Thursday, March 29, 2007

March 29 Flu Update

CIDRAP on two more suspected cases in Indonesia, and confirmation of the death in China. No known contact with sick chickens is reported, though it sounds like they are working on inventing one. (Did I say that?)

WHO's update from China.

ProMed on Indonesia and China.

Vietnam is concerned about the return of the bird flu, and is looking to vaccinate 90% of its poultry.

Kuwait has culled 1.1 million birds.

Officials in Egypt seem to be happy with the flu response: they are reporting progress on survival rates.

The border between India and Bangladesh is on high alert.

The Health Minister from Brunei attended bird flu meetings in Jakarta.

In Paris, World Travel and Tourism officials met to hear from David Nabarro on bird flu. (Nabarro has uncharacteristically failed to make headlines with this visit).

Birdlife International says it is trade, not migration.

CIDRAP on the study of high-dose Tamiflu.

Baxter says its vaccine studies are "promising."

They are making plans to fight bird flu in Belize.


At 6:42 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


When I read your first informative CIDRAP article, which recapped the two new suspected human cases of H5N1 in Indonesia, and summarized the 16 year old’s death in China – it is very apparent that “under” as “un’ reporting is occurring in both locations. The WHO official news release on the China death is, as expected, provide only a pretty flimsy and hollow explanation: no contact with sick birds, close contacts being medically monitored, and as they say “all remain well”. At least the ProMed article mentions that the Chinese attempted to unsuccessfully perform a “medical operation” on the lad, but failed to save his life. We can only guess what kind of emergency medical procedure they attempted, but presumably it was probably another H5N1 antibody blood transfusion experiment, involving the same Anhui Province survivor from a few months ago.

What next - accupuncture ?

Tomorrow, Orange, I will tell you and your many readers what I truly believe is really occurring in Indonesia, and it will not be good, I guarantee. I am waiting until you cycle in the latest news out of there, probably tomorrow, concerning the physician who is being treated for H5N1 infection. I will also include comments about why they are suddenly conducting trials there and “doubling” up on their Tamiflu doses.

I see from your Kuwaiti article, they have decided to cull a whopping 1.1M chickens in the next few days. We can only conclude that someone must be really worried there, or once again, the true situation isn’t being revealed. I do commend them for their aggresive action they are taking - all they have to do is raise the price of oil a few bucks and the chicken loss is "covered" in a day or two.

The true story behind the decline in H5N1 human deaths in Egypt, seems really to be due to a less virulent strain, than to better surveillance and medication procedures. I guess the Egyptians are entitled to claim credit for the reduction, but lets all hope they don’t screw up their $ 450M poultry vaccination campaign – at least that should give them some temporary reprieve from the mounting number of illnesses and deaths.

Of course, as your article on Bangladesh points out, everybody is watching for some kind of assurance that their situation doesn’t worsen. Should the poultry deaths and infection expand into India and get established, and human infections start popping up in the Bangladeshi hospitals – this will end up very, very, very, VERY bad indeed.

I thought your article about the UN sponsored “World Travel and Tourism” meeting in Paris, quite fascinating. If there is one industry that is guaranteed to crater, once a pandemic emerges, it’s the travel and tourism industry. Quite simply: nobody will be traveling anywhere, will even want to travel anywhere, or will be allowed to travel anywhere. Pretty simple in my mind and really not much to plan for, except a trip to the unemployment office – you take it fully on the old chin.

I really thought there was some substance to the “BirdLife International” article, until I reached the final paragraph and the author quoted the NGO “Grain” organization (again). While I always commend you Orange for your well balanced approach to posting articles – I really despise organizations who have questionable ulterior motives and disguised agenda’s. I flat think the article and author is incorrect. Free-ranging poultry are indeed part of the major problem of the spread of H5N1, as well as migratory birds, and illegal unfettered trade and commerce of fowl, across borders. It's a modern influenza package deal.

Lastly, your article on Belize authorities formulating plans to fight bird flu, looked pretty innocuous enough, until I spotted the sub-header, which reads, “ Like the scientific theory called global warming, bird flu is one of those impending disasters that we are told is not a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’ “.

As someone we know, always keeps saying in the news…

“This is an inconvenient truth”.



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