Thursday, May 10, 2007

May 10 Flu Update

Time writes on the Indonesian standoff. Remember, an apparent deal had been struck, and then it was never followed up on. Here, we note some hurt feelings.

Now Indonesia Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari tells TIME that there's been a lack of "goodwill" from the WHO, and that Indonesia won't share a single virus with the international community until it receives a "green light" from the WHO that Jakarta would retain commercial control of its samples. "We feel let down by the WHO," she said in an interview last Friday. "We only demand fairness."

Revere evaluates everyone's position in this stand off.

The question to WHO was this: should a vaccine be administered before a pandemic starts? The answer is "equivocal." CIDRAP reports.

Article in India wonders (and wonders) if the scare over 2,000+ dead birds is worth it.

Sanovac has approval from the Chinese government to go to Phase II of vaccine testing.

A mere example of what we can expect during a pandemic...Thailand was returning a rare vulture to Mongolia. But, two countries would not let the bird through, on fears of bird flu.

Flu might actually have raised poultry prices in Indonesia by keeping supply down.

The European Commission is holding seminars on diagnosing bird flu.

New Zealand held a pandemic exercise on border control. Check out the photo if you want to feel confident...

Officials in California are preparing for a pandemic which could make more than 8 million people sick there. Here is a sage comment:

To Kuepper, even the ablest and quickest county response to a rampaging virus is only a holding action, something to buy time in hopes that researchers can quickly detect the virus and concoct a vaccine.

“Always wash your hands,” he concluded. “And pray for an effective vaccine.”

California writer reminds readers they should pay attention when there is an outbreak elsewhere in the world.


At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Lisa said...

I wonder what happened to Wulfgang. He disappeared on the day you posted the "No News Day". Maybe that was a turning point for him.

Where are you Wulfie? Are you eating your supply of Twinkies now and moving on to other, sexier, potential calamities?

At 1:14 PM, Blogger Orange said...

Don't know Lisa. I have wondered the same thing myself. I emailed him and didn't hear back. Could NO NEWS have been the breaking point??

At 10:47 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...

Orange, Lisa;

My computer started flashing and indicated something was up. I don't break that easily. Ha !

No mystery, I haven’t done anything radical, like die, and I’m not wearing an electronic ankle bracelet, although I have been accused by many of being seriously demented and psychotic.

Unfortunately, I have been extremely occupied lately by…work (no, I’m not retired, and yes, I still have to work for a living - I haven’t yet figured out an angle how to circumvent this). I haven’t received any e-mail, so I can legitimately claim ignorance, however, I must admit, I have the worlds best spam and virus blocker arrangement.

I will be back up churning out comments, probably just not as long as usual, or as frequent. Next week, there will be construction around my house, so I expect my internet line likely to get severed, so don’t be surprised. If I’m seriously unlucky, they will cut a gas line and you’ll read about me on the evening news.

Now my view on the news lately: on the bird flu front, I think we have an additional serious worry that is now bubbling to the surface, finally – the mystery illnesses of the swine in China that has been slowing spreading. This is worrisome, because of the lack of definitive information, identification of the specific virus contagion, and the obvious ramifications, since swine make the perfect near human mixing vessel for emerging diseases. We have all known about this mysterious swine disease for months, but as usual, the Chinese have instituted their version of a “news blackout” on the subject.

We have also seen a lot of news about the DOD Implementation Plan for Pandemic Influenza (and their military preparations) this week. Revere missed it completely in his commentary. Great medical and research practioner, but a lousy big picture strategist. The tempo of the government is indeed increasing with stepped up preparation. For instance, this announcement was issued just today, rather quietly:

This new directive requires that continuity plans be incorporated into the daily operations of all federal agencies and emphasis be placed on geographic dispersion of agency leadership, staff and infrastructure to keep key government services operating during an emergency. For instance – a pandemic.

Orange, recall the e-mail I sent you several weeks ago. I'm on top of it.

In addition, in many government agencies, international travelers are now being quietly “urged” to purchase private Med-Evac insurance, for the first time that I can recall… ever. No longer can there be an absolute assurance of State Department medical evacuation assistance to those stuck in other countries due to serious medical emergencies.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that there is an ever increasing level of concern.

I have not tapped into my twinkies yet, but I have consumed a few Butterfingers which reached their expiration date.



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