Sunday, August 14, 2005

August 14 Flu Update

The government in Ireland has ordered 200,000 doses of the as-of-yet unfinished flu vaccine for their front line medical workers.

Switzerland is now banning poultry imports from 13 countries.

In Tacoma, public health workers scan emergency room records everyday to look for the footprints of infectious disease. They say that avian flu is only a plane ride away.

Indonesian estimates show that bird flu "scares" have cost the bird influstry there RP600 billion.

Senator Frist, who I disagree with often yet often respect, had this summary published in the Seattle PI on the need for a Manhattan project against infectious disease.

The article is taken from a speech at the Harvard Medical school, captured here in full text.

Henry Niman, of Recombinomics, was interviewed at the Dallas Morning News, and responded with his normal crisp, blunt oratory. Note especially what he says about the "vaccine" and whether this is Y2K all over again.


ProMed with an official report from China that includes data on the spread into Tibet.

Crofsblogs on the Modesto Bee story that has California public health officials watching for signs of the flu. Note their nervous feelings about the lack of bird deaths--and whether it might mean the virus has evolved in the birds to a less virulent, more contagious form.

Tyler at Avian Flu has this on Russian poultry farmers hiding their birds from the authorities. (This has to be very common across Asia.)

The Economist weighed in on the bird flu in this week's edition. The articles focus on the containment model, and its implications. The magazine gives a bit too much weight to the models, but has the gravity of the situation right in this leader (editorial) subscription required.

Here's the straight news story, again subscription required. The actual article in the print edition is laden with caveats.

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