Wednesday, April 04, 2007

April 3 Flu Update

Siblings in Egypt had the bird flu. The country has ruled out H2H transmission in the case. I don't have any info on the dates of onset that might have helped determine if it was H2H or a common source of infection, which is very plausible as well.

In Kuwait, four foreign workers have been hospitalized with bird flu (These scares rarely pan out to anything.)

Egypt is bragging about a 68% survival rate for bird flu.

ProMed is reporting that there is a new human case in Indonesia, and as is increasingly common, she is dead when it is first reported. This also contains news about Egypt, H2H and the survival rate. Note mod comment.

The evidence for person-to-person transmission between the 2 Egyptian siblings is not strong since it has been established now that both children were exposed to the same batch of sick or dying birds.

The success of the Egyptian physicians in treatment of the most recent 5 cases (all young children) is encouraging and possibly due to prompt initiation o Tamiflu therapy. The overall survival rate of 59.4 percent for bird flu patients in Egypt contrasts with the survival rate of 21.7 percent rate in Indonesia (if the 72nd case is confirmed.

This will cheer up the flu world. Indonesia is talking about doing autopsies of people who die of bird flu. CIDRAP reports. Also in this report, the H2H news from Egypt, and a little nugget that Indonesia and Egypt are considering partnering in the research of bird flu.

This is all over the web. There is a new study that identifies antiviral resistance in Influenza B. Granted, even if it is B, it still could do the same thing for A. Effect Measure reports.

Promed also says Saudi Arabia reported an avian outbreak.

CIDRAP has its take on the story from yesterday on social distancing and the 1918 pandemic.

The Governor of Utah received bird flu recommendations from a commission.

Bird flu prep is part of Public Health Week in the US Virgin Islands.

School officials in Hampton Roads, VA, have finished their bird flu plan.

Bangladesh is holding a three-day bird flu seminar.

"Double dose" Tamiflu trials are going ahead.

Declan Butler has updated his Google Earth tracking of avian flu.

The Public Relations Society of America is having a seminar on keeping confidence high during a flu pandemic.

There's bird flu in West Virginia, but it is H5N2.


At 6:18 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


After reading your articles about Egypt and Indonesia, I find something’s a little odd. It is how the WHO apparently now determines if there is H2H transmission of the virus. In Egypt and Indonesia case’s, it’s their own health authorities who make this determination. Maybe I’m the only person on the planet earth, who finds it baffling that both countries are shoving Tamiflu into thousands of villagers and citizens to stave off an epidemic tidal wave, and yet they can efficiently rule out any H2H transmission determination. I can’t help but think there will be regrets someday by many parties that there was no independent verification and validation of this fact.

I don’t believe either country has a real clue how bad things really are, to be able to make that kind of determination, other than sheer guess-ti-mation. Survival rates of only 60% and 20%, respectively, represent “dismal” and “catastrophic” to me, and no amount of PR spin can change it. I do a good idea about really slashing the death rates, though… let’s “double up” on the Tamiflu doses. You’ll see what this is likely to cause in the link below.

The fact that Indonesia in now just considering recommending autopsies, several years after being constantly warned about H5N1 in their environment, means they are several years behind the power curve, with acquiring critical pathogenic information. I will wager that the health ministry takes no action on the recommendation. It will be “DOA”. I would be shocked if they implemented change. Maybe there’s some weak hope that the Egyptians can figure out what’s wrong with the autopsy picture in their country.

I see now that the Kuwaiti’s are reporting the four foreign workers ill with H5N1 infections, we know the reasons for the government health minister’s repeated denials.

I’m also collecting all annual articles on the merits and drawbacks of “social distancing” and “NPI’s”. So far, I have articles every year, covering 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and now 2007. I can’t wait to get my 2008 editions to see if there is anything different. Maybe by 2010 when I retire, someone will make some hard decisions or implemented regulations.

The Revere article on Tamiflu/Relenza resistance in influenza B, from Japan studies, and the speculation that there is probably similar anti-viral resistance in Type A also, is kind of interesting, if not surprising. In my view, at the current rate the third world countries (and Japan) are popping these huge volume’s of drugs, at what point will the influenza viruses be profoundly resistant ? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out this is where the whole gamut is headed, in my view.

Take a lookie at this linked article Orange, here’s the danger of shoveling mass quantities of Tamiflu into people:

Finally, we see the “Public Relations Society of America” is having a seminar on “keeping confidence high during a flu pandemic”. They should change the title of their seminar, which reads as follows: “Pandemic Flu – Keeping Public Confidence High When All Hell Breaks Loose”. They seem to be stressing the importance of clear public health messages about pandemic flu, along with the management of a joint information center.

In my view, sure we want good messages and information during a pandemic crisis, but still much better… when all hell breaks loose, most us want to the grocery shelves stocked, hospitals staffed with plenty of anti-virals and vaccines, our HCW’s protected, good law and order, and gas at the pumps. We don’t want to have to break out our own artillery to maintain law and order.

Every little thing matters in a crisis.

An old saying goes like this, “In a crisis, don't hide behind anything or anybody. They're going to find you anyway”.



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