Saturday, October 28, 2006

October 27 Flu Update

Lots of people have been wondering about this....WHO will produce a report on the ethics of the bird flu and pandemic planning. CIDRAP reports. This is just chock full of sticky issues.

Effect Measure has an interesting post--a letter to Emerging Infectious Diseases that reminds readers that there is a subset that is particularly vulnerable to bird flu--pregnant women. Revere notes that we knew young people were especially susceptible, and pregnant women also have altered immune systems.

The Brookings Institution is doing a computer model of the economic impact of bird flu. On a worst case scenario:

That's approximately 330 billion dollars in lost economic output. McKibbin says as the scale of the pandemic increases, so do the economic costs. "For the most severe - the ultra scenario - we had over 4.4 trillion dollars wiped off the world economy, 140 million people killed."

Northern Ireland is accused of being complacent on the bird flu. They are said to need a comprehensive plan.

Maybe they should go to Noble Hospital in Westfield, MA, where they are putting the final touches on a flu plan.

Or, maybe they should go to Tehran, where they are also doing flu symposiums.

Thailand recognizes that vaccine production will be a problem, so they are building a plant.

Pinal County, CA, had its health director address pandemic issues to a chamber of commerce luncheon.

There have been some instances of low path bird flu being discovered in the US. Normally, I don't cover those, because it is my opinion that the cases are the effect of the surveillance programs--they were always there, and we only find them because we are now looking. This article I am including, however, just to note that the disease is likely to circulate around and it does present a mixing threat.

Students in Port Huron (MI) are creating a multi-media program on bird flu.

Would your bird flu be covered by insurance? A reader gets an answer for a website.

Ready for ten more years of blogging? Nabarro says bird flu could be a threat for a decade.

Recombinomics claims that evidence of recombination has been excluded from the GenBank.


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