Sunday, November 05, 2006

November 4 Flu Update

CIDRAP on the Fujian-like strain. It appears that the virus has outwitted the people again, especially a vaccination effort in China that was probably not well executed. So, the strain is widespread in Southern China. Not to raise an alarm, because I don't know that is warranted. But assurance that the situation is not getting worse is equally unwarranted.

Effect Measure on the Chinese transparency issue, and why WHO lacks the credibility to effectively make an issue out of it.

Recombinomics makes much the same point.

A flu drill in Manitoba apparently set off a little concern.

Roche's Tamiflu advertising campaign is raising eyebrows.


At 5:48 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


The incessant finger pointing over the transparency issue is like watching the movie, Gone With the Wind, over and over and over. The report in the National Academy of Sciences asserts the spread of the new Fujian-like strain has initiated a new transmission wave in SE Asia, similar to the first wave in 2004. China of course rejects the study and its conclusions. This all appears to me that China's grand poultry innoculation program of billions of fowl, has failed miserably. It doesn't take a bunch of NASA rocket scientists to realize that this is why the countries bordering China have experienced such an explosive spread of H5N1 over the last 24 months - Viet Nam, Laos, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Russian Federation, Mongolia, and probably North Korea (if they even have any poultry left). Not to even mention Indonesia.

With a population of 1.28B people, which doubles every 67 years, China in my opinion is a natural melting pot for this H5N1 scourge. While I am not a conspiracy theorist about things, in this respect, I believe China has had a a far worse situation on its hands over the last five years than it has been willing to admit (think SARS). For the sake of all the additional billions of people in the bordering populated countries surrounding it, China and the WHO both must make their gene sequences public, for further expert scrutiny and analysis, so we can get things right.

I would ordinarily say that China and the WHO are playing "Russian Roulette" with this hidden isolate information - but in this case, it's more like "pandemic roulette".
Somebody is going to lose - all of us.



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