Tuesday, November 14, 2006

November 14 Flu Update

APEC nations are preparing for the bird flu, and asking for private sector support.

In the draft statement, the APEC leaders urge a "deepened engagement of the private sector to help ensure continuity of business, trade and essential services in the event of a pandemic outbreak.''

Two cases reported yesterday in Indonesia...one a fatality, and one in critical condition.

Recombinomics has reports of two more fatalities.

Japan has brought a great deal of help to Azerbaijan, including bird flu assistance.

The health departments around Jacksonville (NC) are preparing for the bird flu.

Surf City police and fire officials were recently trained in how to recognize and handle bird flu. They are the first in Pender County to be trained in how to prepare for such a pandemic. Pender County is currently finalizing its countywide plan to train other municipalities.

A European Food Service Agency wonders if wild bird imports should continue given the risk of bird flu.

CIDRAP on the report that Tamiflu may have psychiatric side effects.

An interview with Dr. Lam, a Canadian flu author, on his latest book.

Your plan in the book is so detailed, right down to the level of suggesting people keep a large supply of contraceptives handy.
We're all about detail! Given everything that might be going on during a pandemic, you might want to think about whether that's the ideal time to procreate.
OK, some people were not comfortable with the idea of Homeland Security...I'm not sure we were thinking Defense Department, as we see here is proposed.

HHS soldiers on (get it?) with an update to the pandemic plan.


At 8:31 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I am having connectivity problems, therefore this will be a very brief comment on the Vincent Lam interview article:

Admittedly, up front, I have not read his book, so my opinion about his few interview comments, is just based on the article. I do like his well balanced, reasonable and "prepare in moderation" general approach to an influenza pandemic threat. It sounds like his book is very detailed. However, like everyone, he is entitled to his own opinion and his own perspective - which appears to be from a medical standpoint and based upon the additional research he has done. In my mind, this does not make him an authoritative expert, it only makes him knowledgeable. If doctors were all true experts, we wouldn't need second and third opinions on our illnesses.

His book probably needs a second opinion, too: until there is a universal vaccine developed that provides assurances to all of us that we are protected against a killer influenza pandemic, it would behoove every rational person to lay in a personal stockpile of some sort (in any case, for any emergency). Moreover, in a pandemic situation, waiting eight to twelve months for a viable H5N1 type vaccine will seem like an eternity to most people. Mr. Lam says that "people fantasize about enforced quarantines" and they will "voluntarily stay home" - I don't think he has a grasp on the reality of the situation that might unfold. Truly. There very well could be social disruption, chaos, violence, and yes, critical shortages of food, medicine and health care, beyond any comprehension. Scary and downright creepy, but true.

I don't want to discredit him or his book. It's a great achievement. But there are many other better sources out there, if you are going to bet the farm on the chances of something as serious as this happening or not. This is all about good old common sense and instinct folks, not about academic credentials or whether you can author a book.



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