Saturday, November 18, 2006

November 17 Flu Update

A six-year old child has died in Indonesia, and is reported to have had bird flu. Promed reports. Note this:

Siti Fadilah said the spread of bird flu in Indonesia was unique, as the causes of the spread differed from one place to the other.

"After appearing in Karo (a regency in North Sumatra), where the virus was spread by wild birds, it reappeared in Tangerang, Java, where it was spread by contact between wild birds and domestic poultry," she said. "This means as long as we cannot control the migration of birds, it will be very difficult to stop the spread of the virus," Siti Fadilah said. The minister reiterated that if in a certain region local poultry was found to have the virus, the local administration had to make a quick decision to cull the infected chickens. A fast decision was needed because the infected chickens could transfer the virus to humans, she said.

CIDRAP has an HHS clarification that degrading of the virus stockpile is only 20%, not 50% as originally reported.

There was an outbreak of respiratory disease in a Canberra nursing home, but it was not H5N1, as feared.

Promed on the latest state of play in Egypt and the former case, they have a new outbreak in birds, and in the latter they are confident it won't happen.

A Canadian epidemiologist says that during a pandemic, children should be vaccinated first.

If surveillance reveals that your bird has low path H5N1, USDA will pay the indemnity costs for destroying the effected birds.

Australia says it will back the ASEAN bird flu fight.

Though Recombinomics says otherwise, this media reports says that there has been no H5N1 founds in bird surveillance.

A public meeting in Regina, Saskatchewan reveals that a little scaring can help to motivate people.

Excellent Cincinnati Post column...looks back at 1918, and wonders how far we have really come.

It was not long after I met my future mother-in-law 40 years ago that I first heard the story about her mother's death. On New Year's Eve 1918, before Margaret Schneider was 3 years old, her mother suddenly became ill. Ruth Schneider, whose wedding photo hangs in an oval frame in our dining room, was a beautiful, healthy, wife and mother. Her daughter, Margaret, remembers her father carrying her mother - who had become suddenly very ill - upstairs to bed. She never saw her alive again.

Sarasota County, FL, is using school absence reports to look for early warnings.

Recombinomics reports on the genetic sequences in birds in Egypt.


At 12:18 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Good set of articles from Canada you published today, nice information.

The Canadian article by Pamela Cown, entitled "Scare tactic worked" points out the need by heath authorities and the media to strike a proper balance when discussing the pandemic subject with the public. Unfortunately, most people do indeed need to be frightened a little, some need a kick in pants, to pull them out of complacency and daily inconsequential distractions. One student commented, "I was very disappointed that with (hurricane) Katrina the Americans were so poorly prepared". So true of any population my dear, There will always be a certain segment of the population that never gets the message, nor even considers taking personal responsibility for their welfare and health. They are ultimately mislabed as "unfortunate innocent victims" by the news media. When actually, they are supremely guilty of personal neglect and irresponsibility.

The article on innoculating kids (and any students for that matter) first with an avian pandemic vaccine to mitigate the impacts during the initial stage, makes tremendous sense. Class room settings and the large numbers of young people in dense social proximity is a natural incubator for a pandemic spread. Other than large public events, children and travelers will be the purveyors of the illness during the pandemic. Other than protection, medical support, food and medicine, and delivery systems - children should be innoculated then first in line. Lawyers and politicians should at the bottom of the list, since they have very little intrinsic value. If you are a traveler, you are probably going to be a man or woman without a country for a while.

The Cincinatti Post article by Dan Hurley is spot-on, great. Every U.S. citizen should be required to read "The Great Influenza" by John Barry, and take an awareness test. His conclusions that we are no better prepared now than in the years before 1918 are absolutely correct. I submit that no government in the world is currently adequately prepared for a major influenza pandemic on the scale of 1918. The reasons are too numerous. All the warning signs of numerous mutating influenza strains have been in place for several years now, but people don't "get it". Societies are not focusing nearly enough on the resources that will be required, nor the right critical priorities.

I keep wondering, who in the hell are people going to sue during a pandemic ? That seems to be the so-called great American 21st century battle-cry.



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