Sunday, January 21, 2007

January 20 Flu Update

Local story from the paper in Indonesia about the woman who died yesterday.

Here's the local story on the dead woman from Egypt.

ProMed on Indonesia and Egypt.

Promed with other reports from Asia.

More culling is underway in South Korea.

Researchers in Hawaii think they can develop a quicker test for bird flu. Problem is, they need to import the deadly virus to the island....

Hong Kong is said to be on high alert after its brush with H5N1.

Only one province in Thailand is said to have bird flu outbreaks.

Writer in the Philippines jumps the gun a little....

Story from India on "Asia Scrambling"

A columnist in Malta fights back against a flu-denier.

Esteemed Flu Observer Laurie Garrett is on ProMed asking for information on how El Nino will effect bird migration.

2 Comments:

At 12:26 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...

Orange;

Maybe I’m just the lone eternal skeptic, but the news out of Asia can best be described as confirming one of the two following situations, either of which are about to happen:

1. The original Murphy’s Law, which states: “If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those can result in catastrophe, then someone will do it” (Edward A Murphy); or

2. Chaos Theory, which is: based on mathematics, just a small change in the initial conditions can drastically change the long-term behavior of a system. In biology chaos theory can explain how small random events may affect large ecosystems in an unpredictable way. A common example of this is known as the Butterfly Effect. In theory, the flutter of a butterfly's wings in China could, in fact, actually effect weather patterns in New York City, thousands of miles away. In other words, it is possible that a very small occurrence can produce unpredictable and sometimes drastic results by triggering a series of increasingly significant events.

I do believe that we may see theory one unfold as Indonesia starts their chaotic and non-supported house-to-house culling of poultry actions at the end of the month. The decentralized government of Indonesia has been fairly inept in its handling of the current H5N1 epidemic situation thus far. As your ABS-CBN Interactive editorial (Rony Diaz) points out, “there is no detailed and enforceable plan of action in case of a bird-flu outbreak”. Due to the primitive conditions, lack of protective equipment, disinfection procedures, population density, and shear contamination of the entire environment there… Wulfgang predicts something is going to go drastically wrong in their containment effort. Lets all cross our fingers and hold our breath, but expect many more cases in the next two or three months.

Theory two is already in process. Thailand news reported today that out of 1,111 suspected bird-flu cases this year since January 1st, all tested negative. That’s on average, 55 tests per day Orange, no false negatives acknowledged, follow up on (that we are aware of) or anything. Think about it - Thailand can confirm unequivocally that none of the 1,111 human suspected cases turned up positive ? Logically, the US and Canada, with the best diagnostic facilities in the entire world would be hard pressed analyze these many cases in such a short period of time. Maybe it’s possible, but again, I am very skeptical – unless that is, they have their version of a “Jonas Salk” or “Robert Webster” conducting the testing, which is doubtful. I suspect all 1,111 people were given Oseltamivir and told to go on their way. I might add… maybe the University of Hawaii should travel to Thailand to acquire their H5N1 virus diagnostic procedures and save the costs, effort and controversy of importing the virus ?

Here’s the link with the Thai report:
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/breakingnews/read.php?newsid=30024704

I hope I am proven wrong, but expect one of these two theories to unfold. Murphy will speak, or the butterfly will flap it's wings.

Leo Buscaglia said, “There are two big forces at work, external and internal. We have very little control over external forces, such as tornado’s, earthquakes, floods, disasters, illness and pain. What really matters is the internal force. How do I respond to these disasters ?”.

Wulfgang

 
At 6:34 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...

Orange;

I stand somewhat corrected... the article I referred to in my first comment above actualy states that 111 suspected bird flu cases were disposed of (not 1, 111 - I had a comma issue). Still, my comment still stands - that averages 5-6 people a day, an astounding number to be absolutely certain that they are not H5N1 infected.

 

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