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View Full Version : Don't panic people- it's only a PANDEMIC!


Brita
06-11-2009, 02:06 PM
ZOMG- RUN!!! (WHO declares swine flu a pandemic, warns moderate severity expected)

TORONTO - The World Health Organization declared the swine flu outbreak a pandemic Thursday, the first since the Hong Kong flu of 1968.

Director General Dr. Margaret Chan made the declaration, saying the new H1N1 virus is currently expected to lead to a pandemic of moderate severity. Her announcement in Geneva was scooped by a number of countries which earlier revealed they'd been informed of the pending move.

Chan acknowledged raising the pandemic level might create some confusion and concern, but stressed the move doesn't mean the virus is becoming more virulent. Pandemic status relates to geographic spread, not disease severity, she said.

"We are satisfied that this virus is spreading to a number of countries and it is not stoppable," Chan said of the decision to formally declare what many experts have been describing for some time.

Dr. Allison McGeer, an influenza expert at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital, is one of those who feels the declaration is simply an acknowledgment of reality. But she nonetheless welcomed the move.

"From a science perspective, anybody will tell you that this has been a pandemic for weeks," said McGeer, who suggested political and other concerns have mired the WHO in a declaration process that has trailed behind the science.

"You can understand why the World Health Organization is having trouble but it does put you in this really odd situation of having a zebra out there that you can't call a zebra."

As of Wednesday, 74 countries had declared 27,737 confirmed cases of swine flu and 141 deaths.

Canada, one of the hardest hit countries, has confirmed 2,978 case in all provinces and territories but Newfoundland and Labrador. The deaths of four Canadians have been linked to infection with the virus.

Ontario is the hardest hit province, with 1,562 confirmed cases. But recent spikes in Nunavut, with 96 cases, and Manitoba, with 56, have been described by the WHO as being of serious concern.

Indigenous populations were badly hit in previous pandemics and evidence of severe illness in some northern Manitoba First Nations communities has the WHO worried that the pattern may be playing out again with this virus.

The swine flu virus was first spotted in California in mid-April, in two children who had had no exposure to pigs. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control alerted the WHO, as required under the International Health Regulations. Within days, word emerged that Mexico was experiencing an alarming outbreak that looked like severe influenza.

Quick work by Mexican, Canadian and U.S. scientists pieced together that the outbreaks were caused by the same virus, which was spreading rapidly. The WHO raised the pandemic alert level to Phase 4 on April 27, and then to Phase 5 two days later.

Under the WHO's pandemic alert level, a pandemic is declared at Phase 6 when the WHO sees evidence of sustained spread in the community in countries in two different WHO regions. In recent weeks spread in the United Kingdom, Spain, Japan and Australia has at various times threatened to push the world across that threshold.

But on Thursday, Chan declined to reveal which country or countries' spread led to her decision. She said a combination of factors contributed to the call.

Those included evidence of transmission in a number of countries and acknowledgment by some unnamed countries that their surveillance systems may not be catching community spread.

As well, there are reports that the new virus may be crowding out seasonal flu strains and that groups badly hit in earlier pandemics - young healthy adults, pregnant women and aboriginal communities - may be harder hit by this virus than by seasonal flu strains.

Chan put the evidence and her intention to declare a pandemic to the experts on the WHO's emergency committee in a teleconference Thursday. None of the experts - whose names the WHO does not make public - disagreed with the decision to declare a pandemic, she said.

The WHO's unwillingness to reveal which country or region had taken the virus across the threshold was criticized by a flu expert who had earlier suggested the agency's scientific credibility was in peril because of its delay in declaring a pandemic.

"While the announcement is welcome in terms of addressing the science, the lack of transparency in terms of which country's activities factored in the decision is disappointing," said Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

"Transparency is everything. If public health science is to have credibility in government, the private sector, and even with the general public, transparency has to be our highest priority. And this doesn't feel very transparent."

Canadian officials confirmed they had been notified of the jump to Phase 6. They planned to respond later Thursday and it was expected they would address Canada's intention to make H1N1 vaccine. The country has a long-standing contract with vaccine giant GlaxoSmithKline that ensures the first pandemic vaccine produced at the company's Ste-Foy, Que., plant will be reserved for Canadians.

