Thursday, April 26, 2007

April 26 Flu Update

The Thai Government says it is allocating 9B Bhat to fight bird flu. That's $257M. Note this phrase, emphasis added.

The Thai government has stepped up its preventive measures against the outbreak of Avian influenza -- bird flu -- in response to concerns that an outbreak is likely to take place later this year,

China says that it needs funds (??) and help to fight the bird flu.

"Just because an avian influenza pandemic hasn't happened yet, or because there is lower media coverage at times about pandemic flu, does not mean the very real threat has gone away," said World Health Organisation epidemiologist Nima Asgari.


World Bank funding for China to fight bird flu.

Roche now has more production capacity for Tamiflu than it does demand. So, they are going to cut back a little.

CIDRAP also has the Tamiflu story. Note research priorities for Roche.

CIDRAP also has the story from yesterday--an H5N1 vaccine stockpile might be possible.

Revere covers the news of the vaccine stockpile....chalking it up to a "poverty of imagination."

US State Department covers this story, too.

Is Edmonton planning to use Coldfx to quell a pandemic?

Taiwan continues to work on its flu vaccine.

Here's a new one....in China, a DVD piracy outfit was housed in a factory claiming to be doing bird flu research.

1 Comments:

At 5:39 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...

Orange;

I am pretty incensed with a couple of your articles today.

First, I cannot believe for the life of me, why China has been awarded a grant by the World Bank, in the amount of $ 2.65M to fight influenza. Liu Xiaoyun, a World Bank representative says, “the project will strengthen the detecting, diagnosing and reporting capacity of agriculture and health departments in the selected counties (Anhui and Liaoning). Well good for you, Liu, I guess the rest of the world doesn’t count much, does it ?

Now the two joke lines from Mr. Liu Xiaoyun: (1) “Useful experiences gained from the project will be shared with other counties in the country and worldwide”, and (2) “Also high on the project’s agenda is the establishment of a track record of credibility through the honest, accurate and timely disclosure of information about outbreaks to the people of China and the world”.

This is a travesty. You have got to be kidding me… not a nickel should have gone to China, until samples of it’s H5N1 strains were delivered to the WHO. Doesn’t this sound logical ?

The second thing that grinds my gear’s, is Indonesia: one of the six other “developing” countries chosen to receive $ 2.5M each, from the WHO, to establish in-country manufacturing capacity for flu vaccines. Indonesia, in particular, and contrary to what Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari and President Bambang Yudhoyono, would have you believe – is not an impoverished country by any means.

In fact, they can well afford to pay for their vaccine, in my opinion.

Indonesia is a major oil producer in the world: the country’s oil production is expected to reach roughly 1.125 million barrels per day in 2007. Multiply that by approximately $ 60 per barrel, and they are grossing, a whopping $ 68M per day in oil revenues alone. Divide $ 68M in one day, by 24 hours, and they gross nearly $ 3M per hour. About the time it took me to type this comment, they made $ 3M. As you can tell, it really gull’s me to hear these two clowns plead poverty, when in fact it is their entire country which is being mismanaged, by world standards. In fact, Indonesia’s GDP per capita ((total purchasing power divided by total population), is approximately $ 3,600 per person, well above India, Honduras, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Laos, Burma, North Korea, Kenya and Nigeria – just to name of few other countries. Indonesia made the same amount of the WHO grant money, in one hour, from its oil production.

In fact, Indonesia has the largest economy in Southeast Asia and it is the world’s largest Muslim country in the world. Indonesia’s main problem isn’t money, it’s that it corruption is rampant, foreign investment is severely restricted, and lack of security is a major problem. The revenue is there – it’s the weak, inept, incompetent, decentralized government that is the problem.

I can only conclude, that since China and Indonesia, are both withholding their avian virus strains, two things are taking place; they are both milking the WHO and World Bank like a world-wide gigantic entitlement program, and/or they are so infested with H5N1 strains, that they are hiding the facts. I suspect it is both.

Revere hit this situation right on the head: this is a “poverty of imagination” all right.

I would encumber national stockpiles of pandemic vaccines for these two jokers all right – right up to the pandemic - then all bets are off.

They both are main causes of the spread of H5N1 world wide, they don’t contribute virus strains, they are dishonest, corrupt and sucking the system.

A pandemic could launch itself from either country tomorrow, and not a person would be surprised.

Wulfgang

 

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