Sunday, November 19, 2006

November 19 Flu Update

Inolesco--an RN Flu blogger--has this on Thai officials ordering the disinfecting of poultry farms, especially in flooded areas.

More on industrial farming--are feedlots putting animals and people at risk of bird flu?

Critics say that Australia's pandemic plans do not take into account the potential loss of electricity in a pandemic.


At 8:22 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


The Australian news article points out a couple of significant problems that all countries will face during a pandemic, and unless they have planned in advance, there will have critical meltdowns in their societies.

First, true pandemics are absolutely unpredictable in length and severity. They are not just a one time event of temporary incovenience. Planners are just beginning to comprehend that they must plan for a series of outbreaks, with varying lengths of time with different possibilities of severity. This is very tough to do. If they fail to take adequate preparations to keep their food, utilities, pharmaceuticals, medical services and supplies, finances and IT, up and running - they could face a potential social disaster on the order of thousands of Titanics. So far, we are not there.

Second, and coupled with this, is the fact that pandemic planning must involve all segments and functions of a society, including the entire military. It all has to be horizontally and vertically integrated together, or critical supply and delivery chains are guaranteed to collapse. Extending this further, means that contiguous countries must do more than merely sign pandemic cooperation agreements on paper. They truly must integrate their plans for an emergency. Neither the countries of europe, nor the America's have done this - it's essentially "every man and women for themself" within any geographical boundary.

Finally, it takes a mindset of taking a potential pandemic seriously and with responsibility. So far, the majority of people do not take the threat of a pandemic seriously. In fact, only a small fraction of citizens have. Most people mentally relate a pandemic to Y2K and hurricane threats - nothing is going to motivate them to prepare anything, until they see people dropping over dead from a cytokine storm. Want to know the real reason why all the world genetic sequences have not been released Orange ? Because of the bio-terror element. In the wrong hands, the sequences can be weaponized.

Think about it. Who needs a nuke when you can kill many times more with a little terror bug on a subway or international flight ?


At 12:58 PM, Blogger Orange said...

Wulfgang, your final quote brings me back to what got me interested in the flu in the first place--a Malcolm Gladwell article on how we should be afraid of the flu, not anthrax. It was called "The scourge you know."

People stop having the will to prepare the minute that it requires them to sacrifice now for something that might or might not happen in the future. I believe you are right--people won't take it seriously until people are falling over.

Then, the Congressional Hearings begin, the Pandemic Commission....


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