Thursday, November 09, 2006

November 9 Flu Update

Effect Measure has an interesting piece on bloggers catching the US government in a contradiction. Recently, US Nationals in foreign countries were advised to be prepared to shelter in place for 12 weeks, which is different from the official advice on their website of two weeks.

Indonesia says it is far from having a pandemic of bird flu in the country.

The Nigerian government has asked its farmers not to vaccinate poultry against bird flu.

The UN has developed (w/Microsoft) a real-time portal that can be used to track the bird flu and other infectious diseases.

The American Public Health Association has called for pandemic preparation in US to move from Homeland Security to HHS. The choice of DHS never made sense to me, ever.

CIDRAP on the Chan appointment.

The Japanese are going to publish a manual on what their nationals should do overseas during a pandemic.

The UK government has critiqued how it handled an H7N3 outbreak in Norfolk and found a number of shortcomings.

McGill University (Montreal) is hosting some of the continent's top immunologists at a meeting to discuss flu, among other things.

More on Jamaica's bird flu exercise.

Flu Planners in Kansas City are beginning public focus groups on pandemic plans.

Wayne County,NC, is preparing a bird flu plan.

More on bird flu drills in New Zealand.

Here's a story on bird flu as an emerging threat in a publication targetted to dentist's.

Recombinomics says that surveillance has turned up H5N1 in wild birds in the Crimea.


At 11:27 AM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


The Effective Measure article by Revere points out what I have been harping on for a long time. The inconsistencies in federal and state agency horizontal and vertical integrated planning, lack of realistic table-top exercises on a national scale, coupled with inconsistent communication and lack of real leadership (i.e.the basic who's in charge question ?), will bite everyone. It is very noticable and glaring. I am not surprised by the State Department slip up. Further, as I continually have stated, the federal government has left it up to the each federal agency to define their emergency "Continuity Of Operations Planning" (aka, COOP), and there are startling differences and disparities, and they are all being tied to their primary and unique agency missions, versus a national strategy - which may or may not be of any benefit to local communities across the nation. Some agencies define a critical time length of 8 weeks to shelter-in-place, others 12 weeks, others as little as 2 weeks. Almost all of them are unrealistic in that they do not address or provide provisions for employees realistically working from remote locations or telecommuting. One common theme that is consistent however across all the plans, is that they all contain "quarantine" provisions which are generally unknown to the public. Unless this situation changes quickly, and we get some leadership from, say, the HHS, be prepared for a signifcant break down in critical essential services and some potentially chaotic conditions, if a moderate-to-severe influenza pandemic emerges . We are wholly not prepared at the national or state level to deal with a pandemic of the 1918 scale. It will indeed be a situation of every local community on its own.

My advice: get to know your neighbors better and start buying some extra cans of beans. It doesn't look like the cavalry is not coming on this one - if it does, it will be The Little Bighorn.


At 12:55 PM, Blogger Orange said...

Wulfgang--excellent point. I am reading The Great Deluge, which is about Katrina, and I am firmly convinced. If you think anyone is going to help you in the immediate aftermath of a major crisis, you are sadly mistaken.

At 4:52 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Interesting, the Great Deluge. I am afraid that people did not learn the many lessons from that Katrina fiasco. They are still pointing fingers and placing blame, in fact now, the majority of people in New Oleans are now blaming the Army Corps of Engineers. It's ridiculous. The Louisiana and N. O. city governments are even allowing individuals to rebuild their homes in these same below-sea-level areas that were previously flooded. Those who suffered uninsured losses are being given $ 150K federal grants to rebuild. In my opinion, just like the now, it's the "calm before the storm" time period. But, people are not paying attention to obvious warnings and are not using their common sense (let alone intuition). Complacency and personal irresponsibility has set in, once again.

On the brighter side, should we all survive the next influenza pandemic, maybe us survivors can get some money ? I'd settle for only $ 100K - I'm really not all that greedy myself.



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