Thursday, November 23, 2006

November 23 Flu Update--Thanksgiving (US) edition

Vietnam says it has successfully developed a human vaccine for bird flu. It has been tested on roosters and mice.

In South Korea, the bird flu has struck a poultry farm. 6,000 birds reported culled.

Some turkeys in Ivory Coast are confirmed H5N1.

An International Bird Flu Conference will be held in December in Mali.

The World Bank says that a serious pandemic would cost the US $623B.

Helen Branswell weighs in on the two recent studies (written up below) on how the bird flu spreads. So little is known that anything is important.

A myriad of questions continue to puzzle scientists:

  • How does a bird virus manage to infect people?
  • With so many people exposed, why do so few get sick?
  • Why do so many clusters of cases among blood relatives occur?
  • Why do children make up such a disproportionate number of the total cases?

But with cases occurring randomly in remote and varied parts of the globe, gathering information to accurately chart this disease will remain a challenge, Fukuda admitted. That's because dealing with human cases can place hospitals in crisis mode. And rigorous science is hard to do in a crisis.

WaPo editorial on whether, after all our technology and Tamiflu, we are no better off than our forefathers were in 1918...and whether we should do something about it.

Residents of a remote Alaskan village talk about what it feels like to be on the migratory path of bird flu.

The Canadian commercial real estate industry is recommending that building owners communicate with tenants on the potential risk of the bird flu....after all, with 40% absenteeism, rents might be late.

Here's a link to their letter template.

Here's a really good piece from Scribemedia. Talks about fickle year ago, avian flu was everywhere. Now? Well, it is last year's news. Here's a post on that topic, and a some video of a symposium with medical/flu experts...

Africa is being urged to find the resources to fight the flu.

In Mongolia, seeing a migratory bird sends a shiver down the spine of local residents...

A Florida blogger gives thanks this day for the contributions various people are making to fighting the bird flu.

Here's an interesting map that assesses the global risk of bird flu.


At 8:15 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I really enjoyed both the Helen Branswell and Scribemedia articles. Both point out what some of the key important things are that every one of us should know about the coming influenza pandemic. The experts world wide and in high government places, are not concerned about if the pandemic is going to happen - it is when. People should not depend on science or their government to bail us out, they can't, not in this instance. As the Scribemedia writer says, "imagine a 9/11 or Katrina event event occurring in every community, in every state, throughout the U.S." (and throughout every city in every other country of the world, for that matter). Then your mind begins to fathom the enormity of the crisis. Ther will be no panacea, no white knight, nor no magic potion to stop the death and potential chaos and social disruption that models are predicting.

Finally, as the Scribemedia author reveals splendidly - the parallel between now the time preceding 1918 is eery and uncanny. Virtually the calm before the storm. Think of the 1918 pandemic as the "great influenza storm", then think of the next pandemic in 2007 or 2008, as the "perfect influenza storm". There is no safety net for the next avian influenza pandemic, for a period of up to 12 months, until a vaccine can be developed.

While I once referred to myself as like John trying to write the Book of Revelation, I now believe that I am more akin to a "deep throat".


At 8:28 PM, Blogger Orange said...

Follow the Money.


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