May 22 Flu UpdateBird flu found in domestic poultry in Pakistan, 10,000 birds reported culled.
Third bird flu outbreak in Central Vietnam.
After arduous negotiations, WHO has a draft virus sharing agreement.
Scientific American has results of an important study. One of the sleeping giants of a pandemic is (in my opinion) absenteeism among healthcare workers. That includes healthcare workers who would be sick even without a pandemic, those who have pandemic flu, those with family members with pandemic flu, and those who don't show up out of fear. These absenteeisms will hamper the ability of the healthcare system to deal with a patient surge.
About 50 percent of the hospital workers said "yes" they would report to work, while 42 percent said "maybe" and 8 percent said "no, even if I would lose my job."
Doctors (73 percent) were more likely than nurses (44 percent) or other hospital personnel (33 percent) to indicate that they would report to work in the event of bird flu pandemic.
China has a food problem--related to, but not limited to, bird flu. Specifically, there are emerging consumer confidence issues on food produced in China, and bird flu outbreaks do not help the situation. My guess is this will drive them further underground, though it presents a wonderful opportunity to gain confidence through transparency.
HHS has a flu blog for five weeks--and it features some members of the real flu blogosphere. I really didn't think HHS had this in them, but it is surprisingly progresive. Good on ya!(CIDRAP reports)
Here's the link to the blog itself. Here's what Secretary Leavitt said in his first post... (and hey, no one asked me to participate, but I'm being a grown up about it).
In order to extend the value of this one-day conference, the Department of Health and Human Services is also hosting this blog summit as part of an ongoing effort by the Department to help Americans become more prepared. While the comments made on this blog may not always represent the views of the Department of Health and Human Services, we think there is value is having an open dialogue about this very important issue.
Revere (I wonder if he is going to be on the HHS blog?) notes that yesterday's news that OIE seems flu on the wane is at odds with other evidence--and that, to his view, things seem to be pretty much the same.
ProMed reports on OIE news from Vietnam and Bangladesh.
San Diego is doing pandemic awareness training.
The Turkey industry--wisely--is preparing for potential problems related to bird flu, after seeing what happened in Suffolk.