November 20 Flu UpdateWHO's David Nabarro makes a vital point....global defenses to the flu are one thing, but the first and perhaps deciding response might be local.
President Bush says that bird flu is still a priority for him.
But he also said governments around the world must be poised to aggressively contain any localised outbreak in humans and to limit the fallout - and keep essential services running - in the event of a human influenza pandemic.
"It doesn't require a lot of thinking to understand what the magnitude of the impact of a pandemic will be," he said. "We are not talking about a health crisis, but a social, economic and governance crisis."
Britain is being warned by a leading scientific society that the country's reliance on Tamiflu leaves it vulnerable if a resistant strain emerges. (I think this concern is overstated in that I don't think the meager stockpiles of Tamiflu that countries have will really impact a raging pandemic even if the virus is sensitive to the drug).
The US government ordered 2.7 million more doses of pre-pandemic vaccine.
CIDRAP has this story as well.
The BBC gives a reasonable answer to the question of whether people should be worried about the bird flu.
Professor John Oxford, a virologist at Queen Mary School of Medicine, London, said: "Things have changed tremendously over the last 12 months.
"Every major vaccine manufacturing group has now got an H5N1 vaccine in production. A year ago, that didn't seem possible.
"And the stockpiles of antiviral drugs are increasing."
Recombinomics on a potential human case in the Sudan.
Russia has opened a "big" bird flu lab....(I'd note here that I don't think size is exactly the top criteria).
UN article on how government intervention has paid off in Vietnam.
University of New Hampshire specialists are using satellites to track the bird flu.
Finally, a set of must read articles. CIDRAP has HHS guidelines on mass casualty events, including a significant section on an influenza pandemic. These guidelines are mind-boggling, and we can hope they remain on a planner's bookshelf forever. (How would you like to be your city's bed czar)
A centerpiece of the report is a case study on pandemic influenza. The authors list preparations for and responses to each stage of a pandemic, from the current prepandemic period to increased and sustained transmission in the United States. For example, during the worst stage of a pandemic, the authors suggest a "bed czar" be appointed to monitor the supply of hospital beds and equipment and make assignments based on availability.Nov 2006 AHRQ report "Providing mass medical care with scarce resources: a community planning guide"