Saturday, January 20, 2007

January 19 Flu Update--Updated for breaking news

A death in Indonesia and a death in Egypt are reported.

26 suspected human cases are being watched in Northern Thailand. This clearly bears watching. These generally don't pan out, but there is some noise in the system indicating we might be getting more case clusters than normal. This may not be it, but this is what it will look like when it starts.

5 new human cases have been reported in Egypt.

There's a bird outbreak in South Korea.

There's also an eighth outbreak in the Mekong Delta.

Indonesia is trying to clear the capital of birds, but people are resisting turning over their birds.

Indonesia reporting continues to blame spread of disease on ignorance and economics.

2 more dead birds in Hong Kong are H5--N1 still TBD.

CIDRAP reports on Asia as a whole.

ProMed with WHO report on Tamiflu resistance in Eygpt. Note WHO says no indication that Tamiflu resistance is "widespread."

With H5N1 in Japan, that country realizes it has to come to grips with what other countries have looked at--tough questions like who gets scare vaccine?

Ireland released a book on pandemic preparations, calling the pandemic "inevitable."

UN Rx for H5N1: Soap+water.

Nebraska has announced a new bird flu surveillance program.


At 12:50 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I have finished my spinal decompression treatments and now that my Siddhartha period is over, I would like to make some observations on your news over the last two days.

First, what I see: we are missing the forest for all the trees that that are toppling. We are entering a very critical new period in the evolution of this virus.

We are clearly entering a dangerous period of an entirely new wave of avian flu spreading around the globe, brought on by one or several new H5N1 viral strains emerging. These new strains that are immerging, appear impervious to the prior massive poultry inoculations, in many Asian countries, and China in particular. These new strains are also adapting to prove resistant to Oseltamivir, and other known antivirals, especially in China and Egypt. Evidence of this is that we are seeing more and more cases of human illness and deaths, where illnesses cannot be directly linked to infected poultry in farms or market places. The predominance of these two critical factors occurring over such a large geographical area, in such a short period of time, indicates the virus is mutating more rapidly. This is not good. In my opinion we are seeing more evidence of latent H2H transmissions as each day passes.

Even though the WHO is quoted in the last few days as stating, “These mutations are not associated with any known change in transmissibility of the virus between humans”… and “we see no need at this time to change the world threat level from three” - I believe there is now evidence that the H5N1’s resistance to antiviral’s is more growing more global and widespread than anyone is imagining.

Second, what I hear: lack of adequate control and response measures by the affected Asian countries, namely Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, just to name a few.

Due to the shear density and size of the populations concentrated in such small areas, coupled with the huge number of backyard poultry, and the poverty and culture and inept decentralized governments – culling and vaccination is a pretty futile gesture and we need to view it as such. It is unrealistic to believe it will stave off the continued spread of the virus – the people themselves view it as unacceptable, there is not enough funding to support the efforts, and it is mainly viewed as a voluntary effort. None of these countries will not achieve the required high percentages necessary to halt its spread and continued mutation. Mark my words Orange.

Third, what needs to occur at this stage: all western nations, need to shift their government transmissions into high gear and start implementing realistic survival strategies now for their populations. Notice I am not coining the worn out generalized term “pandemic plans”, but actually saying start drafting survival plans for their societies.

All western nations need to draft national survival plans and get them in order now, similar to those in Japan, Switzerland and Ireland: based on minimum/maximum infection scenarios, by providing clear health services direction, national priorities, stock piling of food and medicines and necessary supplies. Every nation must ask themselves the same critical question as Japan – what is most important… “minimizing deaths, or protecting the future?”

We must all face the fact that the H5N1 virus is now muting and on the move. It is no longer a quiescence situation (it never was for that fact), but it is now an actual mutational situation which has started another major wave of infections, with larger waves probable on the horizon across the globe. This deadly virus is taking us on a one-way trip, and we had better heed the road signs along the way.

I think it would be prudent for all individual’s to prepare for some inevitable sudden and drastic changes in their lifestyle, based on the daily news we are seeing.

The late Morris K. Udall said – “The more we exploit nature, the more our options are reduced, until we have only one: to fight for survival”.

Another pretty astute person, I wonder what he would say about today’s situation ?



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