Tuesday, July 11, 2006

July 11 Flu Update

In China, a man who reported an avian flu outbreak has been sent to prison for three and a half years...on other charges.

Mayor Bloomberg of New York unveiled the Big Apple's Flu Plan.

An EU official was surprised to find bird flu in Spain at this time, and they are looking to learn more about the case.

HHS is releasing $225 million to help fight the bird flu.

Official HHS release.

ProMed on Spain. A duck is not a grebe, and not all grebe's are alike, and we can't really understand what we have in Spain until we understand more about the bird.

Revere writes that the bird flu picked up speed during the first half of the year, and with the cold season coming in the Northern Hemisphere, it could pick up speed on top of that. He views a pandemic strain as "more and more likely."

A common Effect Measure theme. Its one thing to say that the localities are on their own in a pandemic...its another to strip the public health system of its entire infrastructure.

ProMed with stories from Nigeria, where the bird flu gets worse, and there really are problems trying to fight it. (Talk about no public health infrastructure).

People in New Zealand are told their town could be a ghost town if a pandemic strikes.

So, you think you're serious about preparing for the bird flu. Meet Dan Billings of Duluth, MN.

Billings is so passionate about preparing for a bird flu pandemic that he has given up nights, weekends and holidays with his family and is going door to door in his neighborhood. At each house he hands out information in hopes of teaching people what they can do if a pandemic strikes.
A Bangladesh Flu Testing Centre will be opened up soon.

The British Government is ordering bird flu vaccine (for birds) despite previously stating concerns about the downsides of vaccinating birds, including masking the spread of the disease. The change appears to be at the request of the organic farmers. Obviously, the vaccination questions pits public policy against those who want to vaccinate birds and avoid culling later.

Case in point. Note this from India, with this editorial supporting farmer's position that birds should be vaccinated near bodies of water.

Australian companies are now writing travel insurance policies that say that they will not provide coverage for avian influenza caught overseas.


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