Thursday, March 01, 2007

March 1 Flu Update--In Like a Lion

As predicted in our comments thread, there is a reported human case in China.

Two people in Afghanistan are suspected of having bird flu.

For the first time in three days, there are no new cases in Kuwait.

Bird flu has come back to Southern Vietnam (in birds).

Japan declares its bird flu outbreak over.

ProMed also has the OIE report on an outbreak in Myanmar.

CIDRAP reports on confirmed new cases in Egypt and China.

ProMed has similar news.

Indonesia and WHO continue to work on their dispute.

Back to the graveyard...could an exhumed British body yield clues to the Spanish flu?

The Diocese of Toronto (Anglican) has provided a resource guide to its parishes.

Five public health directors talked at Yale about the "impending" pandemic.

Brampton, ON also has a pandemic plan.

The Town Council in Middlebury VT also has approved a pandemic plan.

Tier one begins with health care workers, support personnel and vaccinators. Next are high-risk patients with one high risk condition, patients six months to 64 years-old with two high risk conditions and people six months-old or older who were hospitalized in the past year with influenza, pneumonia or a high-risk condition.

A meta analysis of 1918 flu studies reveals...the confounding and the ambiguous...

"Today, nearly a century after the 1918 influenza pandemic, its mysteries remain largely unexplained," says Dr. Fauci, NIAID director. "Much work remains to be done, by scientists as well as by historians and other scholars, with regard to the many unanswered questions surrounding this historic pandemic. These studies must be part of our preparedness efforts as we face the prospect of a future influenza pandemic."
A pandemic drill in Longview TX was completed successfully.

Avian influenza is coming to the Iowa Futures Market.

Though not from the flu, Revere has this article on the cytokine storm, the suspected culprit in many flu deaths.


At 6:37 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Nice set of articles as usual. Your very first article describing the unrelenting march of H5N1 throughout China and the Asian countries was the most prominent in my mind, for various reasons.

Peter Cordingly of the WHO, states that “without any doubt Indonesia is ground zero globally for bird flu”, which no doubt is the authors belief, based on the number of human cases to date there, the expansive geography of the area, the culture, perpetual poverty, population density, large number of unregulated poultry and animals, as well as the government apathy, corruption and ineptness that’s being displayed. In my view though, the entire contiguous area surrounding and including China, is undoubtedly ground zero: China, Burma, Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. The odds are, if a pandemic erupts, it’s highly probable it will be from one of these countries in this large densely populated region.

The other statement attributed to Peter Cordingly in the article that caught my attention is, “ We’re careful not to tell people that this is out of control, because it’s not out of control”. Interesting and debatable statement which I believed will be proven wrong, over time. I believe the captain of the Titanic said the very same thing as his ship was listing. I also believe the President of the US is saying the same thing about Iraq at the moment – “it’s not out of control”. Congress asserts that illegal immigration is not out of control. In my opinion, the fact that H5N1 is still firmly entrenched in these eight critical densely packed countries, with additional human cases developing monthly, and ever increasing larger numbers of dying and inflected poultry still being reported weekly – indicates to the contrary, it is far from being in control. I would describe the situation better as “H5N1 is running unfettered, under its own inertia”. I guess it depends solely on what ones definition of “out of control” means.

I always get a chuckle out of what I call the “we are ready with our plan” articles, whether it’s Yale, a town council in Vermont, or Brampton Ontario. When will these people learn that a preparing for a pandemic involves much more than a declaration and paper document ? Did anyone take a really real close look at the “Two-Tier” approach to vaccination priorities in the Middlebury Vermont article ? It’s completely unworkable and utterly useless. How in the world, during a pandemic catastrophe, is anyone in their right mind going to be able to separate legitimate HCW’s, from support personnel, from pregnant women, from “house-hold contacts of the immune compromised”, from “pandemic health responders ?

Unfortunately, this kind of faulty prioritization, will cause violence and chaos. Once the healthy 25-60 year olds realize they don’t fit into one of the pre-declared categories, that they don’t fall into one of these arbitrary classifications for a vaccine that will save a persons life – that’s when the Smith & Wesson’s, Glock’s and the Kalashnikov brothers will step to the head of the vax line to demand their immunization. That’s the way it will work. Towns like Middlebury Vermont better seriously revise their vaccination priority plans before a pandemic emerges, or local people will do it for them, once mass vaccination commences.

Now the “meta analysis” of the 1918 flu studies article: both Drs Morens and Fauci are quoted in the article as predicting that “the relative number of deaths would be substantially lower than that which occurred in 1918”, if a pandemic were to occur today. All I can say is that both esteemed gentlemen need to get with the intel community, State Dept and other knowledgeable folks in the DOD, who have analyzed the situations and scenarios to death. The opinion, in some very expert circles, is 180 degrees in the opposite direction to their conclusions. I am afraid we have a real serious disconnect on this matter, amongst the “experts” and there is grave reluctance in some of the camps to step forward due to national security reasons.

Finally the exhumation of British diplomat: Yes, let’s dig it up, examine it thoroughly to see if can shed some light on the different mutative waves of the 1918/1919 pandemic. The eyes are more exact witnesses than the ears.

Who knows – further DNA analysis may prove that the poor chap is the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s baby, also.



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