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  #1  
Old 10-31-2006, 11:46 AM
Dragwyr Dragwyr is offline
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Why do a lot of diseases come from China/Southeast Asia?

I was just reading about a new strain of Bird Flu that researchers have just discovered. They say it originated in China.

The original strain of Bird flu originated in Vietnam. I've also heard that other strains of influenza originated in SE Asia/China.

Why is this? What is it about that region that makes it easy for new forms of influenza to come about?
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  #2  
Old 10-31-2006, 11:55 AM
Anne Neville Anne Neville is offline
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IANAexpert in infectious diseases.

I would imagine the high population densities there have something to do with it, as well as the large number of poultry and pig farms and the practice of selling live animals (such as civet cats and poultry) at markets.
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Old 10-31-2006, 12:01 PM
OneCentStamp OneCentStamp is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne Neville
IANAexpert in infectious diseases.

I would imagine the high population densities there have something to do with it, as well as the large number of poultry and pig farms and the practice of selling live animals (such as civet cats and poultry) at markets.
I entered the thread in order to post exactly what she said.

IANAexpert either, but I was born in SE Asia and still have lots of family there, as well as family that has immigrated here. In addition to the human crowding and the selling of livestock, humans, at least poor ones, tend to live in much closer proximity to animals than Americans or Europeans, even poor ones. For example, many poorer families in Vietnam, even in the city, raise chickens for food or sale. These chickens often run around the house among the family members, eating trash and bugs off the floor. Millions of people living in tight conditions, packed in with animals = recipe for disease.
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Old 10-31-2006, 12:04 PM
muttrox muttrox is offline
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Some of these countries are reluctant to allow international organization like WHO, or the CDC, to investigate potential outbreaks. If the likely effect of acknowledgement of problems is that half the pigs and chickens in your country will be slaughtered, impoverishing lots of your populace, you might be reluctant to acknowledge. Then there's the status issues -- the all-knowing better-than-thou Euromericans coming in telling you what do.
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Old 10-31-2006, 12:21 PM
Anne Neville Anne Neville is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneCentStamp
many poorer families in Vietnam, even in the city, raise chickens for food or sale. These chickens often run around the house among the family members, eating trash and bugs off the floor. Millions of people living in tight conditions, packed in with animals = recipe for disease.
In Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond says that that kind of conditions are what spawned other epidemic diseases like smallpox. I'd certainly find it plausible that they could lead to transmission of new strains of flu from birds to humans.
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Old 10-31-2006, 01:05 PM
groman groman is offline
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Well animals are one thing but you just crowd close to two billion people together without any animals and you're going to get epidemics just as well.
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Old 11-01-2006, 09:45 AM
Charlie Tan Charlie Tan is offline
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Originally Posted by groman
Well animals are one thing but you just crowd close to two billion people together without any animals and you're going to get epidemics just as well.
I still thing the proximity to animals is what matter, or we'd have a lot of deseases starting in Monaco, Holland or Manhattan.
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Old 11-01-2006, 10:23 AM
xizor xizor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groman
Well animals are one thing but you just crowd close to two billion people together without any animals and you're going to get epidemics just as well.
I'm not sure how many NEW diseases would come of these conditions. For new strains of virus, I think jumping across species seems to be a more likely culprit.
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Old 11-01-2006, 10:37 AM
Wee Bairn Wee Bairn is offline
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Because they can they can make them better, for less money?
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Old 11-01-2006, 10:56 AM
OneCentStamp OneCentStamp is online now
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Originally Posted by Wee Bairn
Because they can they can make them better, for less money?
Why do you hate America?
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  #11  
Old 11-01-2006, 11:02 AM
groman groman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Tan
I still thing the proximity to animals is what matter, or we'd have a lot of deseases starting in Monaco, Holland or Manhattan.
Well, diseases don't spread all that well in the first world as compared to the third world, not because of animals but because of lifestyle. You get sick, you stay at home, you don't have five kids and you try to not infect anybody, regardless of what you got sick with.

A totally WAG but I'd imagine if the first human case of <....> happened in the first world it is a lot more likely to get eliminated by that first persons immune system before he or she manages to infect anybody else. In the third world, specifically densely populated third world the chances of it infecting somebody are higher. Besides, the bigger the population the more likelihood you are going to find somebody susceptible enough for a given disease even if per capita % stays the same.
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Old 11-01-2006, 11:07 AM
archmichael archmichael is offline
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http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/fluviruses.htm

I had heard the reason so many viruses originate in Asia is because so many pigs are kept in close proximity to birds, like chickens and ducks. Birds pass along a virus to pigs who end up passing it to humans
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Old 11-02-2006, 03:18 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groman
A totally WAG but I'd imagine if the first human case of <....> happened in the first world it is a lot more likely to get eliminated by that first persons immune system before he or she manages to infect anybody else. In the third world, specifically densely populated third world the chances of it infecting somebody are higher. Besides, the bigger the population the more likelihood you are going to find somebody susceptible enough for a given disease even if per capita % stays the same.
Actually, it's the opposite. Our immune systems are relatively underdeveloped because we recieve much less exposure to pathogens.
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Old 11-02-2006, 06:24 AM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Originally Posted by archmichael
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/fluviruses.htm

I had heard the reason so many viruses originate in Asia is because so many pigs are kept in close proximity to birds, like chickens and ducks. Birds pass along a virus to pigs who end up passing it to humans
Ding! Ding! Ding!
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  #15  
Old 11-02-2006, 01:06 PM
Charlie Tan Charlie Tan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groman
Well, diseases don't spread all that well in the first world as compared to the third world, not because of animals but because of lifestyle. You get sick, you stay at home, you don't have five kids and you try to not infect anybody, regardless of what you got sick with.
Five kids certainly isn't the norm in China. The image you paint of 3rd world countries seem more to resemble Sub-Saharan Africa, but the deseases we're talking about come from SE Asia and China.
I've been to Thailand and can give anecdotal evidence that they are very ficky about trying to keep things clean. They know they live in a tropical climate and adjust for it the best they can.
Actually, with some exceptions, I don't think it's fair to label these Asian countries as third world at all.
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  #16  
Old 11-02-2006, 05:51 PM
groman groman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Tan
Actually, with some exceptions, I don't think it's fair to label these Asian countries as third world at all.
Well that's GD territory I think, but the proximity of people to people was my chief point. Unless you have hard number don't tell me that the average distance between a person in China and the closest other person, on average, is not significantly smaller than in the US or Russia or Sweden.
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