Sunday, January 28, 2007

January 27 Flu Update

Official spokesman in Egypt says no human-human transmission in recent cases.

ProMed on recent cases in Nigeria, which may be H-H. Note mod comment on incubation periods.

A recent person in Azerbaijan who was a suspected human flu case is not---AG minister.

Second outbreak in Japan is confirmed.

More claims that cases in Thailand are not bird flu.

Philippines will begin thermal scanning of people in the airport.

A common problem: farmers in Nigeria are not impressed by their compensation for culled birds.

Flu training is being prepared in Kashmir.

Revere on a recent study that says that presenteeism--when people go to work sick--had bigger costs than absenteeism. This would really be true during a pandemic, when people really should stay home.


At 12:52 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Two general observations about your news articles today, on this bright sunny morning…

First I find it rather fascinating to suddenly read all of these communique’s from “official public spokemen” in infected countries , for example like China, Azerbaijan, Thailand and Egypt, that seemingly report, all is suddenly well. These four countries in particular have miraculously been able to exert their power over the avian influenza and are close to conquering it. Who’s next with a official denial statement – Nigeria, Indonesia ?

Example: China, Vice Premier Hui Liangyu – “No bird flu outbreaks among poultry reported in China for 127 days…thanks to correct leadership of the central government and coordination by local authorities”.

Example: Thailand: Public Health Ministry Dr Suphan Srithamma –“As of Friday, 251 people from 42 provinces had been tested for bird flu and none so far had tested positive… only ordinary cough and influenza”.

Example: Egypt: Ministry of Health Abdul-Rahman Shahin – “”The recent change in the bird flu virus in Egypt did not involve change into human-to-human infection mode”.

Example; Azerbaijan: Agriculture Minister Ismet Abbasov – “”After the examination the officers of the State Veterinary Service under Agriculture Ministry and Health Ministry laboratory came to the conclusion that the boy has no bird flu virus”. Later the Veterinary Service and Health Ministry made a statement that “there is no bird flue virus in Azerbaijan”.

In my viewpoint, these kind of official statements seem to be very good self serving examples of where suspect information is being openly and routinely used to protect what their governments consider national security interests. I do not believe governments and officials have learned much from the history and media reports of the 1918 pandemic. Denial and obfuscation of facts will not solve their internal H5N1 problems nor diminish the impacts - maybe short term yes, but in the long term, no.

And finally, Revere’s report on his newly coined phenomenon, “Presenteeism”, which generated a lot of discussion on sick days and benefits on the Effective Measure blog site. Having read all the comments thoroughly, in my opinion, people in general are vastly misconstruing a pandemic situation. They seem to be focused on how many sick days people should be entitled to, workers benefits and being forced to work when they may be contagious and infectious to others, and what the implications might be under current working paradigm conditions – in other words, focusing on minor inconveniences. Temporary economic and social inconveniences may well be the case during a normal flu epidemic (we’ve all experienced this first hand), but during an actual pandemic involving a highly infectious and lethal super-virus – the discussion becomes rather moot. Nobody goes anyplace for awhile and the situation centers around basic survival of yourself and your family. A world-wide pandemic situation is not about material possessions, preserving 401K’s, the internet going down, or the inconvenience of your children missing school days.

It could be about surviving to see another day. That's what plagues are all about.


At 1:03 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Follow up comment-

Unfortunately, as soon as I hit the transmit button, the news came over the wire that the 14-year-old Azeri boy in mention, treated for suspected bird flu in a medical institute in the capital, Baku, died on Sunday before his diagnosis could be finally established, a Health Ministry spokesman said. According to information from the institute, the boy died today in the morning," Anar Kadyrly said. "Azeri specialists suspected he had bird flu, but three tests conducted in Baku showed he had acute pneumonia." Kadyrly said the boy's blood sample had been sent for analysis to a laboratory in London endorsed by the WHO.

I submit to all of you – what do you believe ?


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