if the bird flu started spreading between humans, how long would you need to stay quarantined before it was safe to come out??

Im talking worst case scenario, something like Station 11 or the movie Contagion

If the bird flu started spreading rapidly from human to human, and it devastated our population as it can in birds or marine life, how long would one have to hole up in seclusion before the virus burned through the population and it would probably be safe to come out.

Obviously, this is not the current situation, and this scenario is a long way from becoming any type of reality. This is just a hypothetical. If turds hit the fan, I dont want to waste time trying to figure this out in the moment while everyone’s ill, and can’t answer.

Move over B’s, I want first dibs on the tp!

Edit: I’m not thinking of a flu, as it behaves in the human population as we know it. I’m talking like zombie virus, without the worry of reanimation. Like, pretty much, everyone that catches it, dies, and it spreads fast and stealthily enough that the end result is a drastically lower population of survivors. How long would a person have to stay isolated to outlive the worst of it.


Please correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t a decent number of strains of influenza originally from avian or porcine sources? I know we occasionally make big deals about bird flu or swine flu, but I was under the impression that lots of flu strains either originated with or pass cleanly between animal sources.


If the bird flu started spreading rapidly from human to human,

It does, sometimes. Doctors know. Laymen don’t care.

and it devastated our population as it can in birds or marine life

It is less deadly for humans than for birds.


Are you asking for a friend?


Not this time.


What do you mean “come out?” I became a germophobic shut-in in 2020 and little’s changed since then.


If the government provides living expenses, as long as it takes. If it provides less than one month’s living expenses over an 18 month period, you don’t need to quarantine at all, dying will be cheaper.


If everyone goes in lockdown a few weeks should suffice but that’s the ideal scenario. Containment and immobility are the best ways to smother an outbreak.


It would be much longer, based on 2020. There's always idiots breaking quarantine.

COVID could have been eliminated if people stayed home for a couple of weeks in March/April 2020. Now COVID is permanent.


Exact. Quarantine only works when we all participate.

@jordanlund@lemmy.world avatar

I guess it would depend on how deadly it was. Corona killed a million Americans and bodies were stacked outside hospitals like cordwood.

If it ended up being MORE dangerous than Corona, I’d guess most of the population would have thinned out in 8 to 10 months.

@venoft@lemmy.world avatar

The fatality rate of avian influenza is about 55%, so a bit more deadly than corona (about 3%).



We killed off one strain of flu by our less-than-perfect quarantining for COVID. If we mask up for Texas Moo Flu, we’d stop spreading COVID around so much and might slow down its mutation too. At least with flu we know how it’s transmitted, and have related vaccines to tweak. Maybe we’ll be able to call off the Return To Workplace bullshit, too.


I prefer Houstonian butt COVID


We killed off one strain of flu by our less-than-perfect quarantining for COVID.

We did? Do you have more information on that?

@Atemu@lemmy.ml avatar

That article is interesting and important but it does not show any causal links between lockdowns and the disappearance.

It is, for example, also possible that it was merely displaced by SARS-CoV2.


It wasn’t the lockdown as much as the masking and hand washing, and especially having sick people self-isolate while they had symptoms.

@Atemu@lemmy.ml avatar

I consider those measures to be included in “lockdown” but it’s besides the point: The paper contains no evidence that those measures made it disappear, just that it disappeared.


How would it be displaced by SARS-CoV2? Wouldn’t that require cross immunity?


I appreciate your close and literal reading of that study. This was new news to me so I looked a bit further. STATnews and others seem to think it was the various lockdown protocols.

B/Yamagata viruses haven’t been detected anywhere in the world since late March 2020, when Covid pandemic lockdowns and social distancing appeared to have halted circulation of this family of lineage of flu B.

@Atemu@lemmy.ml avatar

No, they’ve got the same information as us. That’s why they explicitly say:

when Covid pandemic lockdowns and social distancing appeared to have halted circulation

It is still speculation, not data.

I’d tend to agree with the speculation but it’s still speculation.


To be honest, I agree with you that it is speculation, and also that I tend to agree with the speculation. It's important to note when something is speculative.

