Sunday, December 10, 2006

December 9 Flu Update

Effect Measure with a thoughtful post. If there has been a consistent theme to Revere's posts, it has been that any measures that build up the public health infrastructure would help society--even if a pandemic never occurs. Merge that idea with the article this week about the wide range of emerging animal diseases, and you get an interesting and provoking post.

Useful Reuters fact boxes, first on the worldwide spread of the flu, and second on 2006 chronology.

A company in Singapore says it has an herbal extract from elderberries that is more effective than Tamiflu.

This article says the US is building flu fighting capacity overseas.

Interesting blog that says it is an average person's attempt to understand the bird flu. In this post, the author reacts to a recent study that showed the virus could mutate in a single pass in mice. Here's a section from the blog.

The paper closed with this line:

Urgent measures to deal with a possible pandemic, such as the development and application of effective vaccines and the stockpiling of anti-influenza drugs, are needed.


Seems I may not be the only one who had their world rocked.


At 11:38 AM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Good Sunday morning to you.

I grasp from your last comments that you are trying to re-convey to your readers the sense of urgency needed for effective H5N1 type vaccine and stockpiling of anit-virals, based on the SophiaZoe blog comments about the Journal of General Virology research article. This is excellent. I truly hope your readers take a moment to read this important article, which is probably one of the most alarming you have pointed to in a long time. Although an artificial process, SophiaZoe points out the fact that transplanted avian influenza viruses increased their lethality by a factor of 5X10 (4th power), and this translates into a "monster of of unthinkable lethality". Add to this fact, the added damage by direct onslaught to other vital organs, and it makes the cytokine storm scenario we like to talk about, seem like childs play. When the H5N1 situation achieves true transmissibility is any bodys guess, but it could be very soon, and either be caused by one simple natural mutation, or by man-made bio-terror. We are that close now. Get prepared and stay prepared says the Wulfmeister. Things could get tough in a hurry.

I like the continued environmental, health, and social responsiblity drum, the Revere family in Effective Measure, beats to. People generally in the western world do not understand or appreciate the current threat that zoonotic diseases pose to human kind. They do not fully comprehend the implications of cultures living in direct proximity with animals, animal trade and the consumption habits, - and the relationships to common diseases in the news. I definately buy their argument that there is a correlation between emergent and re-emerging zoonotic diseases, and globalization coupled with climate changes. The real question is, when will the avian panzootic rubber band snap, and when will we have to haul out the pre-pandemic vaccine and antiviral ducktape ?

Finally, I found Ambassador John Lange's comments interesting. There has been an extraordinary number of veterinatians hired by the USDA for the UN FAO in the last twelve months, and positioned worldwide in the avian hot spots. This coupled with the NAMRU units, and other sources, should give us adequate early warning. My statement a few days ago still stands - watch the US State Dept news closely from now on (wink).


At 11:44 AM, Blogger Orange said...

And a good morning to you, as well. Thanks for your comments. I have set up my feeds and bookmarks to monitor the State Department site, per your suggestion.

I have been reading the bird flu book by Dr. Greger. It has opened my eyes to the emerging threats from animals.


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