Thursday, May 04, 2006

May 3 Flu Update

Of course, the big news is the US flu plan, with its strong warnings, etc. I'm going to include stories on this, with an eye toward not being repetitive...

2 million possible US deaths, 40% of population sick...the plan outlines 300 actions to prepare, but stresses local self-reliance.

Reuters on the US plan--media seems to have grabbed onto the "slow, not stop" aspects of the plan.

"I got to be honest with you, this can't be 100 percent," Peter Thomas, USDA's human pandemic coordinator, told Reuters in an interview. "What we're trying to plan for is a worst case scenario and have the plan in place."

Different plan perspective notes specific steps for USDA.

CIDRAP on the US flu plan.

G8 health ministers have met, partly on bird flu, in advance of the big, grown up G8 summit in July.

Official White Hosue documents on bird flu release.

The government of Iraq says it is prepared for new cases of bird flu, and that today the situation is under control.

WHO is worried about people in poverty eating sick birds rather than disposing of the bodies--even though it is safe to eat when cooked properly, you could still contaminate yourself during the cooking process. (Perhaps we should stop telling people there's no risk to eating a chicken with H5N1.)

Asian scientist says there is too much focus on H5N1--there are 144 possible bird flu viruses.

Finland says dead birds are being tested all the time, but no bird flu among migrating birds.

An Asian economic forecast says bird flu will provide a sharp hit to economies, but they should rebound like they did after SARS.


A medical conference in Asia outlines specific challenges for that continent in fighting the bird flu.

Dr Richard Coker, the report's lead author, said: 'The strategic approach towards pandemic preparedness taken by Australia, Hong Kong, and New Zealand is similar to the best of the European plans - the remaining Asia-Pacific countries surveyed are likely to be less prepared for an imminent pandemic and might consider developing operational plans that recognise current capacity limitations'.


Kevin Maney of USA Today says bird flu=tech investment.

Pakistan says (again) there are no human cases there.

The Ontario Ministry of Economic Development is preparing a seminar on the bird flu.

Boston TV station bird flu fact sheet.

Local story from San Diego on Vical vaccine (keyword: promising).

WHO continues to push Indonesia to take more rapid steps against bird flu.

Indonesia, in turn, wants the world to fulfill its bird flu pledges.

A US ferret study says the Tamiflu prevents bird flu mortality.

Effect Measure critiques statements from a flu conference in California--keyword here is parallel universe.

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