Friday, November 04, 2005

November 3 Flu Update--Is a worldwide recession coming?

Could the flu trigger a worldwide recession? The Asian Development Bank thinks so.

The Pakistani angle to this story.

ProMed says the two cases in Vietnam last week were not bird flu, and that children now have symptoms of the bird flu in Indonesia.

One thing the US plan didn't do was spare anything in terms of painting the potential horror of a pandemic.

"We felt that it would be important that we have a worst-case scenario to make sure our planning efforts were measured against that," said Dr. Bruce Gellin, a vaccine expert who is heading up HHS's pandemic influenza planning.
Which, I believe, is exactly what Sandman would have had them do.

This news was hot on the blogosphere....rationing and quarantines are in the US plan.

Here's how the quarantine idea played in Salt Lake City.

IHT writes on the Bush plan.

CIDRAP notes that the US plan calls for medical and health workers to get the first vaccines. Dr. Osterholm also commented more on the Bush plan.

Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, a leading advocate of pandemic preparedness, called the plan a big improvement over the draft released last year. He particularly praised it for recognizing the possibility of a pandemic like the disastrous one of 1918.

"This draft realizes if we were to experience a 1918-like scenario again, the number of cases and deaths as well as societal impact will be catastrophic," he told CIDRAP News. "And for that reason we really have no choice but to plan for such a scenario and hope that any future pandemic will have less impact."

Osterholm, director of CIDRAP, publisher of this Web site, also lauded the plan for recognizing "that we need an aggressive and forward-leaning program for vaccines and antivirals," even though vaccines and drugs would play a very limited role if a pandemic emerged within the next year.

He gave HHS "great credit" for making recommendations about rationing of vaccines and antivirals. "I'm not sure it's exactly what I believe should be the priorities, but I think it's a very important first step in having that discussion at the state and local level. And it sets a national framework for that."

However, Osterholm cautioned that plans for the use of antiviral drugs may have limited usefulness because no one knows whether the size of dose used against ordinary flu would work against a pandemic strain. "If the doses are going to be different than for H3N2 [seasonal flu], then all this talk about the number of doses is irrelevant," he said.

In addition, he said the plan should offer more detailed guidance for states and local health agencies in some areas. "One of the things we need to do right now is work much more in the area of standards of care, how we are going to do out-of-hospital care. Issues like that are critical and need to be fleshed out much more than they are now."

Effect Measure says the Bush plan is realistic in some ways, and faults the administration for inaction to date.

WaPO editorializes against the Bush Plan.

The UN has a bird flu plan as well.

  • Improving bird monitoring.
  • Focusing research on human-animal contacts.
  • Minimizing a pandemic's impact.
  • Ensuring access to medicines.
  • Facilitating speedy vaccine discovery.
  • Communicating effectively.
  • Exercising political leadership.
Here's the UN press release on this report....

and Reuters reports on the gaps the UN still feel exist.

China is showing off its bird flu protection mesures...

while reports of a fourth outbreak in a month are in the news.

Knight Ridder is in China, and reports that not all signs are hopeful on the ground in the battle against the bird flu.

Another story of concern in India.

Thailand budgets funds for fighting bird flu.

Science Daily reports on a new outbreak in the Russian Urals.

McLean VT is preparing for a flu pandemic.

South Dakota has a bird flu plan.

Perhaps bowing to the inevitable, Roche is reportedly looking for a Korean partner...

and tells the EU it will work with other companies to increase output.

In Taiwan, a hospital is responding to charges that it over-prescribed Tamiflu.

Health officials warn of scam Tamiflu sales.

Muncie, IN, wonders if there will be a Tamiflu crisis there.

More on the threat of generics to the Roche Tamiflu empire, including holes pierced in their "difficult to manufacture" defense.

Vietnam reports that China is sending 20 million doses of bird flu vaccine (ie, for the birds).

New Zealand has an agreement on vaccine supply.

A reader sent me this--samples collected by the World Conservation Society are being used by WHO in vaccine development.

Recombinomics tracks the genetics of the bird flu, and uses it to learn about how the flu travels.

Recombinomics on what he sees as familial clusters in Jakarta that are uncovered by the media.

This is interesting. A request for information on ProMed for clarification on a statement made at a conference that 35 million Chinese have antibodies to bird flu.

Promed also has this somewhat odd article which appears to speak against bird culling and argue against the role of migratory birds.


At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is a good update, so read it

At 12:16 AM, Anonymous ssala said...

Could you please provide an e-mail address or phone number vat which you can be contacted? I have what I believe to be a NON-TRIVIAL comment that seems to clearly be best handled either by e-mail or a phone call, not by posting it.

At 8:19 AM, Blogger Orange said...

There is an email link in the right column.


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