Tuesday, January 02, 2007

January 1 Flu Update

Man, there is just no news on New Year's. Holy mackeral.

Revere, of course, is always on the job. Nice post which explains the philosophy of the blog, mentions this blog (thank you), and responds to an email accusing media of "hysteria" over four cases in Vietnam which are pneumonia, at least according to initial reports.

Revere also picks up on Crawford Killian's suggestion that reports keep circulating about the cases in Vietnam because newsrooms are short-staffed.

An alert reader sent me this--could easily be nothing, but some unusual respiratory disease has broken out in a Chinese school. Not to be grim, but there are no fatalities yet, which leads me to think it is not the flu.

An Institute in California has published an analysis of all available data on the flu.


At 8:12 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


The dearth of news doesn’t slow down my synapses one bit, especially when it comes to the new year and emergency planning. Helen Branswell published an excellent article, “Add emergency preparedness to list of resolutions”, which you blogged, on 12/31/06.

I like Helen, she’s a pretty smart chick who knows her stuff. As she points out in her article – “the average person is ill-prepared to cope for days or longer without power, or access to outside sources of food or medications. She points out that only “eight percent of people in the US had taken any steps to prepare for disasters”. Frankly, I’m surprised it’s that high, in our live “day-by-day” type of society.

What’s going on in today’s news that might motivate people to maybe think about preparing for an emergency, besides the usual apocalyptic category five hurricanes, meteors hitting the earth, 10.0 seismic earthquakes and an avian influenza pandemic ?

Two things come to Wulfgang’s mind immediately. Currently two dreaded things are occurring that people need to pay attention to, since they are right at our doorstep. One, as reported today by infectious disease experts in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, warns that “ an epidemic of community associated methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or CA-MRSA, is raging in the US and beginning to entrench itself in Canada. (take care of yourself Helen, please). This disease causes infections from large boil-like lesions to hemorrhagic pneumonia, and in rare cases, actually eats the flesh. This is poised to “emerge in force, across Canada”.

Second, speaking of pneumonia… does everyone know about the recent epidemic of deaths and sick children in the schools that is currently going on in Rhode Island ? It's eerily similar to some of the mysterious reported deaths in Indonesia, Vietnam and China over the last year – it’s all being reported as generally due to “micoplasma bacteria, pneumonia and encephalitis”. The CDC is on site in Rhode Island, still investigating. God only knows what’s really going on in the Asian countries and China.

In today’s MSNBC news, there is a great little article, by Robert Bazell, Chief Science and Health Correspondent, “What every happened to bird flu?”. He says, “The world has been alerted to a threat that will not disappear soon. Scientists do not fear a pandemic any less now than they did at the beginning of 2006. The natural events leading up to a pandemic remain poorly understood, but we reporters cannot keep repeating the same news”.

Back to Helen Branswell. I believe she’s a pretty smart chick and worth listening to everyone. Ol’ Wulfgang is normally a pretty easy going old guy, in good times. But in bad times though, he ain’t about to easily give up his hoard of stored Twinkies and HoHo supplies to 92% of the population who aren’t prepared for an emergency.



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