Thursday, June 16, 2005

June 16 Flu Update--"We're Screwed Addition"



"We're Screwed"

Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director, of Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota, quoted in US News and World Report.

Comments on Effect Measure...

Minneapolis Star Tribune on the story flu on the same story.

Canada.com follows up with an angle you might not have considered...food production. Consider this from Dr. Osterholm.

Osterholm said the "just-in-time" delivery model by which modern corporations operate means food distribution networks don't have warehouses brimming with months worth of inventory.

Most grocery store chains have only several days worth of their most popular commodities in warehouses, he explained, with perhaps 30 days worth of stock for less popular items.

He pointed to the short-term shortages that occur when winter storms threaten communities, then suggested people envisage the possibility of those shortages dragging on for somewhere between 18 months and three years as the expected successive waves of pandemic flu buffet the world.

"I think we'll have a very limited food supply," he said in the interview.

"As soon as you shut down both the global travel and trade . . . and (add to it) the very real potential to shut down over-land travel within a country, there are very few areas that will be hit as quickly as will be food, given the perishable nature of it."


Meanwhile, back in Asia...

The news from Indonesia continues to reverbereate, here in USA Today.

As does the news from Vietnam...here from inside Vietnam...

And here from Canada.com

And recombinomics notes that a small correction in Promed might make all the difference in determining if we've hit phase 6 of the pandemic. The recent outbreaks in China corroborate indigenous Chinese Internet reports and are located near an H5N1 geese cull.

For reference, the six pandemic stages from wikipedia (note, six is the highest.)

This time, from Nepal, Recombinomics notes that there are unexplained diseases in Nepal on the flightpath of the geese that died in China. As you will recall, Recombinomics reminds us that the 1918 flu often presented with aytpical flu symptoms.

ProMed looks now at one step forward, one step back in China. Recently, a willingness to let the WHO in and research...here, a chilling warning.

WHO says media reports of six news cases in Vietnam appear to be accurate.

Effect Measure notes that there is silence in Vietnam from officials...

And we close with an absoulutely fascinating must read on modelling from some people who know their stuff.

2 Comments:

At 9:29 PM, Anonymous J. Marcus Xavier said...

Scary stuff to think about. I remember watching on the news a couple months ago about the really bad one that hit in 1918 I think it was. What, with urban parts of the world getting so much more crowded and transportation making the world "smaller" the idea of a bug killing alot of people in a short amount of time really isnt all that far-fetched to me.

 
At 12:13 AM, Blogger Orange said...

Mr. Xavier--thanks for reading. Indeed, constructed as a worst case scenario, this is scary indeed. There are those who say, however, that the railway travel of 1918 was ideally suited to spreading the flu, and we don't live like that anymore, so time will tell. And how do we know we haven't opened up another suitably vulnerable front--like our just in time systems.

Regardless, it certainly is not far fetched.

 

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