Tuesday, March 20, 2007

March 19 Flu Update

A 2-year old boy in Egypt has the bird flu. Said to be stabilized with Tamiflu.

ProMed has this story as well. Note mod comment below:

A significant feature of these apparently unrelated cases is that the 2 patients are residents of Aswan in Lower Egypt, whereas the majority of Egyptian cases have occurred in Upper Egypt. Although Egypt now has the largest number of confirmed human cases outside of Asia, mortality at 50 percent is much lower than the 77.8 percent experienced in Indonesia and closer to the overall global 60.1 percent, possibly as a result of prompt resort to Tamiflu treatment.

A 21 year old woman died of bird flu in Indonesia.

There's also a new outbreak in Thailand.

Bird flu is also said to be spreading in Nigeria.

CIDRAP ties all of the above up in one tidy package.

This report says Japan has detected H5N1 in an Eagle.

Kits are being developed for quicker diagnosis of bird flu.

Russia claims to have developed a new anti-viral drug.

VOA with the official version of what is being done for bird flu protection.

People in India are reminded they are vulnerable to the bird flu.

Bird sellers are happy in Pakistan, because the bird flu has receded.

An outreach specialist at the Summit County (Akron, OH) health department is talking to people about the bird flu.

Media report of the recent multi-nation flu exercise in Asia.

Charles Doherty, who won the nobel prize for influenza work, is now working on H5N1 and AIDS.

A scientist from Generex is going to give a "state of the vaccine" speech at a conference.

At the big meeting in Turkey of flu docs, the docs backed vaccine access for poor countries, as noted in the Indonesian dispute.

Revere blogs this meeting...notes high value, wonders when the group will share what it has learned to a wider audience.

Via an alert reader, Michigan recently participated in a drill to see how fast they could generate volunteers in an emergency.

"Through our MI Volunteer Registry, Michigan now has the ability to immediately get the right volunteers to the places where their specific skills are needed most," said Ball. "Bottom line, that means helping people in need and saving lives."


At 7:50 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Wow. You kicked up your output into overdrive.

As always, it seems rather interesting that we should see daily outbreak reports of humans and poultry by the usual players – Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Myanmar, Egypt, Nigeria and Laos, but of course, not a peep from the worlds most populous country. Only silence and lots of Ramen noodles so far. Only continued rumors.

The portable bird flu kits article, and the new Russian drug article (Triazoverin), both are examples of the new technologies being driven by the spread of H5N1. My only comment is that both new applications need to be able to accommodate the other type avian influenza Type A strains emerging on the horizon: H7N2,3,7 and H9N2, and H10N7. Hong Kong is reporting today in the news that a 9 month old baby has been infected with H9N2 influenza. Those that think H5N1 is the only pandemic concern, are going to be surprised, I believe.

The VOA article was kind of interesting. Notice, the statement from the commentator, that, “Some experts say bird flu is out of control in parts of Egypt, Indonesia, and Nigeria”, is never answered or even addressed. In another interesting part of the article, it points out the message that Uganda is promoting to its people, essentially, “not to be afraid of farm birds, and continue eating chicken” – in other words, look the other way folks.

The article about the Pakistani commercial bird market vendors brought to my mind how the “free enterprise system” and the capitalistic law of supply and demand, really works. Sheikh Nadeem and Muhammand Imran better enjoy their profits in this occupation while they can, because eventually, due to H5N1 they will be out of business. Times are a changing, boys…you might oughta consider the shoe business or something less contagious to your clientele.

When I read the article about the energetic Krisi Kato in Akron Ohio, delivery talks and information about avian influenza, I thought: what a shame this kind of missionary work has to be done by volunteers like herself. Where’s the state and federal government in all this ? Where’s the leadership ? Answer: counting the days until they can collect their pensions. (I know this sounds like the pot calling the kettle black, but I have to tell the truth). I will say, it's beginning to look like the WHO and the HHS are the driving force behind pandemic preparation these days. The CDC is still bumbling around trying to determine what its mission really is in all this.

I noticed several quite interesting points in the article about the six nation Asian table-top exercise, which approach a hypothetical pandemic in three stages. I was quite surprised to see the topics of “population movement, border controls, quarantines, and risk communication and perception” discussed openly. I have a feeling that these six Asian nations ( Cambodia, China, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand) are starting to realize the severity of the situation there and what kind of extreme measures will be required to contain a pandemic within their borders. I have a feeling it involve quite a few AK-47 Kalashnikov’s and roadblocks. Also, I wonder why there hasn’t been a similar type exercise conducted in North America, with the US, Canada and Mexico ? Heck, if the Palestinians, Israelies and Jordanians can conduct a similar exercise, why can’t the rest of us ? Something is wrong with this picture in North America. Lack of leadership again.

So, the flu docs meeting in Turkey struck a deal to “resume sharing samples under a framework giving developing nations access to vaccines”, I see. Interesting, now we really know why it has been a closed door session. I seldom disagree with Revere on topics, but on this topic, I believe he/she has absolutely missed the key issue and boats entirely. This meeting is not being held behind closed doors due to “encouraging doctors who may be working on scientific articles to share their findings before publications”, far from it. Doctors and scientists are not sharing their information primarily out of government policies and direction, and threat of retribution. Its all about economics, politics and power and national security. Not about a bunch of lousy scientific papers – that’s peanuts in this game of high stakes winner-take-all pandemic monopoly. Don't ever think otherwise.

Your last article about Michigan participating in a national exercise for mobilizing emergency volunteers, started me wondering who the other three participating states were. I also started wondering why the federal government doesn’t insist that all states initiate an electronic volunteer registry system, similar to Michigan’s ? Sounds like a pretty good idea to me – I wish I had come up with it.

But, there are obstacles to this great idea: like Florida and Georgia, for example… they don’t even want to buy Tamiflu for their citizens.

Maybe real estate in these two states will be pretty cheap for the rest of us, if a severe pandemic strikes. You think ? I always wanted a nice vacation home on the Florida coast, but couldn’t afford it.

New Orleans is out of the question. I truly think they are going to get hammered again in the future, so anything we've invested there will be pretty much wasted money. (Just my opinion, I'm sure many would disagree).


At 9:06 PM, Blogger Orange said...

Wulf--thanks much for the comments. I saw the H9N2 story today.

The state tests did not get much publicty. We live in Michigan, and I did not see it anywhere.


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