the virus implies, the natural reservoir of EBL 2 is in bats and not the terrestrial mammals which typically harbour classical rabies virus.  http://smj.org.uk/1103/rabies.htm
Quote
EBL isn't rabies.

We may have EBL circulating the the UK but we don't have rabies.
This is because it has been kept out by quarantine.

Closely related to, is good enough for this arguments sake. Let us not forget we were arguing about whether a virus could be quarantined or not.

http://www.csiro.au/science/ps1pq.html
http://smj.org.uk/1103/rabies.htm

An argument like this is a bit like saying a new strain of foot and mouth disease is not really foot and mouth disease.

It is enough that this rabies strain is mostly fatal, affects the body the same as rabies, crosses from bat to humans and therefore animals too. But most of all is here in Great Britain. So much for our effective quarantine laws.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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The media is quite happy to use the words bacteria and virus interchangably.
Just because they call EBR "rabies" doesn't mean it is.
As far as I'm aware there is legislation in this country aimed at rabies, but not at EBR so there's no great suprise that we have one, but not the other.

As for your asstertion that "An argument like this is a bit like saying a new strain of foot and mouth disease is not really foot and mouth disease.".
No, it's more like trying to confuse bluetonge with FMD. - that's what you did before and now (albeit with rather more similar organisms) you are trying to do it again.
Quarantine for rabies has worked very well- of course it hasn't kept out other viruses (like ebl) because it was never designed to.
You keep trying to say that you can't quarantine a virus- but the evidnce shows perfectly well that we can for rabies (if not itys cousin) and we usually can for FMD.

Also you still have yet to explain why, if FMD is free in the UK, there hasn't been an outbreak (and indeed why there are not always outbreaks).
Fundamentally, reallity doesen't support your conjecture and I don't see why you keep trying to shore it up with silly ideas like "quarantine doesn't work".

 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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I have never confused Bluetongue with foot and mouth disease! Show me where I have please.

My argument is how weather changes affect our and animal health and well being, describing a mechanism where high humidity causes circulation slow down, eventually lowering body temperature to allow pathogens to invade.

Far from being wrong about this, many F&M events from all over the world appear to follow a location pattern that is connected with prolonged wet weather, often widespread flooding and animals in valley areas. You some how refute what centuries of disease has already confirmed.

The sweating sickness for example that ravaged many countries, killing many millions of people "was swept away with a tempest, and with it went the unusually foul air that had plagued most of Europe" History BC. Note it did not state that the air was dry and the sun was shining.

Then there was the wonderful documentary on TV about a family of robins living in a valley. Each year the birds would develop terrible disease and die off completely. When the weather in the valley or should I say the air in the valley became less damp /humid, another population of robins would move in and thrive to eventually be wiped out by disease. Natures own way of sending down the canaries to test the air.

I don't have to explain why there is no F&M about right now. All I have to do is wait for then next outbreak and see if the sun was shining and the cows are wearing sunglasses.

Nowt wrong with conjecture by the way, its a nice word especially when it rings true in the end.

I will grant you that the media often gets things wrong, but it often reports accurate facts too and has done with regards to the outbreaks of foot and mouth disease.

This humidity / damp connection also relates to cot deaths, but then you have heard this before from me.
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=1084.0

http://www.hpa.org.uk/CDR/archives/2002/cdr4702.pdf

Possible rabies-like infection in Scotland
A man has been admitted to a hospital in Scotland with an acute neurological illness that is being
investigated as a suspected case of rabies (1). The possible diagnosis of a rabies-like illness is being
considered because of some aspects of the clinical presentation and because the man is a bat handler who
has been bitten by a bat in Scotland on at least one occasion within the possible incubation period for
rabies. There is no documented evidence that the patient has ever received rabies immunisation or has
travelled abroad since 1996. Although the clinical features of the man’s illness are compatible with some
aspects of rabies, none of the laboratory investigations yet indicate that a rabies-like virus is responsible.
Testing for rabies and rabies-like virus is not, however, straightforward and more tests are being
undertaken. The case has raised awareness of the possibility of rabies-like virus infection of bats in the
United Kingdom (UK) (2).


European bat lyssavirus
The rabies-like viruses carried by insectivorous bats in Europe are referred to as European bat
lyssaviruses (EBLs). These are from the same family of viruses that cause rabies in terrestrial mammals,
and in bats in the Americas, but differ in genotype and serotype. They are EBL 1 and 2, and are of rabies
virus genotype 5 and 6 respectively.


And here is the main reason for insisting that EBL is not really rabies but rabies like from the same family of rabies virus. Not quite like the difference between foot and mouth and bluetongue is it?

The risk of EBL infection being passed to
domestic pets such as dogs and cats, and to wild terrestrial mammals in the UK is very low, and the
rabies-free status of the UK has been unaffected by the previous isolation of EBL in two bats in the UK


Why do you think these guidelines have been issued to people working with bats if this rabies like virus is as unrelated as you claim it to be?

The Department of Health advice is that all
bat handlers whether licensed or not should have pre-exposure immunization against rabies (13).
Vaccine is issued free of charge for bat handlers in England and Wales by the Public Health Laboratory
Service. This is an amendment to previous advice, which limited free provision of vaccine to licensed
bat handlers (14). Bat handlers should have booster rabies vaccination every three to five years.


http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1194947412281



« Last Edit: 12/10/2008 10:28:39 by Andrew K Fletcher »
 

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