Friday, July 15, 2005

July 15 Flu Update

A minister in Indonesia says bird flu implicated in 3 deaths.

BBC has this story as well.

Another flu death in Vietnam.

Effect Measure looks at the Indonesia and Vietnam stories.

Meanwhile, the official report from Vietnam says no new cases since June 4??

Yet another story about imminent widespead immunization of chickens in Vietnam.

I hope the photos are good--Thai fighting cocks to get passports

Risk Communication of the flu---co-authored by Peter Sandman, who is featured in the Freakonomics book...very well-known risk communicator.

Yet infectious diseases are unpredictable, and this presents a serious problem for risk communication. Health authorities know that if they sound the alarm too softly, it won't be heard; it's not easy to overcome people's apathy and add another problem to their already long list of daily concerns. At the same time, too loud a warning can provoke excessive and premature fears, economic damage, and even an every-man-for-himself attitude that can result in chaos. And if no pandemic materializes, members of the public are less likely to take future warnings seriously.

A happy medium, say the authors, is to build mutual trust, "involving the public early, arousing an appropriate level of public fear, and helping people bear it."
Here's the direct link to the article.

South Africa fears "no defense" against bird flu.

Letter to Editor in Boston-area paper on threat of bird flu

Article in Japan suggests the flu is a security threat.

In Ontario, they are warned not to hoard Tamiflu.

Recombinomics states emphatically that the Indonesian family cluster is bimodal and human-human transmission.

He also writes that the Indonesian death is very likely to be bird flu.

Officials in
Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau are setting up response mechanisms for the flu.


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