While vaccine manufacturers have begun working on an H1N1 vaccine, many steps have to be taken before vaccine will be available to the public. Trial lots must be produced and tested for safety and to determine what sized dose - and how many - each person might need for protection.

The WHO has said it will likely be four to six months before the first batches of vaccine are available for use.

Terez
06-11-2009, 02:09 PM
I've always wondered what the difference between pandemic and epidemic was, but I've never bothered to look it up...

Mort
06-11-2009, 02:10 PM
Didn't they classify it as a pandemic months ago?

Pandemics isn't necessarily the end of the world. Many flus are pandemics, they just aren't on a "omg we're all gonna die!" scale.

Mort
06-11-2009, 02:16 PM
I've always wondered what the difference between pandemic and epidemic was, but I've never bothered to look it up...
Im deadly tired atm so I'm not gonna bother quoting stuff. But the main difference is the scale. They both have to do with spreading of diseases. Pandemics are just bigger. If I'm not mistaken, for it to be a pandemic, a virus strain or whatever is causing the disease has to have a spread between countries (there are I think five things that needs to happen for it to be called a pandemic, one of the last stages is multiple countries getting the spread). The last stage of a pandemic is when it has a global spread. Epidemics on the other hand can be contrained within a much smaller space, like a town or such. IRC, the speed of infection and how many within an area are infected also defines wether it is an epidemic or a pandemic.

Important to note is that the definitions of the levels of epidemics and pandemics doesn't state anywhere the deadliness of the disease, on the infectioness spreading. What got everyone so scared about the swineflu was that it spread very very fast. As always the media got everyone riled up, maybe not without cause at first though.

Brita
06-11-2009, 02:29 PM
I've always wondered what the difference between pandemic and epidemic was, but I've never bothered to look it up...

A pandemic is an epidemic of infectious disease that spreads through populations across a large region; for instance a continent, or even worldwide.

And Mort- I was being very, very sarcastic. You obviously missed our last thread on the Swine Flu- and our unanimous TL consensus that the threat is highly overblown.

Didn't they classify it as a pandemic months ago?

It has been raised to Phase 6 today.

Gilshalos Sedai
06-11-2009, 02:30 PM
Meaning it's a worse Pandemic. Kinda like Defcon 2 (it is a reverse scale in that case, right?) Or Threat Level Orange.

Mort
06-11-2009, 02:45 PM
And Mort- I was being very, very sarcastic. You obviously missed our last thread on the Swine Flu- and our unanimous TL consensus that the threat is highly overblown.


It has been raised to Phase 6 today.

Oh I didn't doubt you were sarcastic. Never even made a comment that you might actually be serious. All I talked about was epi/pandemics in general and their misconceptions.

Didn't know they raised it to phase 6 though. Nice going swineflu!

I think we've had like two reported cases in Sweden, thank god. But it just seems to kill off people who are already sick or weak or don't have sufficient health care in their area (sorry Mexico, it had to be said).

Ivhon
06-11-2009, 03:12 PM
ZOMG!!11!!!!1! I JUST ATE BACON!!111!11!

*deep breaths*

It's okay, everyone. It was only turkey bacon.

Brita
06-11-2009, 03:12 PM
Oh I didn't doubt you were sarcastic. Never even made a comment that you might actually be serious. All I talked about was epi/pandemics in general and their misconceptions.


Ah I see. Nevermind then.

Ishara
06-11-2009, 03:12 PM
Actually, the first several deaths in Mexico thought to be swine flue were actually pneumonia-related they discovered...

Brita
06-11-2009, 03:13 PM
ZOMG!!11!!!!1! I JUST ATE BACON!!111!11!

*deep breaths*

It's okay, everyone. It was only turkey bacon.

Man, I wish I could rep :D

Gilshalos Sedai
06-11-2009, 03:19 PM
Got him for ya, Brita.

Ozymandias
06-11-2009, 03:47 PM
Actually, the first several deaths in Mexico thought to be swine flue were actually pneumonia-related they discovered...

The swine flu is a fake pandemic cooked up by the media to keep people in fear.

It has all the hallmarks of a fakery.