@0x4E4F@sh.itjust.works avatar

Some people do actually need to physically be at work… in fact, it’s how most work is done. Just because some are devs/IT workers and see no need to actually show up to work, that doesn’t mean the rest of the world keeps on turning without maintenance.


It’s not just Devs. It’s essentially any office job.

Accountants or lawyers don’t need to be in the same building anymore than Devs do.

@0x4E4F@sh.itjust.works avatar

Basically, a fraction of the intellectual workforce. Everyone else has to: medical professionals, carpenters, builders, civil engineers, electrical engineers, server hardware maintenance staff (in some cases, also the IT personel’s job), plumbers, clerks, social workders, barternders… there’s a lot more that need to actually show up for work.


But no one is talking about them.

Returning to work refers to people who left work lol

It doesn’t make any sense to mention these people in a discussion about return to work.


You’re ranting for no reason. “Return to workplace” obviously doesn’t refer to workers who had to be on site the whole time

@0x4E4F@sh.itjust.works avatar

Well, it wasn’t obvious to me.


It should have been


That’s pretty cool! I knew we didn’t really have a flu season, but I didn’t realize we actually killed off a while strain. Not for nothing, I guess.

You do have a point though, we have an existing vaccine and we are more knowledgeable about the flu in general. Maybe there would be more surviviors than one would anticipate. As long as the scientists didn’t dont get infected and die before they could get the vaccine out.

When birds catch the bird flu, there can be up to 100% mortality rate. So, I suppose I’m more refering to a catastrophic, civilization altering illness. More akin the what a zombie virus would do, without the added potential of reanimation.


Safe is relative. Do you go out right now? Do you trust your (assumed) covid vaccination to protect you?

Ask yourself what level of risk you’re willing to accept. “I need a vaccine to be widely adopted” or “i need to be more likely to die/have complications from X other thing”. Better yet, “If i get infected i’m this likely to spread the disease further”. Your risk tolerance is never zero and neither is your risk to others.

rimu, (edited )
@rimu@piefed.social avatar

Vaccine development would probably be quicker than the ones made for Covid as we already have vaccines for other strains of flu. Maybe up to a year?

The R number of flu is much lower than Covid so the waves of cases would rise and fall slower, leading to longer isolation periods during wave peaks. Masking and lockdowns would be more effective against flu so the political reality of implementing that would be a large factor in how it plays out.

@stinerman@midwest.social avatar

As long as the public health officials in your area tell you to.


But in the situation in imagining, they would all be dead. I’d be stuck there indefinitely!

But you do have a point. Im sure the public health officials in my area would tell everyone that there’s nothing to worry about and to go get infected for fun. :/ guess I’d be the only one left, granted I stay inside long enough to outlive all the infected.


I mean, it wasn’t that long ago that we had an epidemic and a huge amount of people just straight up refused to believe it was real.

People wouldn’t quarantine and it would never actually go away.


It’s totally unfair to judge humanity on just one pandemic when people refuse to wear masks and quarantine. We should also look at the 1918 pandemic.


True, that’s two pandemics when people refused to wear masks and quarantine. Makes for much better data to include that. Thanks!

@FuglyDuck@lemmy.world avatar


We’re not talking about the 200o’s outbreak in Asia (which had human infections, though only sporadically)

FarFarAway, (edited )

No, definitely people wouldnt quarantine like that. But, H5N1 can have a really high mortality rate. From what I can tell, a near 100%. for birds and some marine mammals. I.e. every animal that catches it, dies.

Not to be macabre, but I don’t mean how long would people have to quarantine to beat back the virus. Im asking how long would an individual have to hide from everyone else, before everyone else, who refused to believe it was real, and whatnot, caught the virus and just…died.


Mortality rate has an inverse correlation to infection rate. So I would guess a really long time. Depending on infection vectors, maybe it could burn through dense population centers quickly. But anywhere rural it could come by whenever, it would be impossible to predict.


Well, you can’t know until it happens. And even then it will mutate like covid did, so it could keep changing. And what it does in other animals doesn’t map to what it will do in humans most likely. Worst case scenario would be a long incubation time, followed by a long symptom free contagious period, followed by a very short sick time before death. But death isn’t all that advantageous for the virus.

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