Thursday, January 25, 2007

January 24 Flu Update

Bird flu case (avian, not human) in Hungary confirmed--neighbor cuts off exports.

CIDRAP on Hungary.

Promed on Hungary and what it means for the European winter.

ProMed on reports from Indonesia about additional suspected human cases.

ProMed rounds up other flu news from around the world. Note article that says the strain in Japan is the Chinese strain, not the Indonesian strain.

This local media report says a Mother and daughter are suspected of dying of bird flu after eating sick chickens. However, their deaths seem a little far apart for that to be the case. One to watch.

Vietnam is running short of bird vaccine--people can debate if that's a good thing or a bad thing. It was caused by the illegal breeding of ducks.

Hundreds of dead birds were found in Sri Lanka, but local officials are saying it was salmonella.

As seen first in our comments section last night, an Indonesian scientist is saying there is "convincing" evidence flies can spread the bird flu.

Malaysia has issued a bird flu alert due to the presence of the disease in its neighbors. There are no reported cases that I am aware of.

Excellent AP story hitting one on of my favorite angles about the flu: how closely it follows and exposes our cultural practices. This one is about the practice of taking ducks by boat to feed in recently harvested rice fields.

The UN says TET/Lunar New Year requires extra vigilance.

Effect Measure decries mixed messages from International officials on what is really going on with bird flu. Is it a seasonal blip or a real change?

ProMed on migrating birds--note interesting comment on the importance of Greenland.

US officials told the US Senate that people aren't worried enough about the bird flu.

Surveillance shows no H5N1 in wild birds in Minnesota.

Hawaii gets permission to import H5N1.

Lincoln County (ME) is conducting bird flu prep.

Kansas State University and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment have set up a bird flu hotline.

Here's a hand lotion that is said to be able to kill H5N1.


At 7:39 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Quite an array of good information on your blog today. The one article that I want to comment on is, “US not scared enough of bird flu, Senate told” and the underlying reasons this situation exists.

First and foremost, the reason most individuals are not prepared is due to lack of leadership, visibility and poor communications from our key government officials.

Neither Dr. Julie Gerberding, Acting Director of the CDC, nor Dr. Anthony Fauci, Head of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, nor for that matter, the HHS Surgeon General, Dr. Kenneth P. Moritsugu, have been successful in getting the right message out. Or any consistent message for that matter. In fact, the Surgeon General of the US is the head of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corp and, ex officio, is supposed to be the leading spokesperson on matters of health in the US.

Michael Leavitt is Secretary of the HHS, he leads the nation’s efforts to protect the health of all Americans and provide essential human services to those in need. He manages one of the largest civilian departments in the federal government, with a budget that accounts for almost one out of every four federal dollars and more than 67,000 employees.

Dr. Rajeev Venkayya is the Special Assistant to the President for Biodefense at the White House Homeland Security Council. Appointed by President Bush in May 2005, he directs the development of policies to prevent, protect and respond to bioterrorism and naturally occurring biological threats such as avian influenza and SARS, as well as the medical consequences of weapons of mass destruction. His office is responsible for coordination U.S. Government preparedness and response activities for pandemic influenza, including the development of the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza and the recently-released Implementation Plan.

Does anyone even know what these five very important US public health leaders look like or can you recognize their faces ? I couldn’t even tell you one time they were even on any TV program whatsoever. I ask again, where and when will these individuals convey their unified message ? So far, all five have seemed to be defaulting communications to the United Nation's WHO and FAO. Simply testifying with your minions before a congressional committee is not leadership. Simply, the critical message of preparation and concern inside the government, is not getting out to the public.

This all reminds me of the maiden voyage of the Titanic. Everybody is busy rearranging the deck chairs, listening to the orchestra, while the captain of the vessel sees no need for enough life boats or to conduct an emergency drill.



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