1.) Its from Mexico.
2.) Its been overblown by the media (4 people have died from it in Canada in one month since it really "broke," compare this to regular flu deaths, about 6700 annually, leading to an almost 13000% greater mortality rate)
3.) Its curable
4.) Its from Mexico


This is the single biggest farce in the history of medicine. Basically no one living with even a modicum of access to modern health care is going to die from this. Its a stupid disease and by paying attention to these stupid announcements were lending credence to something. It makes me so, so angry. I hope that the people at the WHO that decided to name this a pandemic are afflicted with a truly horrible, infectious, debilitating disease like ebola. I mean, how dare they sit there and hype up this complete joke of a problem when they could be educating people about real health concerns?

That whole "I hope they get Ebola" goes equally for every person who worried about getting swine flu more than they worry about getting attacked by a shark in the middle of Kansas.

Brita
06-11-2009, 03:53 PM
Don't be shy Ozy, let us know exactly how you feel. Sometimes it is so hard to know where you stand on a topic :p

It has all the hallmarks of a fakery.

1.) Its from Mexico.
2.) Its been overblown by the media (4 people have died from it in Canada in one month since it really "broke," compare this to regular flu deaths, about 6700 annually, leading to an almost 13000% greater mortality rate)
3.) Its curable
4.) Its from Mexico

LOL- so true!

DahLliA
06-11-2009, 04:34 PM
Got him for ya, Brita.

me too. since when have elders been able to rep? O_o

oh. OMG OMG NOES! IT IS THE SWINE FLU! /panic

Zanguini
06-11-2009, 05:11 PM
i want bacon... bacon substitutes are unacceptable

Sinistrum
06-11-2009, 05:41 PM
Breaking news!

http://roflrazzi.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/celebrity-picture-kermit-piggy-flu-starts.jpg

Mort
06-11-2009, 05:41 PM
I hope that the people at the WHO that decided to name this a pandemic are afflicted with a truly horrible, infectious, debilitating disease like ebola. I mean, how dare they sit there and hype up this complete joke of a problem when they could be educating people about real health concerns?


But it is a pandemic. No hiding that. What could have been done was WHO worked together with the governments of the world to help educate people of it. But that's collaboration for good and social responsibility, and people in general are usually pretty bad at that...

I think it was definetly cause for concern the first few weeks when the swineflu first got noticed. No one exactly knew how it would turn out, they just knew that it had the potential to become extremely bad.

Then the media saw a great news worth and ran with it endlessly, which it always does. Here WHO, governments and anyone else who could have made a difference should have acted as a counterweight to the "mass-flu-psychosis". Some might have at first, but media usually has a much larger outreach so it's hard to calm the huge sea of flu-terror.

Hmm, I actually see a few potential studies in this type of things.. Interesting.

Ozymandias
06-11-2009, 06:20 PM
But it is a pandemic. No hiding that. What could have been done was WHO worked together with the governments of the world to help educate people of it. But that's collaboration for good and social responsibility, and people in general are usually pretty bad at that...

So your point is that despite the lack of cooperation and mutual assistance, which usually points to disaster, the swine flu ended up being more harmless than just about any disease known to man? That doesn't really help your point...


I think it was definetly cause for concern the first few weeks when the swineflu first got noticed. No one exactly knew how it would turn out, they just knew that it had the potential to become extremely bad.

As I said, the media jumped on some scary, serious sounding, completely harmless bug and got everyone hyped up about it... and nothing happened.

Then the media saw a great news worth and ran with it endlessly, which it always does. Here WHO, governments and anyone else who could have made a difference should have acted as a counterweight to the "mass-flu-psychosis". Some might have at first, but media usually has a much larger outreach so it's hard to calm the huge sea of flu-terror.

And instead of at least making an effort, most world governments and the WHO, who know better, all decided they wanted to hype this up too, despite its complete harmlessness. Ties right into the idea that the medical community is interested in profits over health; get people riled up about the flu, means more tests means more profits.

Hmm, I actually see a few potential studies in this type of things.. Interesting

I'm not sure if you were agreeing with me here or not... the opening line is pretty straightforward on the idea that you think this is a real problem.

Despite the fact that more people probably die from the regular flu every day than the sum of all swine flu deaths, your still holding to this? The flu is in every country, thats not a pandemic. Hell, there are probably more people walking around with anal fissures than with swine flu, and probably more deaths (due to medical malpractice) too!

