Tuesday, February 20, 2007

February 20 Flu Update

Flu has been found in 19 of Nigeria's 36 regions, causing a worsening crisis.

CIDRAP has this story as well.

Interesting local article from Nigeria--scolds local people not to avoid culling.

Bird flu continues to pop up in Russia.

ProMed on Russia's response to the outbreaks--vaccination, tighter rules.

Sick birds in Pakistan have caused the zoo to close.

Ukraine brags about having no bird flu in birds.

Predictably, Ukraine is no longer accepting poultry from Russia.

OIE has given Africa 18.000,000 doses of avian vaccine. (So, I guess we decided the vaccination was a good idea).

Forbes says that flu prep lags around the world, lists tasks governments are expected to take.

Companies are reminded that, given the Matthews case, that they should all think about continuity planning.

A report blames factory farms for the bird flu.

People in Russia are reminded there is no vaccine for bird flu.

African paper wonders if, in a pandemic, the first world might need to go to the third world for help.

Revere on the announcement that stricken Turkey company in Britain is laying off workers due to low sales.


At 7:02 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


First things first. I mentioned yesterday that I would contact my uncle Ivan in Moscow about the situation there. He did respond to my questions and copies of the news articles I sent to him, and this is what he said: the interesting translation follows…

“What we are hearing and seeing on local TV and on the news is the same as news reports you sent to me I think. The doctors checked large numbers of citizens in Domededovo, Odintsovo, Podolsk, Naro-Forminsk, Taldom, Vlokolamsk, Adygeya, and Zaraisk, as well as the towns of Ramenskoye and Yershovskiye Dachi, Lytkarino, and Kaluga and (hard to tell which are districts, regions or cities without looking at a map) for bird flu sickness. It started at Sadovad birdy market, but it’s shut down now, nobody there but police guarding empty place. There is being reported in news two sick people with bird flu, a farmer and his mother only. The mother is well (better?), but no further reports on son, who is the farmer. News reports he very sick, maybe dying. These are only sick people with bird flu reported, no other cases that I hear about in news. The rumors by news people are infected sick chickens or birds were trucked (transported, hauled?) from the Krasnodar region about 1,000 kilometers south from here, or Iran, or Azerbaiijan, where there has been much bird sickness for last two years. Everybody knows about this so why big surprise, every body trying to figure out. Now criminal investigations and charges being reported by police against many guilty people involved in trucking and selling infected birds, which are violations of Russian law. I do not see panic by people like you question, but the news is on TV and radios, and in newspapers every day and they warn everybody to report sick birds to the veterinary inspectors and unusual (strange?) illness to Emergency Situations Ministry immediately. People are little nervous, but not many citizens inside Moscow have live chickens, or geese or turkeys, since it is big city and they not worry. People get flu sickness all the time and how you know difference from bird flu? If more citizens get sick from bird flu and die, then people start getting very much nervous. In our case (situation?) in Moscow, I think the government takes same approach that would be taken in the United States, and from what I understand from Russian news, same thing has been done in other countries where sick birds have been found. I get feeling (impression?) that Russia does not want to be the place where big pandemic from chickens to humans start and spread all over world. When bird flu first reported it was very difficult to buy chickens in the markets, they all gone, then it gets better they back in markets. We did have a chicken for supper yesterday. Maybe our last one for a while, who knows. ”

A brief comment on your Oxford Analytica study article, “Flu Preparedness Still Lags Globally, which I found very informative, since nearly every country in the world has been given fair warning about a pandemic, multiple times over. Given the fact that the world is long overdue for a pandemic, coupled with the problems with Tamiflu effectiveness, lack of means to produce adequate suitable vaccine matches, and multiple virus strains and mutations – it would seem that more countries and individuals would prepare in earnest.

In my opinion, it doesn’t take a genius rocket scientist to figure out that if a severe pandemic emerges, the Law of Unintended Consequences (which is really not a scientific law and is also called the Law of Unforeseen Consequences) kicks in, and unforeseen extremely disruptive events like described in the article will occur. People and governments better have contingency plans for the following to happen: a public that rejects government unrest, widespread civil unrest, even illnesses and deaths on work premises. This is why it behooves everyone to shore up their communications and IT procedures now, as well as stockpile essential supplies and medicines – essentially to shelter in place for some extended time. Should a pandemic reach the scale of Cat 5, 1918 or beyond, disruptions of nearly all aspects of societies will be seen.

Henry Niman say’s the situation best: “Some versions of H5N1 are milder than others. If one of them prevails, any resulting pandemic might be more like 1957 or 1968. If a more deadly version prevails, it might 1918 all over”.



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