Sunday, December 17, 2006

December 16 Flu Update

A bunch of ducks have died in Idaho!! But it was not bird flu (no surprise there), but rather it was moldy grain.

The authors of the Flu Pandemic and You are interviewed in the Globe and Mail (Canada).

Effect Measure blogs on the Institute of Medicine report "interesting and useful."

Surveillance efforts are ongoing in Delaware.

More on state preparation--from New York.

Report on the state of play in Oklahoma, where the waving wheat sure smells sweet.

New Jersey's report is in....

so is North Carolina's...

and Alaska's

and Nebraska's.


At 5:52 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I enjoyed reading the Revere discussion of the IOM review of the Larry Wein, Sandia Labs, MIDAS and Rand Corp pandemic models. Once again, I would like to reiterate, that my biggest concern is that the academic community, ala the Revere's and many others, are going to review and study scenarios, alternatives, and models to death, and fail to come up with anything conrete and useful, except for some watered-down and pathetic 'what-if'" statements, accompanied by disclaimer statements. I noted throughout Revere's discussion that they believe " the models should be used as aids (tools) to decision making, not as substitutes for decision making" and "it would be a mistake for policymakers to assume that any models can provide an exact roadmap of actions to take during the next influenza pandemic".

Reveres, Orange and everyone reading this, let me assure you that if the academic community doesn't come up with better specifics, the federal government will indeed use these models (and their own) as a basis for whatever strategic interventions, policies and actions they deem necessary. I have absolutely no doubt about that. None. As you can tell, I am very critical of these "serious" studies by committees that don't produce useful products - I'm being facetious, but I can easily imagine this IOM Committee jaw-boning and evaluating the pandemic after it occurred, with concise recommendations then on what the government should have done. All I can say is Revere... get it in gear - "Principiis obsta; sero medicina paratur cum mala per longas convaluere moras" (translation: resist starting and too late is the medicine prepared when the disease has gained strength by long delays).

This is a two thousand year old statement, you would think we would have learned something by now.

Kudos to Drs Lam and Lee for their insightful interview with Diane Peters. Now here are two physicians not afraid to give opinions and useful advice, even though they are peddling their book. Excellent information these two chaps give out, and I agree with nearly all of it. However, I am not as optimistic as they are when it comes down to health-care workers showing up during a moderate to severe pandemic. In my view, similar to 1918, very few health-care workers, as well as law enforcement, will show up. This was the case during Katrina in New Orleans. How many doctors and nurses, and police officers did you see hanging around the Superdome on TV ? None. The two doctor's comments about stockpiling food and meds is very sound advice. One of the biggest threats being discussed by the federal government is how to keep the critical supply lines open and the highways clear, for deliveries of supplies, during a national emergency such as a pandemic. If we see a modest to moderate national epidemic, this will not be an issue - beyond moderate, however expect something along the lines of something you will be telling your grandchildren about someday (and it ain't just going to be the namby-pamby "social distancing" pablum like being discussed as a variable in one of the academic models). It will be hard core enforced quarantines of major interstates and state lines. The food, medicine and supplies must get through, and it will be protected.



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