Fake disease. Fake pandemic. Shame on people who should know better for fearmongering. Tonight, I'll drink a beer in honor of some sort of fitting, horrendous fate awaiting them in a deep pit of Hell.

JSUCamel
06-11-2009, 06:21 PM
As someone mentioned earlier, the terms epidemic and pandemic are, I believe, referencing the rate of infection of a disease, not the mortality rate of a disease. Unfortunately, thanks to Hollywood and other media types, the words epidemic and pandemic immediately bring to mind movies like "Outbreak" where everyone dies of this incredibly infectious disease.

I know I've mentioned this before, but I read a book awhile back -- a suspense/thriller type -- about terrorists who use biological weapons. The opening section of the book discusses why biological weapons are useless in any sort of capacity.

Essentially, and I'd love for Prof Snow to correct me if I'm wrong, it boils down to infection rate and deadliness. Both viruses and bacteria require that their host live long enough to transmit the disease to someone else. A virus/bacteria that kills its host quickly (or more precisely, too quickly for doctors to cure) are either run out of hosts naturally or are rapidly quarantined and starved of hosts that way. It is virtually impossible for a fast-killing virus to kill more than a few hundred people before it gets contained.

A slower acting virus might kill people, but it stands a much higher chance of being discovered before it kills them, thereby giving doctors a chance to cure or create a vaccine.

Bottom line is that Ozy's right. You stand virtually nil chance of dying of a "pandemic" or "epidemic" if you live within reasonable distance and have reasonable access to modern medical facilities (and take advantage of said access). There are, of course, exceptions (after all, thousands of people die of the flu every year), but a normal, otherwise-healthy person doesn't have much to worry about.

Ozymandias
06-11-2009, 06:55 PM
The opening section of the book discusses why biological weapons are useless in any sort of capacity.

While not claiming to be an expert, I have to disagree with this.

Put a thimble of botulism in a city water supply and you tens of thousands, guaranteed, plus cause billions in damage.


And my point wasn't that pandemics don't exist. Its that given the infection AND mortality rate of swine flu compared to a whole host of other diseases and infections, this is clearly a creation of the two Ms; the Media and Mexicans.

Orc
06-11-2009, 09:12 PM
ZOMG!!11!!!!1! I JUST ATE BACON!!111!11!

*deep breaths*

It's okay, everyone. It was only turkey bacon.

Oh noes! You will get the bird flu instead!

Zaela Sedai
06-11-2009, 10:02 PM
LMAO rep! and i dont give rep

Anaiya Sedai
06-12-2009, 05:36 AM
They have employed a guy now, to specifically state in interviews that a pandemic has nothing to do with mortality or severity of an illness, just its spread.. but the trick is to insert that bit of information as a footnote or 10 second clip, when everyone has already lost their heads due to the "BREAKING NEWS" bit... :rolleyes:

Ishara
06-12-2009, 08:14 AM
Bottom line is that Ozy's right. You stand virtually nil chance of dying of a "pandemic" or "epidemic" if you live within reasonable distance and have reasonable access to modern medical facilities (and take advantage of said access). Um, not true. SARS proved that. Sorry.

JSUCamel
06-12-2009, 09:08 AM
There are exceptions, of course. And again, i was really referring to biological weapons.

When a terrorist causes destruction, he wants to do it in the biggest way possible, to attract the most attention to his cause as possible. A slow-moving virus is going to get treated and quarantined quickly. A fast-moving virus is going to kill a few people, but is going to run out of hosts a lot faster.

SARS was different than, say, the swine flu. One of the reasons SARS was so bad, iirc, was that it was contracted in China and wasn't reported to the WHO in a timely fashion, who, in turn, didn't report it to the rest of the world until nearly six weeks later. At that point, the virus had spread to other countries (because people had been allowed to leave the area by plane). As such, the proper medical response hadn't been prepared and disseminated.

On the other hand, the swine flu (and the vast majority of other epidemics and pandemics) spread fairly quickly primarily because it is a slower-moving virus than SARS, and thus it takes time for symptoms to show up. People who get the swine flu have regular flu-like symptoms, so it's not immediately obvious that it's anything different. It wasn't nearly as deadly as SARS, and once it was discovered, information was disseminated and broadcast around the world to help contain the situation. This didn't happen to SARS until thousands upon thousands of people were infected (and hundreds had died).

