Tuesday, December 26, 2006

December 26 Flu Update

OK, we're back in the saddle. Nice holiday, enjoying some time off.

The big news during the break was that two people have died of bird flu in Egypt. A 30-year woman died Christmas Eve and then her niece died the next day. Obviously, that pattern will get people's attention.

Effect Measure with another excellent post. Knowledge--or, put another way, ignorance--isn't holding people back in Cambodia from proper flu control measures, and they probably aren't elsewhere, either. It revolves around a lack of adequate compensation. In a way, education is taking the easy way out.

Australian paper lists bird flu among predictions that did not come through in 2006.

Promed with a posting on recombinants found in nation's recently, including a correction.

ProMed on OIE report from Vietnam--not discrepancy between number of birds reported infected and number of birds reported culled.

ProMed says live poultry markets in China have been closed permanently.

Vietnam continues to scramble with its latest flu outbreak.


At 9:46 AM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Glad to see you back at the controls again. I see the Revere clan came through with an interesting article about poultry handling in Cambodia. Their conclusion that the lack of a compensation policy there has a major effect on Cambodians willingness to report sick poultry, is a verygood one. Money talks to poor people. People in the western world have a very difficult time comprehending third world developing countries and attitudes, in my opinion. It’s not just a simple matter of awareness, education and social change, to eradicate H5N1. We here in N. America, simply do not understand that to most of the indigenous people in Asia and Africa, in particular, sick and dying poultry are part of the struggles of everyday life. It’s not a big deal to them to see dying chickens and ducks, other than they lose their daily meal and source of livelihood. They have to deal with much more horrendous diseases and deaths on a weekly basis, which would be abhorrent to us. To make matters worse, I have talked with numerous highly educated individuals from India and Pakistan, and they literally scoff at the West for worrying so much about AI – most of them believe the US, Canada and European media have way overblown the threat and we are a bunch of worry-warts and xenophobic about everything. They almost seem to have laissez-faire type attitude of resignation on the subject. So, I don’t expect the Asian or Indo-China societies to get real smart soon, or change their cultural or agricultural subsistence habits, especially over a strange flu bug that hasn’t yet killed a whole lot of people. Somebody please tell ol’ Wulfgang how surveillance is going to be any where near accurate, adequate or acceptable in these countries – the answer is, it is not, nor has it been.

I am particularly worried about Nigeria. It is Africa’s most populated country. There is no poultry inoculation or reimbursement program for the farmers or the villagers in the entire country, nor is there likely to be soon, unless the UN starts pouring money in there. H5N1 is now running rampant in all of the contiguous states. What happens when normal flu season viruses intermingle with the H5N1 virus in Nigeria and the rest of the continent there ? What happens to all of Africa’s many million’s of starving, HIV positive, cholera, dengue, Ebola, or malaria victims, if AI mutates there ?

My guess is the Second Great Plague might be the answer.



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home