Sunday, March 26, 2006

March 26 Flu Update

There's a suspected new human case in Egypt--18F with reported bird contact.

The Falcon in Hong Kong from last week is H5N1 positive.

Israel says it has eradicated all bird flu...this phrase has come back to haunt more than one minister.

Jordan says it is free of human infection.

In India, the secondary toll is hitting. Three poultry farmers have committed suicide recently.

Effect Measure does a "no frills" update on where the virus stands.

If it doesn't happen, that will be great. Anyone who says it couldn't happen or that we needn't be concerned about it yet because it has only killed birds and a handful of people is unbelievably irresponsible. I will name names: Marc Siegel and Peter Doshi.

Greece held a "chicken fest" to prop up sales of poultry there.

Some Tamiflu has arrived in New Zealand.

In Virgina, officials are warning about the bird flu.

An opinion piece from the Times Leader of Central Pennsylvania says history should teach us that we are better prepared for a pandemic than we were in 1918. (Note: not an unusual perspective. No soldiers coming home, better surveillance and better science).

Crofsblog points to a Globe and Mail story on why we can't figure the bird flu out. Note Rever is quoted. This is must read content.

Another issue, Prof. Levin said, is persuading policy-makers to act on academic results. "Getting recommendations across is difficult," he said. "Policy-makers are conservative because there are so many lives at stake."


On a slow days for breaking news, some interesting stories on local preparation for the bird flu.

Luke Shockman, of The (Toledo) Blade, an excellent healthcare reporter, had this extensive and interesting story of how the Toledo area is getting ready for the bird flu.

A dean of a Prep school in Maryland writes in the Wall Street journal about how they are preparing for the bird flu.

And perhaps most importantly, the school is wrestling with several difficult questions before they are on our doorstep in an emergency: How would we enforce a policy of "social distancing" should a pandemic influenza break out? At what point would the school close its doors? How would students access curriculum through computers or other forms of distance learning?
In Broward County (Miami, FL), the schools are preparing there as well.

Leah Kelly, the district's executive director for student support services and exceptional student education, said alcohol-based soaps and hand wipes -- which schools don't typically use -- are best when dealing with avian flu, so officials are looking to stock up on those.
The University of Iowa has appointed one of it Public Health professors to implement a pandemic flu plan for UI.

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