July 14 Flu UpdateYesterday, news hit the street that two people had died in Indonesia of the bird flu. If true, this is news. However, Effect Measure notes it is a rumor with a denial handled badly. The basic PR point is this. Saying it isn't true isn't enough. You have to demonstrate it isn't true, or no one will believe you.
Here's the official denial from the government.
A WHO team is headed to Indonesia to help nail this issue down.
Recombinomics has an interesting angle on the Indonesian cases, noting that one person involved had been active in Tsunami relief. Everyone worried briefly in December that the tsunami could help speed the spread of the flu, and if this is the case, as Niman says, it would have "serious consequences." (My note: Could this explain the unusually rapid dispatch of WHO officials to the site.
There's new information on cases in Vietnam, and maybe two new deaths.
A differing report on Vietnam cases.
Reuters on Vietnam.
Denmark has thrown $500K US into the kitty to fight flu.
You will recall the Boxun-based controversey on whether people in China were dying of bird flu in Qinghai. Here's another for what its worth, that says China "officially" says its not H5N1, but something much worse.
Epidemi.ca has a story on Canada being asleep at the switch. Not enough Tamiflu stockpiled, although better than the US.
Here's a CBC story on the same presser.
Another Canadian angle, where a leading public health official points out, correctly, IMO, that declaring a pandemic isn't only the responsibility of the medical community.
Must read editorial from the Boston Globe on the flu pandemic. Try this lead on for size, then read on.
Recombinomics on the Chinese classification of the presence of the flu as a state secret.
THE RISK of a global flu pandemic should have been, but wasn't, at the top of the Group of Eight's agenda in Scotland last week.