Sunday, February 25, 2007

February 25 Flu Update

A first human case is suspected in Laos. Note ProMed mod comment...

During the past several days, there have been reports of suspected human cases of avian influenza from Indonesia, the Philippines, Russia, Turkey and the UK, but none have been confirmed. Although there have been recent outbreaks of poultry disease in Laos as recently as mid-2006, it seems unlikely that this single human will be confirmed positive, as there appears to have been no contact between the patient and poultry. Further information is awaited.
Avian cases discovered in a zoo in Kuwait.

ProMed on Kuwait and Pakistan.

The government confirms bird flu in Afghanistan.

Russia finds bird flu in new region.

War of the Worlds? Hoax email purporting BBC confirmation of human cases in Sussex causes concern if not panic.

Egypt has banned duckling imports to fight bird flu.
A school in Oxford has banned its pet chickens due to bird flu fears.

In Fredericksburg, VA, a new health educator is charged with educating the public on pandemic flu.

Parents in Indonesia are taking their message directly to the grassroots that they say are not being hit by government flu programs.

Effect Measure on an email from a tabletop simulation in the Maldives being sent out as "real." The government was quick to respond....would they have been so quick in a real pandemic.


At 6:33 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Your ProMed report on the 15 year old girl in Laos, brings to mind how many young people are not being reported ill with H5N1. It is becoming very noticeable in these daily reports, no matter what country it is in. Secondly, one can only hope that in Laos, their surveillance of the 7800 households in 20 villages for H5N1 infections in humans, is accurate and complete. Big question mark on that one, because I am puzzled about how an individual can be confirmed with the H5-type virus, but not be clear if it is the H5N1 virus yet. Sounds more like the non-officialo non-disclosure policies are holding firm in Asia.

As for the nut-case Dave Watson who fabricated the bird flu hoax in Great Britain, my solution to these type problems would be a stiff fine and incarceration in jail for a month or two with Bubba. What’s next – a terrorism, bio-terror, or 911 hoax ? Where does irresponsibility in society cease and responsibility for one’s actions start ? A “spoof e-mail” claiming numerous people are dead or dying, for any reason, does not amuse most normal people. Why some person’s brains seem to be wired and perpetually stuck on infantile ideas, is beyond my comprehension.

The news about the Islamabad and Kuwaiti zoos, as well as the Pegasus Primary school in Oxford, England banning chickens on site, indicates to me that societies all around the world are going to have to adjust their habits and cultural approaches to a few things - especially where children and large numbers of people congregate near live birds. For example, I eventually see far stricter rules and bio-security measures being implemented in the future when it comes to zoos, petty zoo’s for children, county fairs involving poultry, country feedstores, 4-H projects, rodeo’s, and even personal pet hobbies involving parrots, pigeons and falcons. Easter traditions of gifting ducks and small chickens to youngsters may even become a thing of the past. I’m surprised the Canadian and US Departments of Agriculture haven’t developed sanitation and security guidelines and measures before now. We may be entering a time in the near future when the only time people should come in contact with poultry, will be at a KFC fast food joint.

The Revere article was a little disappointing. The best and most interesting points and comments were in the commentaries by bloggers. My opinion of accurate and timely bird flu reporting and an emerging pandemic, hasn’t changed: all of us that haunt the internet will recognize the signs, long before the government reacts or acknowledges it – by perhaps a week or two. The internet is the instant 24/7 best method of communication ever invented. The only problem is “information overload”, and recognizing and separating what is important, relevant, or trivial, against the superficial. I have no doubt whatsoever. that those who are internet vigilant and savvy on the H5N1 topic, will have a “final preparation advantage”. In my view, those who ignore or dismiss the scenario of a worldwide pandemic as impossible or improbable, might as well start getting prepared now to end up like a Katrina victim.

And finally, to 27 year old Liane Sowinski, the new Health Director of Fredericksburg, Virginia, I give my best acknowledgement – for a young person, she sounds like a natural born leader and enthusiastic motivator. What a difference one person can make in this world if they so choose.

Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it.

(Quote: from Marion Anderson, the author)



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