Tuesday, October 24, 2006

October 24 Flu Update

Novartis is reporting success on its cell-based vaccine.

When asked how long it takes to produce the cell-based vaccine, company officials told CIDRAP News by e-mail, "Currently, basically the same as egg-based except lead times are much shorter and start-up is more flexible."

Russia has tested its bird flu vaccine on 240 volunteers.

Effect Measure blogs a Branswell article about doing away with the handshake culture--for our own good.

Revere also blogs the article we ran yesterday on WHO's warning to the world to step up the pace of vaccine production. Predictably and correctly, investments in public health are called for.

East Bridgewater, MA is working on its bird flu plan. And, it starts from the right premise.

“In the face of an epidemic, East Bridgewater is on its own,” said resident Eric Averill, a member of the town's Pandemic Flu Preparedness Committee.
Note that everone else will have help. But East Bridgewater is on its own. OK, that was a joke. But, it is a great Eastern tradition to have a citizen on the Town Committee.

Zanzibar came across some eggs smuggled in from Tanzania. To keep the area free of avian flu, the eggs were incinerated.

Schools in Muncie, IN are educating children and their families about pandemic flu.

A seminar is also being held at Hutchinson Community College--Kansas.

University of Colorado students and faculty are being urged to wash their hands--yes, to fight pandemic flu, but it is also the right thing to do.

Indiana is holding a tabletop flu exercise this week.

“Since it is not possible to predict when a pandemic will occur or how severe it will be, it is imperative that we remain vigilant in making sure that the state is doing all it can to respond effectively when it does happen.”

The ABC show "Fatal Contact" on bird flu is now on DVD.


At 10:12 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


It's hard to argue against the logic and passion of Revere's comments in his article "Bombs, bullets, billions". The world demand for billions of vaccine dosages, coupled with the fact that there is presently no clear exit strategy evident in Iraq, spells trouble with a capital T. At the time we can least afford it, billions of dollars of valuable resources are indeed being wasted in a war of attrition. Let's all hope the historians are kind to us some day when they record the world events in their journals.

To the point, Revere says "WHO is warning us, once again, to get ready", and he is right on. Whether one believes the next pandemic is like a slow moving train coming down the tracks, or like waiting for an impending seismic eruption - we have had many continuous warnings from the worlds foremost experts on the subject, in addition to the WHO warnings. The U.S. is only marginally ready for a pandemic, at best.

How serious is the world situation ? I submit the following link to a Sept 22, 2006 BBC World News audio report by Mary Kay Magistad (approx 4 min long) - I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg. Not many people have probably heard this :




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