Saturday, March 10, 2007

March 9 Flu Update

Reports continue to come in of spreading bird flu in Afghanistan.

There's a third outbreak in Hanoi.

The UAE says it will ban live poultry products to help fight bird flu.

Britain is lifting its bird flu restrictions.

Training on detecting bird flu was conducted in SE Asia and India.

Revere looks at how the travel industry looks ahead to bird flu.

ProMed with a new outbreak in Russia, and news from Vietnam, Laos and Hong Kong.

There have been dozens of stories about the body Britain is exhuming to fight bird flu. I generally have not linked to them, but here is an example.

Ditto the reams of stories on Tamiflu causing suicide. Here is an example.


At 12:14 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


The continuing reports of H5N1 infected poultry in the news, just in the three short months of 2007, in places like Great Britain, Turkey, Indonesia, Russia, all of Central and South Asia (but not China, mind you), Kuwait, Iran and Nigeria - is reminiscent of 2005 and 2006. It also tells me that many of the surveillance and control measures in these geographical places where the virus is firmly embedded, are primarily ineffective or indequate, and they continue to spawn new cycles of outbreaks, or waves, on a seasonal basis in the hemispheres.

As far as Britain lifting its restrictions and giving the “all clear” signal, it should be now very interesting to see if they adequately contained the virus. My own opinion on the entire turkey episode is simple: it was most likely transported in from Hungary, the public was not at risk and none of the contaminated meat entered the food chain. However, I am not convinced that DEFRA completely eliminated the virus. Reason: is quite logical, that we have seen far too many real instances and examples in other countries where similar events have occurred, and they have had reoccurrences down the road.

If strict societal and health disciplinarians like Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong who have extreme bio-secure approaches and procedures, can’t fully reach a “bird flu free” environment, it is doubtful in my mind that Britain (or even the US or Canda) will. It will re-emerge somewhere else in that country.

Your training and education article about India is rather interesting. India, with a total population roughly the equivalent to mainland China (over 1B each), better pay close attention to the H5N1 situation. If H5N1 breaks out wholesale in India, similar to the way it has in other IndoChina countries, I predict we would have a major significant event on our hands. Since the virus knows no geographical boundaries, first India’s 1B population would be exposed, then Pakistan’s 166M people, then Bangladesh’s 147M people. The dominoes will topple.

Of course, China won’t report any problems with H5N1, at least not until they have to mobilize their military again to tromp into the villages (like in 2005). Wink, wink there Beijing….you can shut down Boxun, but you can’t stop the news and rumors completely.

Revere, as usual, has a very thought provoking and stimulating article on the UNWTO “Global Code of Ethics for Tourism”, and he/she politely concludes that they are cynical about the unenforceable covenants and practicality of the measures. The UN most often lives in a dream world of make believe in my opinion. As pointed out accurately in some of the article’s comments, the US State Dept has been and will be in the future the number one source for travel information and warnings around the globe, in all countries. The State Dept has one of the best and most up-to-date information systems available, as evidenced by the daily Consular Affairs Bulletins and Warden Messages. Unfortunately, there will always be many US tourists who blindly and naively travel into dangerous areas of the globe, without any advance information of the area they are traveling to, and end up victims. Most international business travelers I know, are pretty savvy on security and health procedures – they have to be, and their companies or agencies have the means to extricate them out of reasonably bad situations quickly. So, I basically see the UNWTO code of ethics for tourism, another pretty useless piece of paper.

The article on Tamiflu side effects in Japan, and the continued bizarre deaths and irrational suicide events, like flying lessons and jumping in front of vehicles, got me wondering again. I think somebody ought to do a real serious study on the cumulative effects and side effects of Oseltamivir in the human body. Japan is notorious for the millions upon millions of Tamiflu courses it has casually prescribed over the last several years to its citizens, almost like jelly beans. I believe personally that there are far too many documented cases of unexplained behavioral reactions to this drug by healthy young individuals, so as there not to be a direct link between the events.

And the English aristocrat who is in the lead lined coffin they want to exhume and do the forensic analysis on ?

There can only be one plausible answer for the reason behind it all…

Geraldo Rivera. He loves this weird stuff.


At 12:37 PM, Blogger Orange said...


First, Geraldo. Very funny. Laughed out loud.

Second, I agree on Britain. I have often written that bird flu will meaningfully enter the industrialized world in a human, not a bird.


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