Tuesday, December 05, 2006

December 5 Flu Update

CIDRAP says poultry are more likely to bring bird flu then wildfowl.

Popular Mechanics on an air purifier that fights the bird flu.

Nigeria makes a shocking admission...poor surveillance means they don't know their bird flu status.

Meanwhile, the Nigerians are being warned not to vaccinate their poultry.

Another US surveillance story, this time from the Salton Sea in California.

National Geographic on looking for flu in all the wrong places...employs regrettable "wild goose chase" metaphor.

Effect Measure on this story, as well.

The other issue is the relative importance of wild bird migration versus poultry movements. Some feel the speed and distance of the spread can only ber explained by long distance travel of wild birds. This is certainly a plausible scenario. But substantial work has been done by mathematicians on the pattern and speed of spread on netowrks of various topologies (patterns of connection). We now know that some linkage patterns (e.g., small world or scale free topologies) can appear as rapid and wide spreads without requiring major jumps or infrequent long jumps. Most of the spread is local, with the occasional midrange or longer jump.

Recombinomics has an extensive review of this issue as well.

They had a flu scare in Zanzibar based on some illegal imports.

The story of Central America's fight against bird flu.

The VP of the Asian Development Bank says innovative approaches to bird flu are needed.

Scientists from Los Alamos National Lab are giving a talk on bird flu next week.

The Swiss have laid out their pandemic plan.

Tennessee is considering the purchase of $8M in Tamiflu.

Florida Medic blogs on the US government's bargain basement flu fighting plan.


At 9:18 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Good day to you.

I see the Swiss have rolled out their version of a remarkably well orchestrated and in-depth pandemic plan. The Swiss in my opinion, are the worlds most practical and remarkable people when it comes to planning. They are extremely focused, thorough,and regimented. Half the world's population may flop over dead due to an H5N1 mutated infection, but the Swiss will make it through alright. They are developing backup plans-to-the- backup plans, and adding redundancy. It helps to have deep secret financial pockets like they have. I guess this is where 300 years of making fine clocks and swiss cheese, finally pays off.

Regarding the CIDRAP, Effective Measure, and Recombinomics articles - they all have to do with question of whether avian flu is most likely spread by migration or poultry smuggling or exchange. And where the greatest threat lies. I have said all along that greatest threat lies with one international world traveler, arriving on an intercontinental flight, probably from Asia or Africa, or where ever, it doesn't matter, even if from Kansas. I don't know how long it will take everyone to understand that strict poultry trade controls are unenforceable. Examining migration patterns and sampling wild birds, is pretty useless in my view, it's like dipping your finger into the ocean to see where the fish are biting. All these type studies makes for interesting information around the water coolers, but once H5N1 mutates to human-to-human transmission... who at that point cares about studies ? It will be pass-the-vaccine time and stay 20 feet away baby - or out comes the pepper spray.

So, Nigeria admits they don't know the true level of bird flu in their country, due to lack of surveillance ? Iadmire their truthfulness, but is anyone surprised at this ? Come on everyone, this is the same continent that suffers from rampant HIV, malaria, diarrhea, starvation, genocide, and insane dictatorships. No amount of WHO poultry surveillance, or money, and training is going to overcome the endemic social, economic, religious and cultural problems this continent has piled on itself.

And finally, my last comment goes to FLA_Medic, who runs Avian Flu Diary. I have read his commentaries numerous times, and he does a good job. He asks some pretty good questions and does some thoughtful research. His question, "where is the leadership ?", is a good one. But, ask yourself FLA_Medic, since when did our politicians ever resolve or express leadership in solving any other significant problems? For example, like the problems associated with Social Security, affordable health insurance, illegal immigration, or IRS tax reform ? The American way is "wait until it's a crisis, then react swiftly in all directions".



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