Saturday, April 21, 2007

April 20 Flu Update

China now says it will send samples to WHO from last year.

CIDRAP with a must read. The Private Sector steps in where government falls short. It profiles two companies that have programs to provide Tamiflu to its employees and families. Roche says 35o corporations have bought stockpiles.


UK farmers say that they have lost 25M pounds because the UK cannot be certified bird flu free.

Dr. Michael Greger spoke in Grand Rapids, MI. Greger has commented on this site in the past, and wrote a book that points the finger of blame for pandemic flu--and other health problems--to the poultry industry. Here, he tells the audience that a pandemic is inevitable.

CIDRAP also has a story on WHO treatment recs from yesterday, including the recommendation against steroid use.

Revere blogs this story, as well, noting that common standards for collection of clinical data would be just as important as common treatment standards.

ProMed has some facts on the great Turkey controversy in the UK.

Vietnam continues to research the bird flu vaccine.

The Kitchener ON pandemic plan is 283 pages long.

A pandemic drill was held in Houston.

Speech on small business continuity during a pandemic is delivered in LA.

Laos reports that people in rural areas are learning about bird flu.

A vet in Australia reminds the public that lack of media coverage does not mean the pandemic has gone away.

1 Comments:

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...

Orange;

I see your first article is about our favorite whipping boy, China.

Notice in the article, it states, “China is preparing to send updated virus samples”, and “it was trying to ensure samples are dispatched safely and smoothly”, and “the process of handing over the samples is still underway”.

We’ve heard this language before on many occasions. It’s government-speak for “go get stuffed”. We all suspect what the samples are likely to reveal, so actually receiving them soon is unlikely. Unless, that is, Margaret Chan herself jumps on a China Airlines flight and picks them up. This is a good suggestion Margie, take it and run with it.

I agree with you wholeheartedly Orange, your CIDRAP article about the two companies that have their own programs to supply their employees with Tamiflu, is outstanding. It is truly nice to read about two socially and corporate responsible companies these days, versus gouger’s like Exxon-Mobil executives, who are fully intent on record profits, as well as raping, pillaging and plundering the consumer public.

I have two quick points though: first, notice what drove Roche’s decision to do this – “We’re not even sure the doctors will be in their offices when the pandemic hits”. This is a very important point and I think this is a reasonably astute assumption. I doubt that you will see our friends Revere or DemFmCt writing articles and commenting on their websites during a pandemic. My second point and observation I have mentioned before: I really would not want to be a medical doctor, a pharmacist, or a Roche or PSEG employee when a severe pandemic hits.

Bad guys hold up 7-11’s now for mere pocket change just to support their nasty habits - everyone needs to use simple logic to deduce what lengths desperate panicked people will do, in order to obtain the only life saving drug available on the planet, during a pandemic.

The government will only be able to supply 6-10% of the US population with Tamiflu (currently), that leaves about 270M very hacked off people, immediately looking through their yellow pages. There will be many people out there who don’t plan on getting a prescription for Tamiflu, they intend on finding it and taking it.

Well, at least I agree with Dr. Michael Greger on one point: a flu pandemic is inevitable. I don’t agree with his agenda which places the spread of H5N1 firmly on large factory farms. I think he’s all wet on that one, but oh well, at least he’s getting the critical message out to the public. Even though it will be one more warning that goes mostly unheeded.

I notice in your second CIDRAP article, in the very last paragraph, it states, “a more detailed report from the meeting (Antalya, Turkey) will be published later in a scientific journal as updated WHO recommendations on H5N1 clinical management, the WHO said”. This detailed report should be interesting to mull over. Revere’s follow up comments on the meeting in Turkey and bird flu treatment, was kind of interesting. Reading between the lines: we really don’t have many medical options or treatments available at this time if a pandemic breaks out.

Maybe we should try to locate some elderberry extract, or at least plant a few elderberry bushes around out house, just as a last ditch fail-safe approach.

Finally, at long last, my two cents worth on the 283 page Kitchener Ontario regional pandemic plan article. I really locked in on Dr. Liana Nolan’s (regional medical officer) comment about the subject of quarantines during a pandemic. She states, “she has the power –if necessary – to cancel large gatherings such as parades and hockey games to control the spread of the virus. Schools may also be ordered closed. But Nolan said whe will not quarantine people because it’s nearly impossible to stop the spread of the flu this way”.

In my opinion, public medical officers everywhere will have to get there noses out of the medical textbooks and consider the use common sense approaches like the employment of limited quarantines, during a severe pandemic: there may well be multiple intensive deadly waves over the span of months and years occur.

If the public medical officers fail to implement quarantines, like the SARS experience (which is well documented), then the federal government, provinces and state authorities will step in to make these decisions and determinations, in order to prevent chaos and unrest. The purpose goes well beyond the classic medical textbook and research, and becomes one of mere survival and it may become necessary to partition sick areas from healthy ares.

The planet's survival has become so uncertain that any effort, any thought that presupposes an assured future, amounts to a mad gamble. (Elias Canetti)

Wulfgang

 

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