Thursday, March 08, 2007

March 8 Flu Update

In South Korea, there's a new avian outbreak and a "suspected" case.

There's a fresh outbreak in Afghanistan.

Helen Branswell writes on the GSK vaccine...drift protection means it could be stockpiled.

Dr. Theresa Tam of the Public Health Agency of Canada said the results are encouraging, but they don't yet prove giving a person one dose of H5N1 vaccine in advance of a pandemic would protect the person against serious illness or death.

The EU has a report that says it is the best prepared in the world...and it won't be ready for three years.

CIDRAP with the world report, including Laos and China's denial.

Roche has given all 5,300 of its US employees Tamiflu in case a pandemic breaks out.

ProMed with news from a number of countries---only new report is from Iran, which has some suspected Avian flu cases.

ProMed with its promised analysis of the flu emerging from Guangdong. Notes some quibbles, but says it does identify this province as ground zero for disease control measures.

The BBC reports that food passed through the British turkey farm while bird flu was there.

Dr. Robin Robinson of HHS will speak at a flu summit next week.

Dubai remains vigilant against the bird flu.

Intellectual Property Watch says that the Indonesian stance is trouble for the patenting of medicines.

A Pro-Poultry site has a bird flu educational handbook.

The Flathead City-County Health Department in Montana says their pandemic plan keeps improving.

Baker University in Kansas held a pandemic summit for its school. They have a task force working on the issue.

In Columbia, MO, local people know they will have to be self-reliant in a pandemic.

Promed with the low-down on bar headed goose breeding.

Effect Measure on plans in Indonesia to continue to study bird flu in cats.


At 10:03 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Lots of tidbits in your articles today to comment on.

It should be really interesting to see the results of tests on the guy “Kim”, the potentially H5N1 infected South Korean, who participated in the prior culling of poultry and swine. Given the fact that the article states he was wearing PPE, given both bird flu vaccine and Tamiflu during and after the culling, and is now several weeks later showing signs of meningitis and suspected H5N2 infection, I would think is cause for concern, for obvious reasons. Something is wrong with the picture here.

Helen Branswell, of course wrote another good article. While I agree wholeheartedly with you on your statement that the GSK vaccine, with its proprietary adjuvant, should be stockpiled (most definitely, vice the Sanofi vaccine), the real issue comes down to guesswork and bet hedging. Any country with the financial means and brains, would stock enough GSK vaccine in advance, for all three basic prominent subtypes of avian influenza A viruses, each of which have nine potential subtypes: H5, H7 and H9. This way, in by view, you’ve done everything possible to pre-prime the populations in advance if you have to. Talk about a superior arsenal of vaccine…you would have it with my plan.

The Irish Medical Times article made me chuckle a little bit. If the EU is “the best prepared area in the world to deal with an influenza pandemic, but still needs up to three years before it can cope fully” – where does that put the rest of us, at the back of the pandemic bus ?

The CIDRAP article about the Chinese rejection of the research report on Guangdong province being the source of H5N1 dispersions, reminded me of some communist jokes going around: “Is it true that because of communism, products can now be ordered by telephone ? Yes, it’s true, but they will be delivered by TV”. Better still is the one: “Is it true in communist China there is no KGB ? Yes, it is true, people have learned to arrest themselves”.

I think many in the world believe that China would deny a one mile asteroid plowing into Beijing City in broad daylight during the opening Olympic ceremonies.

Regarding the article about all 5,300 Roche workers being given Tamiflu in advance, I think this is a great PR move by the company. This will save these people the minor inconvenience of having to drive their pickup trucks through the front doors of local pharmacies during a Cat 5 pandemic, and trying to find Tamiflu, like the rest of poor schmucks.

FAO Peter Roeder’s statement in the ProMed article, “there is no evidence that cats are of any special significance in the maintenance and transmission of avian flu”, indicates that he hasn’t seen or read Revere’s good writeup on Indonesia’s plans to study bird flu in cats. Maybe Peter should read Effective Measure more often like the rest of us, since the WHO is his employer and we indirectly pay his salary. It's called "getting up to speed".

Of the three “preparedness articles”, the Flathead City, County Health Department article from Montana was absolutely outstanding and insightful. Careful reading of their planning activities indicates some pretty comprehensive and thoughtful analysis and in-depth work. They deserve an “A” for their efforts so far. The Columbia, Mo preparedness article, which stresses self-reliance, was a close runner up – I’ll give them a “B+”.

And of course, I’ve saved the best comment for last.

When I read the Pro-Poultry site article, I just about choked on my handful of Chicken McNuggets, and had to set them aside, when I read the presidents’ concern and quote…

”We don’t need to be hostages to bird flu. We can have a better life, and so can the birds”.

As my father used to say… “different strokes, for different folks”.



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home