Saturday, May 02, 2009

Zombie Flu!!!!!!

There has been a small outbreak of “zombism” in London due to mutation of the H1N1 virus into new strain: H1Z1.

Similar to a scare originally found in Cambodia back in 2005, victims of a new strain of the swine flu virus H1N1 have been reported in London. After death, this virus is able to restart the heart of it’s victim for up to two hours after the initial demise of the person where the individual behaves in extremely violent ways from what is believe to be a combination of brain damage and a chemical released into blood during “resurrection.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the alert to phase six, its highest level, and advised governments to activate pandemic contingency plans.

In Mexico, the epicentre of the outbreak, President Felipe Calderon urged people to stay at home over the next five days. There are many cases elsewhere - including the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Israel, and New Zealand. BBC health correspondent Mark McGrith says the raising of the WHO alert on Wednesday suggests a global epidemic, or pandemic, is imminent.

In the latest developments:

The Netherlands confirms its first case of zombie swine flu, in a three-year-old boy recently returned from Mexico. After passing away early this morning, he rose from the dead and lunged at his mother.

  • Ghana has become the latest country to ban pork imports as a precaution against swine flu, though no cases have been found in the West African country
  • China's health minister says that the country's scientists have developed a "sensitive and fast" test for spotting swine flu in conjunction with US scientists and the WHO. The country has recorded no incidence of the flu yet. There methods, however, have been uneffective in spotting the H1Z1 strain. At the meeting of health ministers in Luxembourg, a French proposal for a continent-wide travel advisory for Mexico will be discussed. It is unclear whether the EU executive has the power to impose a travel ban. Several countries have restricted travel to Mexico and many tour operators have cancelled holidays. Other members are resisting calls to implement travel bans or close borders, on the grounds - backed by the WHO - that there is little evidence of their efficacy. The EU ministers will also try to agree on how to refer to the new virus. The European Commission has been calling it "novel flu", replacing the word "swine" to avoid prompting a fall in demand for pork and bacon. On Wednesday, Egypt began a mass slaughter of its pigs - even though the WHO says the virus was now being transmitted from human to human.
    Have you been affected by the zombie strain of swine flu? You can send your experiences using the form below. You can also send your questions about the decision to raise the alert and we will send it to our health experts.


Zombie swine flu hoax story: Does Twitter have panic-creating potential?

May 1, 2009, 09:32 AM by Tanner Stransky

Categories: Rumor Control, Twitter

Zombiesshaunofdead_lThis hilarious but totally bogus story -- about a mutant zombie strain of the swine flu and designed to look like a legit BBC News story -- is making quite the splash on Twitter. The link to the story has been retweeted (in other words, shared on user's Twitter feeds), at last check, 720 times, according to Tweetmeme, a website designed to aggregate which links are getting the most play on Twitter at any given moment. Even more interesting is that the story -- which is undoubtedly a complete fake as it makes claims like a Netherlands boy dying and then rising from the dead and lunging at his mother, among other crazy things -- is listed on Tweetmeme's homepage with this very misleading and official-looking moniker: BBC NEWS Europe EU quarantines London in swine flu panic. And it's right alongside actually legit BBC News stories, like this: BBC News Health What scientists know about swine flu, which is also being retweeted but not nearly as much. Shouldn't someone at Tweetmeme catch the potential panic such a legit-but-bogus link could incite? If you look at what the Twitter community is saying when posting the fake link, it's a mixed bag. Everything from tongue-in-cheek takes -- "OMG! Swine flu virus has mutation...and it's now creating zombies!" says user redrisker -- to the dismissive: "Great example about trust and checking sources," Tweeted user MeManders.

Another interesting dimension to this story is the URL that's used for the hoax. Just look at it: Clearly, you're not being directed to the BBC News website. But it's important to remember that, on Twitter at least, a good portion of the URLs posted are turned into "short links," which save space. So users rarely look at what they're clicking on anymore -- until they get to the destination. Checking the URL, and whether it redirected to a legit website, may or may not happen. In this case, thankfully, most users seem to get the fact that the story is a joke, but we do seem to have the ideal forum for a potential War of the Worlds-like event. And how could this affect entertainment news? (For instance, could the Jaleel White suicide rumor from a few years back have gone nuts on Twitter? Hehe.) Does this silly little, yet entertaining, communication application have the potential to spread panic? I surely think so, especially since it's so unpoliced.

Be careful Out There!You may Get Da Flu!

Sa Later


6 Don't Just Sit There Say Sumthin !:

Die Muräne said...

Back from town. today I was able to kill and set on fire five people who looked eeeehhm suspicious! there's still much work to do... just home to get some more bullet and petrol. sorry, must go...

wallycrawler said...

Yup ya never can be to careful when it's flu season...Especially if Al Gore & Donald Rumsfeld have the cure ta ail ya.

"Another payday in the making for Al Gore. His venture capital firm is heavily invested in swine flu vaccines as well as Global warming money making schemes. Wow, what a week for Al, huh? And look who he’s connected with this time; Donald Rumsfeld."

[for more on this topic, read The Pandemic That Wasn’t: Killing Two Birds with One Bug April 28 2009]

by Alex Haislip, Reuters

The swine flu outbreak is likely to benefit one of the most prolific and successful venture capital firms in the United States: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Thomson Reuters Private Equity Week reported on Friday.

Shares of the two public companies in the firm’s portfolio of eight Pandemic and Bio Defense companies — BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX.O) and Novavax (NVAX.O) — jumped Friday on news that the swine flu killed a reported 60 people in Mexico and has infected people in the United States.

The World Health Organization said the virus appears to be susceptible to Roche’s (ROG.VX) flu drug Tamiflu, also known as oseltamivir, but not to older flu drugs such as amantadine.

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