Monday, May 14, 2007

May 14th Flu Update

CIDRAP on the death in Indonesia, and more culling in Bangladesh---and news from other countries.

More on those birds in India testing negative.

Company in Ghana says it is not responsible for bird flu there.

CIDRAP reports on the World Health Assembly, and how virus sharing is high on the agenda.

In New Zealand, Tamiflu is now over the counter.

Effect Measure notes that there are some jobs which might be difficult to fill during a pandemic.

Taiwan kept out of WHO....says ouster will hurt battle against bird flu.

A Swiss official at the World Health Assembly says that flu remains the world's top health threat.

The US says it is promoting collaboration at the World Health Assembly.

The University of Iowa plans for a pandemic....

meanwhile, San Diego State University is helping California schools plan for a pandemic.


At 6:39 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Let’s see today – a little tiny country called New Zealand has the foresight to make Tamiflu available over-the-counter in all of their pharmacies, in order to dispense to the citizenry, as needed. This is a wise form of pre-deployment.

In the US here’s the situation as I see it: we can buy an assault rifle, an automatic handgun, contraceptives, Viagra, join the military and get sent to the rat hole Iraq and get killed, vote at age 18, get a passport, acquire credit cards, drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes until we kill ourselves and everyone around us, and eat ourselves to oblivion at fast food restaurants. Note: We can illegally buy crack cocaine, meth or marijuana on any busy street corner also.

It’s easier to go get all these things, than it is to lay your hands on Tamiflu tablets. The only hope one would have to avoid being plant fertilizer during an emerging pandemic. The governments of the US and Canada have stockpiled nearly all available supplies of the antiviral, and assure us all that it will be deployed in time to save us.

Isn’t there something wrong with this picture ? I believe so, in my simple educated mind. Without easy citizen access to Tamiflu, we are inviting and almost assuring disaster and chaos.

The other area where I am having extreme difficulty understanding the picture, is embedded in a statement in your article about “SDSU Helps California Schools Prepare for Flu Pandemic”. The article states, “The table-top exercise will include a scenario based on a plausible pandemic emergency during which participants develop a portion of a plan or analyze their existing plan, exercise their plan, and debrief the results”.

Would someone please define what a “plausible pandemic emergency” is ?

Is it based on true worst case 1918 like scenario, or are we talking about a few local epidemic sniffles or skin rashes ?

To the DOD, the largest military agency in the world, it means a minimum of 3M dead people, civil unrest, health care systems overwhelmed, collateral deaths, quarantines, and shortages of food, medicine and every other essential supply one can think of.

I have the distinct impression the largest school system in the US, located in California, is planning for a minor inconvenience, or four week temporary interruption, in their education system.

If we are going to get serious in our planning for the number one health threat of our lifetime, according to the World Health Assembly, we had better get synch’d up and clear up some of these fuzzy and incomplete pictures.



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