Tuesday, November 08, 2005

November 8 Flu Update--stopping flu in birds not enough, says World Conference

World flu experts are meeting in Geneva. They understand stopping the flu in birds is a priority, but they also understand that it isn't enough.

Reuters says the world's largest banks are doing continuity planning for a pandemic.

Helen Branswell from Geneva...the message is that the pandemic preperation has to extend out to local and regional governments, along with business. Read the last two paragraphs very closely.

People cannot assume central governments will be able to meet the needs of all their people during a pandemic, health leaders said Tuesday at a major international meeting focusing on the avian influenza crisis and efforts to plan for a possible human pandemic.

A key U.S. official said communities leaders cannot expect the type of assistance that kicked into gear to help Asia after last December's tsunami or New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.

"To me the lessons of Katrina are sort of the inverse of Katrina," said Dr. Bruce Gellin, director of the National Vaccine Program Office, the body responsible for writing the U.S. health department's pandemic plan that was made public last week.

"The larger a hurricane is ... the more federal assets go to that place to try to help. The larger a pandemic is, the less federal assets can go to any one place."

Reuters on the global meeeting, along with death reported yesterday in Vietnam, and that nation's response.

Malaysia is reporting a second outbreak of dead birds, which has "sparked" bird flu fear.

A vet in New Brunswick, Canada, warns duck hunters to be careful about catching the bird flu--wash your hands after handling the ducks, and change your clothes and shoes.

DEFRA, a British ministry, has set that while the risk of a pandemic is "heightened" it is still "low."

Sandhill Cranes that migrate to Nebraska from Canada could carry bird flu, according to this report in the Sioux City Journal.

Taiwan announces it is attending the bird flu summit in Geneva.

The Egg Industry would like you to know that its safe to eat chicken eggs, and that an avian flu outbreak is US is very unlikely.

The poultry industry is Arkansas is focused on keeping the influenza out.

Effect Measure on yesterday's Branswell piece on the bird flu publicity backlash, and what really caused it--a lack of leadership.

KFC has a plan to advertise to people to get them to keep eating cooked chicken--they fear as much as a 20% sales reduction.

Here's the official Chicken Industry site.

Roche has agreed to Tamiflu production in Vietnam.

ProMed on closing poultry markets in China, as reported here yeterday.

WHO reminds everyone that early warning and effective vaccines go together.

Silviu reports this work @ WHO, which says less expensive anti-virals might protect against the flu as well as Tamiflu.

Crofsblog has this excellent link to an outbreak map linked to Google Earth. Very cool.


At 6:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"WHO reminds everyone that early warning and effective vaccines go together"

One of the things that can be done is give the governments of the countries that provide information with "promises of vaccines": "you'll get the first doses as soon as they are available".

This may be one of the elements of a strategy to convince them to be open. A small one, perhaps, but also a fair one.

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Orange said...

Anonymous--thanks for that suggestion. Its a good one. Let's hope it gets adopted.


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