February 7 Flu UpdateA second vet in UK is being tested for bird flu symptoms.
An MP says Britain should provide some of its Tamiflu stock to poultry workers in Suffolk (note incorrect use of the word vaccine.)
The cull in Britain is over...now fingers are crossed that the virus did not spread.
There is now an outbreak in Pakistan, but the government says it is nothing to worry about.
ProMed on the outbreak in Pakistan.
The US Embassy in Indonesia has warned US Citizens to stay away from cats because they can carry H5N1. This is an unusual warning that could portend that there is something going on that has been underplayed.
Yesterday's controversy was over the Indonesian samples. Indonesia is refusing to share samples gathered in its countries--and for some solid reasons. There was also dispute over whether the country had an exclusive deal with Baxter to use the samples. Helen Branswell today says the company says No.
Under the memorandum of understanding, Indonesia will provide strains of the H5N1 virus circulating in the country and Baxter will offer technical expertise to produce the vaccine, said Indonesia's Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari.
Experts in this story say Indonesia's actions could slow efforts for a vaccine.
Effect Measure blog this story, noting the good arguments on both sides. Here's a potential solution.
What's the solution? Here's one suggestion. Influenza vaccine is too important to be in private hands. This episode is a good example of what happens. WHO should set up a dozen or so geographically distributed international vaccine institutes whose task it is to manufacture and provide at cost seasonal and pandemic vaccines for their regions. The vaccine would be distributed according to need to countries in the region of the institute.
ProMed on two new cases in Indonesia, noting that one is exceptional because the woman reportedly caught the disease from a wild bird.
The new US budget has pandemic prep in it, but cuts biosecurity.
ProMed on the new case in Egypt.
FAO is confident Britain can handle bird flu outbreak.
GSK says it will begin human vaccine trials in the second quarter.
Nigerian citizens are educated on how to stay safe from bird flu. We have no idea what challenges are entailed in these issues, across cultures.
ARE you one of those who drink fresh eggs? If your answer is yes, you had better desist from doing so until further notice to prevent getting infected with the dreaded bird flu virus.
New Zealand said yesterday it's pandemic prep was best in the world. Not so fast, say some. What about a Command Centre.
Forbes reminds people of the obvious--bird flu has not gone away.
UNICEF is spending money to fight the bird flu in Kazakhstan.
More on the CIDRAP business summit. The key question is, how do you prepare for something when you don't know--and we really mean DON'T KNOW--what could happen and what you might have to prepare for.
He took his "fog of pandemic preparedness" concept from the theory of the "fog of war," a state of ambiguity soldiers can find themselves in when they doubt their own capabilities and feel unsure of their adversary's capabilities and intentions.
Pandemic planning can produce its own haze as planners grapple with issues like ensuring their supply chain or determining government's role. "We talk about what we might do or can do, but we really don't know," Osterholm said. "There are so many uncertainties."
--clipShining some light into the pandemic cloud, however, is the recent document on community mitigation measures by the US Department of Health and Human Services (see links below). "You don't want to have a [pandemic planning] policy inconsistent with this document," Osterholm said.
Consumer Reports answers bird flu questions.