Thursday, May 31, 2007

May 31 Flu Update

Bird flu spreads in Vietnam, as farmers may be less vigilant against the virus.

A report says that the virus has changed in China and is now resisting the avian viruses in use there.

Reuters factbox on human bird flu cases.

ProMed on yesterday's fatality in Indonesia.

The US has finalized plans announced in March that will speed vaccine development.

Revere on why it is hard to prepare for pandemic flu. Notes avoided crises like Y2K--or, as I note, swine flu

Wisconsin public health official recognizes when you prepare for one crisis, you prepare for many.

Wales update--cases continue to emerge, including healthcare worker and hospital patient.

Antigua is developing a flu plan.

A couple North Carolina counties are also working on pandemic plans.


At 6:25 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I’d like to comment on Revere’s article, “The pain of pandemic prepping”, and add some fuel to the pandemic preparation fire, and why it makes very good sense. (I see you even took time to send in your two cents also – way to go on the Swine Flu comment).

There’s an aspect to pandemic preparation that everybody ignores – that is the almost immediate dramatic impact on consumer eating habits, should an avian pandemic occur.

In my opinion, we are all going to get pretty hungry if we don’t prepare. In fact, we probably better learn to be vegetarians, at least for a while. Let me explain my theory.

The entire world now thrives on and is totally dependent upon poultry (and other meat products as well) as a cheap source of protein, to support its annual growth rate of 100M people per year. Most of this production takes place in humongous “factory farms”. People the world over are addicted to these economical cheap protein sources, for example, (you guessed it): mainly, poultry meat and eggs. Global poultry consumption is highly concentrated and dominated by the US and China – our two countries alone produce over half of the world’s poultry products and 65 % of the world’s pork – and we consume over 70% of the world’s poultry and over 80% of world’s pork. In fact, worldwide, there are an estimated 1 billion pigs, 1.3 billion cows, 1.8 billion sheep and goats, and an astounding 13.5 billion chickens (give or take a few hundred million here or there). While the type of meat produced and consumed varies greatly across cultures and countries, predominately, chicken and pork are the favorite items on the dinner menu’s of most peoples.

As a segue, this unbelievable scale of massive world meat production has wreaked havoc on our environment and created the “perfect storm” for infectious animal and avian diseases (i.e. viruses) to mutate uncontrollably and transfer to humans. What’s really alarming is that there is a further shifting of emphasis from producing less pork, to more chickens, because this requires less feed and half as much water in the growth process. These massive quantities of diseased waste products produced by these livestock and poultry, not only pollutes the environment, but adds rocket fuel to the mutation process of swine and H5N1 avian virus mutations, especially.

One of the first impacts of an avian pandemic will be a significant loss of one of the world’s primary supplies of protein, in addition to the potential collapse of power grids, supply chains, overwhelmed health care facilities and petroleum products to fuel transportation. Note already, lines of Chinese people attempting to buy pork, are reportedly over one kilometer long, due to the porcine epidemic there, that has decimated their pork industry. This is only the tip of the iceberg – in a pandemic, the factory farms will no longer be able to produce or deliver to the market places.

Imagine the total obvious impacts of an avian pandemic, alone - not only on society’s infrastructure - but also imagine the not-so-obvious implication of a near complete shutdown of world poultry as a critical source of cheap food, as well. Include a collapse of the pigs, cows and sheep protein large factory farm deliveries and mass world starvation could very quickly result.

Bird flu is essentially a disease of poultry at the current time, but when it becomes a scourge of humans as well, not only will it effect the production and consumption of the cheapest source of protein in the world – it will cause unbelievable impacts to all the other daily things we take for granted on an every day basis as well.

And Revere himself says he doesn’t prep for a pandemic. I’ll bet he’s got the ol’ Pop Tarts stashed away in his medicine cabinet and is not admitting it.


At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Lisa said...

Dried beans are a good source of protein, and a cheap item to store in bulk in your basement. Get some recipes on how to prepare beans in different ways, and learn how to skin a rabbit or a deer, if you've got the means to take one down (ie. a gun). Those will be your protein sources for possibly a significant period of time.


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