Tuesday, January 16, 2007

January 16 Flu Update

More on flaring bird flu in Asia, including the Indonesians readying more hospital rooms for flu victims.

Effect Measure says that he's still not convinced it just a seasonal trend.

Promed with a WHO statement on Indonesia, and on the "overwhelmed" hospital.

Urgent action being implemented in the Mekong Delta.

More on emergency action in Vietnam.

Chicken exporters in Thailand--chicken exporters, I say--are confident bird flu can be defeated.

CIDRAP on Indonesia--where the father in the cluster was negative--and Egypt with another suspected human case.

CIDRAP looks at Asia.

Here's another cultural bird flu tie in. Hong Kong is concerned that prayer birds released at Buddhist ceremonies in China are flying to Hong Kong with bird flu.

Durham, Canada, with the phrase of the day..."it's not about being alarmist. It's about being ready."

The Chicago financial industry tested out its "resilience" during a pandemic.

The World Bank is spending $8M on bird flu in Afghanistan.

Study on anti-virals says they are effective in helping stop influenza--oseltamivir and zanamivir.

21,000 birds were tested in Alaska, and none are H5N1.


At 8:55 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Your articles today represent a pretty good cross selection of diverse thoughts and ideas of on avian influenza, all of which are fairly representative of the news coming across the wires these days. Revere calls the news from Indonesia “unsettling”, and the chicken industry in Thailand says they are “pretty confident” that bird flu infections in poultry can be contained and exports maintained (okay heard this type of futile optimism expressed before). Then the news out of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, urging all businesses to “quickly” develop pandemic continuity plans.

I follow the same open daily news, just like you, Revere and everyone else does, to hopefully gain better insight and understanding into what is going on with the spread of H5N1. While we all may suspect certain things – it is extremely difficult to ascertain what is actually going on… leading edge of a pandemic or not, or just a benign cyclic seasonal explanation ? I guess I would describe the situation as the “perfect storm” brewing. It all boils down to the extent of the transmission and killing ferocity of the H5N1 virus, and how effective the intervention actions, anti-virals and vaccines are. So far, anti-virals are the only thing saving the day in Indonesia.

I believe more in the laws of science, mathematics and nature, than spiritually inspired outcomes. My personal viewpoint is that this is the leading edge of a very severe epidemic in Asia, or, the formulation of the super-virus. Recall the formula for force given by Newton's 2nd Law - the formula is F = ma, which means force equals mass times acceleration. According to the equation, the acceleration of an object is inversely proportional to mass of the object. In other words, the bigger the mass value is, the smaller that the acceleration value will be. As mass increases, the acceleration decreases. If the mass were increased by a factor of 2, the equation would predict that the acceleration would decrease by a factor of 2.

I’ve translated this into Wulfgang’s original 1st Law of pandemics, P = va, which means the Pandemic equals the virus times acceleration (transmission). My equation is the opposite of Newton’s and says the acceleration of a pandemic is directly proportional to the large number of H5N1 viruses in circulation. The larger the number of viruses in infected hosts, the larger the acceleration of the Pandemic. I’m still theorizing on the precise units of measurement and factors, but basically this means Asia is going to have to dispose of, or keep innoculating, a whole lot of animals and poultry to head off an imminent catastrophe.

Sir Issac Newton was a pretty smart guy, he said - “If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent”.



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home