Wednesday, December 07, 2005

December 7 Flu Update--US to hold flu exercise on Saturday

Reuters totals up the human cases so far.

WHO update on China case reported yesterday...notes no additional disease despite ongoing monitoring of people near the young girl.

Promed on the Chinese case.

Buried in this Promed report is a little nugget of info. The story is about the head Ukranian vet resigning under pressure. Note the mod comment:

If indeed the 1st Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) cases in Crimea were registered earlier (September? October? 2005), this will fill in a missing link and complete the mapped trail of virus spread, from southern Siberia to the Balkans: in July 2005 -- Novosibirsk; in August 2005 -- Altai Territory, Chelyabinsk region, Kurgan Region, Novosibirsk region, Omsk region and Tiumen region; later in August 2005 -- Kalmykia (media reports, no official confirmation; see item 3); in October 2005 -- Romania, Turkey, Croatia. CIDRAP surveys the news--Indonesia, China and the Ukraine.

The US meeting goes on in Washington. Today, the US government announced a half day exercise Saturday to demonstrate its lack of preparedness for bird flu. Meanwhile, Congress is still debating how much money for bird flu.

Victoria, Australia is prepared to create a virtual ghost town if the pandemic strikes.

This plan is drawing some fire. The Australian Medical Association is questioning the claim that the nation's hospitals could care for 25,000 flu patients.

China is developing an "information release mechanism" to help it communicate with rural farmers.

The ministry said it has mobilized experts to edit books and draw pictures that can be easily understood by farmers.

The Ukraine continues to find more cases of bird flu.

The World Bank will have a $300 million line of credit ready for bird flu prep in about one month.

Yesterday, we quoted a public health official telling the HHS Secretary that it was hard to have credibiity on bird flu when you can't even get flu vaccines. Effect Measure has comments on how that came to be.

Thailand has reported success producing its own Tamiflu.

Vietnam has banned Tamiflu for being sold over the counter in order to help build the national stockpile.

Kofi Annan continues to call for cheaper drugs for poor countries.

The last Trust for America's Health report was a bombshell...and this one gives our government a D+ for emergency medical preperation. (As has been noted elsewhere, you plan for pandemic flu, you plan for a lot of similar things at the same time.)

These guys know what they are doing...check out their ten indicators for local cities and states.

    • "Green" status for distribution of medical supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile
    • Sufficient Biosafety Level 3 labs
    • Enough scientists to do lab tests for anthrax or plague
    • A disease tracking system to collect and monitor data via the Internet
    • A plan or a state-local planning effort to care for patients at non-healthcare facilities
    • Plans, incentives, or provisions to ensure continuity of care in the event of a major disease outbreak
    • An infection control professional available within 15 minutes, around the clock
    • Working with state or local health agencies to prioritize hospital workers' receipt of vaccine or antivirals
    • Sufficient medical equipment and supplies for "10 additional patients requiring ventilation.

Here's the direct link to all the Trust's press material, exec summary and document.

USA Today today features families preparing for a flu pandemic. Guest appearence by Melanie of the fluwikie.

USA Today also interviews Gratton Woodson, Author of The Bird Flu Preparedenss Planner.

CIDRAP reports on WHO's advice for cooking chicken in the "bird flu era."


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