Thursday, June 30, 2005

June 30 Flu Update

Today's news...Dateline Cambodia.

Avian Flu says two babies in Cambodia have died of the flu, 1,000 said sickened.

Here's the media link

Here's an odd quote:

He said the illness appears to be a form of human flu, not the avian influenza that has killed dozens of people in neighboring countries and has health officials on edge over concerns the bird flu virus could mutate to more easily infect humans.

Also, courtesy H5N1, Morton Kondracke (bigfoot columnist and McLaughlin group member) who says the flu could be major issue in the 2008 Presidential election.

The first paragraph below is the most perceptive thing I have heard from a US politician in a long time.

[Sen. Brownback speaking]"There will be 9/11-style commissions all over the place and hundreds of Richard Clarkes testifying that they warned about what was coming and higher-ups didn't listen," he said, referring to the former White House counter-terrorism aide who charged that the Bush administration initially ignored Al Qaeda.

Frist, clearly, is not ignoring the problem. In his lecture at Harvard, he said that national leaders "will not be able to look away from what could be coming soon -- a front of unchecked and virulent epidemics, the potential of which could rise above your every other concern."

"For what the world could soon face it did not see even in the great wars of the last century," he said. "These epidemics ... could be devastating beyond imagination."

Frist said, "I propose an unprecedented effort, a 'Manhattan Project for the 21st century' to defend against destruction wreaked by infectious disease and biological weapons.

Singapore is considering travel restrictions if bird flu comes back....this is something Dr. Osterholm has been predicting.

Globe and Mail on the Chinese reports...

Vietnam announces mass vaccination program.

Here's a CBC Story with a headline that will become the "take away" from yesterday's China news. Except a downturn in MSM coverage over the next few weeks as this becomes CW:

WHO says fear of global bird flu pandemic easing

Singapore has masks and other flu staples on hand.

CIDRAP on yesterday's China news.

Effect Measure contrasts the US and EU flu responses.

ProMed on the Chinese reports.

Here's a good article from the Nation on the flu crisis and out government's inaction.

Courtesy H5N1, another death in Vietnam. This was a 73-year old man.

Here's the direct news link. pointed to this article about Portugal ordering Tamiflu...they are behind 25 countries and will take delivery in one year. Still hot on the tamiflu containment plan?

Here's more on the Tamiflu fight between Gilead and Roche. A number of issues, one of which is (shockingly), the underpayment of royalties...and to think money was behind it all.


At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI: The reported "take-away" message on the end of the WHO experts mission to Hanoi is a misinterpretation of the mission's position. They didn't say the threat has subsided. They said it hasn't risen, from what they can tell. (see below)

30 June 2005

At the request of the Ministry of Health, WHO sent a team of international experts to Viet Nam last week to assess laboratory and epidemiological data on recent cases and determine whether the present level of pandemic alert should be increased. Team members were drawn from institutes in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America having extensive experience in the testing of avian influenza viruses in human clinical specimens.

The team completed its work on Wednesday and submitted its preliminary findings to the government. The team found no laboratory evidence suggesting that human infections are occurring with greater frequency or that the virus is spreading readily among humans. The current level of pandemic alert, which has been in effect since January 2004, remains unchanged.

Some reports now circulating suggest that WHO has downgraded its assessment of the pandemic threat. These reports are unfounded. (for rest of statement, follow the link:

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