Tuesday, November 07, 2006

November 7 Proposition 1 Bird Flu Update

An Indonesian teenager has died of the bird flu. He is said to have contact with sick birds.

ProMed on this story as well. Note mod comments that says that the family found exposure 30 days before the young person died, but that there must have been a more recent exposure.

The US government has advised its employees overseas to stockpile food and water to last 12 weeks in the event of a pandemic. CIDRAP reports.

Perhaps in counterpoint, France says that for this Fall, the risk of its domestic poultry getting the bird flu is negligible (Note: in the past, statements like this have created notably bad karma.)

Effect Measure on a paper that questions how good our bird flu data really is.

Turkey says it is ready to fight the bird flu.

In Nigeria, media executives are being called upon to subsidize the cost of bird flu education.

The BBC is the latest to produce a docu-drama on a bird flu pandemic. It is, as they all have been, suitably apocalyptic.

A bird flu response exercise was held by the veterinary service in Jamaica.

A similar exercise was also held in Wicomico County, VA.

At Texas A&M they say that hygiene and vaccines are the key to fighting the bird flu.

Scottish businesses say the skills gap is a bigger threat than bird flu or terrorism.

Recombinomics on how a change in the virus in China is increasing pandemic risks.


At 8:35 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


As Effective Measure points out, the war against H5N1 has mainly been mainly waged by veternarians and ornithologists, since the virus mainly effects birds. Also, it seems, much of the poultry and human data collected is deficient, or kept unavailable to the general science community by many countries and world organizations. The reason for this is geo-political and economics: the rights to a viable H5N1 vaccine translate into billions of dollars of potential revenue - this is big moola. Aside from this, no country on earth wants to lose tourism, see their airports shut down, have their financial markets collapse, have a domestic stockpiling panic on their hands, have multi-national corp's pull out, or in effect - be socially quarantined and economically isolated, because of a lousy virus. To lose a few hundred or even thousand people to the bird flu is acceptable, but to lose their infrastructure is unacceptable. The secrecy is understandable, but of course, ridiculous, since a pandemic by its very nature, knows no geograhic boundaries. My prediction is that little unknown's like Henry Niman will end up correctly predicting the next pandemic within a particular flu season window, while the wildly political and bureaucratic WHO, CDC, and HHS will still be gathering duck data in Alaska, and interviewing blood relatives in Indonesian villages. Sad indeed. We can spend billions of dollars monthly in a war of no consequence or real reason, and we can't even mobilize the best and brightest scientific minds in America to data-mine H5N1. This really grinds my gears.

Regarding the BBC Two's Horizon 90 minute docu-drama, it's not surprising that it got terrible press reviews in the news. People get tired of retreads and recycled made-for-TV-disaster-movies. Period. If the intent is to get everyones attention and interest in the H5N1 threat, all that needs to be done is simply place a one page warning in with my IRS 1040 form in January. That would get my attention.


At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is "proposition 1" ?

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Orange said...

It was just a lame attempt at humor because of all the US election news and commercials that had been on.


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