Monday, December 05, 2005

December 5 Flu Update--US government says worst case is 1.9 million dead Americans in a flu pandmeic

This is something people have been looking for. Secretary Leavitt has convened state health leaders to begin planning state-Federal coordination.

Related to this, the government's pandemic site has been update with this document--assumptions for pandemic planning. Probably not being undersold here....

Table 1. Number of Episodes of Illness, Healthcare Utilization, and Death Associated with Moderate and Severe Pandemic Influenza Scenarios*


Moderate (1958/68-like)

Severe (1918-like)


90 million (30%)

90 million (30%)

Outpatient medical care

45 million (50%)

45 million (50%)




ICU care



Mechanical ventilation






In the actual document, you can see other things like an R-nought of 2. I will leave it to actual scientists to evaluate these assumptions, but they are in line with what others have predicted in the past.

Here's a press release from the Secretary. There's supposed to be a webcast, but I couldn't find it.

Crofsblog has this from Michael Osterholm of CIDRAP, and one of the few people I have seen who thinks outside the virus (to coin a phrase). Its a presentation at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and he wonders if there might not be 1.6 billion dead around the world. (at the current fatality rate). This is a link to his presentation in .pdf.

Here's a link to Crofsblog's comments, including the irony of the statment being made at the Wilson Center. Wilson is not at the height of his popularity today---John Barry even thinks he might have had the flu at Versailles.

Meanwhile, Recombinomics has a report (which originated with the Sofia News Agency) that says two people are in the hospital in Romania with suspected with H5N1. As with all these reports, more confirmation is awaited.

The Ukraine says it has culled all the birds on the Crimean peninsula, and its lifting the state of emergency.

In contrast, Russia has banned poultry imports from the Ukraine.

Meanwhile, in this report from a Ukranian paper, they have set up a hotline for reporting bird flu problems. However, "prospective-jokers" are warned that calls are being traced.

As reported earlier, the Romanians have confirmed a new outbreak.

ProMed on the Ukraine and Romania. Note that the Ukranians have fired their top vet.

FAO and WHO continue to do their level best to buck up the food industry by letting everyone know that properly cooked chicken will not make you sick.

Science Daily looks at a report from the Mayo Clinic that says the bird flu will hit before the vaccine, but that the following can help:

Most critical, they said, is health professionals ensuring very early identification of cases; creating sufficient stockpiles of antivirals, with the capacity for rapid delivery to target groups; rapid institution and enforcement of quarantine measures; and a high level of compliance by the public.
An eight month old baby in Indonesia has bird flu. An infected pigeon is believed to be at fault.

Here's a Florida woman who says she had an adverse reaction to Tamiflu similar to the cases cited in Japan. (My note--adverse reactions to drugs are not unheard of).

In China, banks and helping to restructure debt to help prevent insolvency in the Chinese poultry industry.

I can't tell if this is a transcript or a synopsis, but here's some information from CBS from last night's 60 minutes segment. Click below to learn more about Howard Stern.

More news on nervous people stockpiling Tamiflu--and wondering "now what?"

``It's a difficult drug to use properly,'' says John Treanor, a 51-year-old professor of medicine at University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. ``People who hoard the drug might use it improperly or store it improperly, so it won't work. Hoarding is a panic thing.''

Meanwhile, Tamiflu's scarcity is cooling the fever a little.

Newsweek notes there are other issues in Asia--diabetes is worse than bird flu.

Crofsblogs has more on computer models that say you could nip a flu pandemic in the bug, but could our surveillance ever be that good and could our response that quick?

In China, 300,000 bird flu prevention books have been delivered to rural residents.

Here's an odd one. This paper in the Philippines is saying that Taiwan is vital to bird flu defenses, and, apparently, that they should pay.

The Delta Farm Press on the story that won't go away...the media keeps riding this "horse." Well, not a horse, but you couldn't say the media keeps riding this chicken.

An alert reader sent this in about contraband poultry smuggled into Ireland from China, in oppositon to EU law.

Yesterday, you will note that I ran a Branswell article on adjuvants, noting an Effect Measure comment on whether H5N1 causes a major immune reaction. I wondered how that related to the cytokine storm. Revere was kind enough to educate me (look to yesterday's comments), and here are the comments from his post on the same topic.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home