Wednesday, March 15, 2006

March 15 Flu Update

ProMed on Azerbaijan..noting death toll over 100 globally.

In Azerbaijan, a dog has now died of bird flu.

We're 2-3 days from results being confirmed in Myanmar.

Reuters on news from around the world. Denmark has its first bird case.

More on Denmark...bird was 70K from Copenhagen. (Note only H5 confirmed).

More survey from around the world. France and India are culling.

Guangzhou calls off its bird flu emergency after 10 days.

CIDRAP surveys the world....

and then also tells us the HHS is going to try to ramp up egg-based and cell-based vaccine production.

Promed on Europe, nothing especially new here.

Effect Measure looks at the world, including slow and apathetic responses from India.

The Wall Street Journal's Nicholas Zamiska is back with a story on some old-school anti-virals that may be coming back into play. Others have commented as well we might be too reliant on Tamiflu, given the possibility of resistance.

ProMed with OIE reports from seven countries.

Bird vaccination is gaining acceptance, and spreading outside of Asia.

China says it is working hard to prevent spring outbreaks.

The Fed has told US banks to prepare for a pandemic.

DEFRA (UK) is looking more closely into the science of feline infection.

Santa Clara County (CA)'s area health director does a Q&A for local readers on the bird flu.

Q What can county residents do to prepare?

A We want people to understand the common elements of infection control: covering your coughs, staying home when sick, not sending kids to school when they're sick, washing hands. We're recommending keeping a two-week supply of food, water and medications in the house, along with face masks, gloves and disinfectants.

Australian TV wonders if Hungary hasn't stolen the act of rich countries with its human bird flu vaccine.

The University of Iowa is involved in research to test additives (adjuvants, I assume) in vaccines.

Tamiflu is back in ordinary Canadian pharmacies.

Wisconsin holds pandemic planning summit, declares itself to be a "national leader."


At 2:21 AM, Anonymous Sami said...

First of all, thanks for a great blog/information source!

Considering how well (i.e. not) many other countries are preparing for the pandemic, I was actually pleasantly surprised to read Finland's National Preparedness Plan that was released yesterday. While there's a long way to go from a paper report to implementation, it's still a start.

The public 200-page report of the "Working Group on National Pandemic Preparedness" is available here but alas, only in Finnish with a very short English overview. Here's how they put it: "The purpose of the preparedness plan is to set up guidelines for flu pandemic preparedness at all administrative levels of healthcare and to support preparations in other administrative sectors. The preparedness plan paints a picture applicable to Finnish conditions of development of a pandemic, its health, societal and economic impact, available means of its prevention, special ethical questions, areas of responsibility and special arrangements of healthcare organisations, material requirements of preparedness, needs for collaboration between different administrative sectors and special
characteristics of organisation during a pandemic, as well as communication and provision of information"

One key point is that Finland will acquire both the model H5N1 vaccine this year and the "pandemic vaccine" when it will be available for the entire population. The plan also covers possible vaccination prioritizations, setup of temporary hospitals, possible prohibitions of assembly and so forth.

At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orange, the death toll in Azerbejian is between 3 and 7, not 100. The 100 relates to the total number of H5N1 deaths so far (WHO count).


At 7:58 AM, Blogger Orange said...

Thanks to both of you for reading and for the great comments. Keep in touch!

On the Azeri death total, that was what I meant. I'll corrrect the post, but thanks for keeping an eye on me.

Sami--thanks for the news from Finland. I think some countries do these things better due to a better civic culture than others do.


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