The world (and the WHO) has come a long way since the SARS epidemic. In fact, this novel was partly inspired by the SARS.

Ishara
06-12-2009, 09:48 AM
Cool.

And yes, I think that there were a LOT of lessons learned from SARS, which is one of the reasons that WHO is reacting the way it is. Frankly I prefer this way, despite what some may call overreacting.

Davian93
06-12-2009, 09:56 AM
I was just out of work for 3.5 days (you probably noticed the vast increase in my posting here during that time)...the doctor I saw (well, I called him as I didn't want to go in) said its likely that I had swine flu since all my symptoms were flu symptoms and that's the current version of the flu that's going around in VT. The school district down the street from my work was closed for a week due to an outbreak so its likely that's what it was. To stay strong, I ate 5 lbs of fried bacon a day for the time period elapsed.

John Snow
06-12-2009, 10:48 AM
Didn't they classify it as a pandemic months ago?

No - not enough numbers - that was just the media fussing.

Pandemics isn't necessarily the end of the world. Many flus are pandemics, they just aren't on a "omg we're all gonna die!" scale.

Absolutely right - it's entirely and only about numbers of people sick. Nothing about how sick they are.
on edit:
Ahem, ooops, the board epidemiologist blew it to some degree:

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a pandemic can start when three conditions have been met:[1]

* emergence of a disease new to a population;
* agents infect humans, causing serious illness; and
* agents spread easily and sustainably among humans.

A disease or condition is not a pandemic merely because it is widespread or kills many people; it must also be infectious. For instance, cancer is responsible for many deaths but is not considered a pandemic because the disease is not infectious or contagious.

Ivhon
06-12-2009, 11:43 AM
Oh noes! You will get the bird flu instead!

o fuk

tworiverswoman
06-12-2009, 05:27 PM
Ozy, your reaction is unjust. By dictionary definition, the swine flu meets the definition of a "pandemic" -- and the requirements of their charter are the motivating force behind the WHO etc. telling the world about this disease. The MEDICAL COMMUNITY IS NOT RESPONSIBLE for the way people reacted to the story.

Nor, much as I would LIKE to blame them, is the media, completely. Yes, I have to agree that they inflated the mess - but the problem is frankly one of too many people too dumb to pour sand from a boot with directions printed on the heel.

EVERY SINGLE REPORT I SAW - from the first I heard of Swine Flu - SPECIFICALLY stated that the disease was not particularly lethal as far as they could see. So how is it that you are blaming them for the moronic reaction of "the people?"

I happen to think the REACTION was also highly overblown by the media. Either I only go to highly intelligent websites, or no one who posts on the internet was stupid enough to panic. And that's saying something, considering some of the amazingly idiotic "comments" I read all over the place.

Sinistrum
06-12-2009, 06:57 PM
http://icanhascheezburger.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/funny-pictures-swine-flu-and-mad-cow.jpg

Mort
06-12-2009, 07:58 PM
So your point is that despite the lack of cooperation and mutual assistance, which usually points to disaster, the swine flu ended up being more harmless than just about any disease known to man? That doesn't really help your point...

No, that is not what I said. I said that the WHO, governments and the media could have worked together helped to inform the public that a pandemic isn't necessarily the end of the world and everyone should panic. Maybe the WHO didn't think they needed to, since everyone knows what a pandemic is, right? Hopefully they learned something, that people doesn't always know everything, and when uncertainty mix with fear in large groups, that usually ends badly.

My point is that the WHO didn't do anything wrong. They reported the status and the media blew it out of proportions prematurely, and hanged on to it a bit too long. Next time, the WHO or whoever feels responsible should inform what they mean by pandemic, so that the media can't have a field day with something that isn't necessarily a instant killer.




As I said, the media jumped on some scary, serious sounding, completely harmless bug and got everyone hyped up about it... and nothing happened.



I wouldnt necessarily call it "completely harmless", people died...


And instead of at least making an effort, most world governments and the WHO, who know better, all decided they wanted to hype this up too, despite its complete harmlessness. Ties right into the idea that the medical community is interested in profits over health; get people riled up about the flu, means more tests means more profits.


WHO is a UN organization dedicated to help improve health services. You are thinking of the medical companies who make pills.


Despite the fact that more people probably die from the regular flu every day than the sum of all swine flu deaths, your still holding to this? The flu is in every country, thats not a pandemic. Hell, there are probably more people walking around with anal fissures than with swine flu, and probably more deaths (due to medical malpractice) too!

Fake disease. Fake pandemic. Shame on people who should know better for fearmongering. Tonight, I'll drink a beer in honor of some sort of fitting, horrendous fate awaiting them in a deep pit of Hell.

I just don't think you get it. The disease and pandemic are real, they are happening. It's the media who wants to portray it as more dangerous than it is though.

You could have a pandemic if people around the world were infected and the results would be they all get a blue nose. No one dies, no harm. It's still a pandemic though.

JSUCamel
06-12-2009, 08:53 PM
You could have a pandemic if people around the world were infected and the results would be they all get a blue nose. No one dies, no harm. It's still a pandemic though.

For an pandemic, it's not even a function of how MANY people have it, it's a function of WHERE it spreads and HOW infectious it is.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a pandemic can start when three conditions have been met:[1]

* emergence of a disease new to a population;
* agents infect humans, causing serious illness; and
* agents spread easily and sustainably among humans.

A disease or condition is not a pandemic merely because it is widespread or kills many people; it must also be infectious. For instance, cancer is responsible for many deaths but is not considered a pandemic because the disease is not infectious or contagious.

Epidemics are a function of the number of cases in comparison to expectation. The common cold and normal strains of influenze have a certain rate of infection that is expected -- it's when those expectations are exceeded that they're classified as epidemics. The swine flu was completely unexpected, thus even a small number of cases can be called an epidemic.

Mort
06-13-2009, 12:23 PM
Epidemics are a function of the number of cases in comparison to expectation. The common cold and normal strains of influenze have a certain rate of infection that is expected -- it's when those expectations are exceeded that they're classified as epidemics. The swine flu was completely unexpected, thus even a small number of cases can be called an epidemic.

Then my blue nose infection is valid. Would be totally unexpected :D

Gilshalos Sedai
06-13-2009, 12:55 PM
Yeah... I love how you said it was all manufactured by the Mexican government, Ozy. Because you know, the Mexican Government can find their ass with both hands, a map, a GPS and a flashlight, much less manufacture a conspiracy Pandemic. What? Were they trying to distract us all from their drug war in Juarez?

cottillion
06-13-2009, 01:45 PM
There are exceptions, of course. And again, i was really referring to biological weapons.

When a terrorist causes destruction, he wants to do it in the biggest way possible, to attract the most attention to his cause as possible. A slow-moving virus is going to get treated and quarantined quickly. A fast-moving virus is going to kill a few people, but is going to run out of hosts a lot faster.
You can learn all about that through the game Pandemic. If you make your virus to deadly to quick it gets quarantined and cured to quickly. You have to spread it around quickly and under the radar before you make it deadly enough to kill. :D
http://www.kongregate.com/games/DarkRealmStudios/pandemic-2

Frenzy
06-13-2009, 04:04 PM
mmmMMMmmmm.... bacon...

Brita
06-16-2009, 03:15 PM
Just to look at this issue in a different light:

There are fears though that it could mutate into a deadly strain, much in the same way as the 1918 Spanish flu -- also an A(H1N1) virus type -- did when it killed tens of millions around the planet.

We have never, in the history of mankind, had the capability to isolate a virus and follow it right from it's first infection of our species. It is very possible that many truly deadly pandemics originated with a fairly benign virus that mutated into a more aggressive strain. Although the current strain has been far too hyped, the WHO is wise and prudent to follow this virus closely. We may be witnessing, first hand, the development of a viral strain into a significant pandemic. Or we may not... But if the WHO didn't watch this closely, and label it appropriately (i.e. level 6 pandemic) and this virus does mutate into something much more serious, the WHO would be in a whole world of trouble.

GonzoTheGreat
06-17-2009, 04:55 AM
But if the WHO didn't watch this closely, and label it appropriately (i.e. level 6 pandemic) and this virus does mutate into something much more serious, the WHO would be in a whole world of trouble.Yeah, that would be our own world, then, wouldn't it?

Brita
06-17-2009, 11:16 AM
Yeah, that would be our own world, then, wouldn't it?

Well, our own world will be in trouble whether the WHO properly labels it or not, technically. :p