Tuesday, May 08, 2007

May 7 Flu Update

A woman died in Indonesia a few days ago of bird flu. She is the 75th death there. This is the first death anywhere in the world in weeks.

CIDRAP also on the Indonesian death, and a side note that the nation has yet to share any flu samples with WHO.

ProMed also has this story. Note that Indonesian deaths are not included in WHO death toll, beginning with the date that the nation quit sending samples to WHO. I think ProMed and others will come up with a backup official count, but in meantime, there is no official count.

Bird flu outbreak in Central Vietnam, despite hot weather. Reported yesterday.

Bird flu scare in India, where thousands of birds died and the farmer abandoned the scene. Tests are being conducted.

Poultry farmers in Ghana doubt that bird flu is really in that country.

Since the risk of bird flu is "negligible" France has backed off its bird flu precautions.

Australian Op-ed piece says global warming is the catastrophe de jour, and is driving the pandemic from the media.

Another good article from Malaysia on the importance of quick reactions and communication in a pandemic.

When these diseases first emerged, most governments were clueless and in a state of denial. They brushed them aside as trivial. Nonetheless, the matter was further compounded by the political ego of the ruling elites, lack of transparency and the inherent fear that media hype can cause unnecessary panic or pandemonium. Therefore communication regarding the diseases then was at best minimal.

Kentucky has updated its pandemic plan. It is six times longer than the plan from 2004.

"Our updated plan outlines the important measures to take by state and local governments, health-care providers, schools, businesses and, most importantly, individual citizens," said Dr. William Hacker, commissioner for public health.

University study says voluntary vaccination won't be enough during a pandemic.

CIDRAP on US report that it will do less testing of wild birds.

Meanwhile, Congressional Quarterly does an article on the uses of wild bird surveillance, hauling out metaphors like "smoke alarm" and "canary in the mine."

Effect Measure on one of Revere's favorite topics--headlines. Here, he examines headlines taken from the same story on CDC guidelines for respirators.

The Harvard Business Review did an excellent podcast on the topic of pandemic prep at businesses. Well worth a listen. Check out what the hated Wal-Mart corporation is doing...they are more efficient than the Federal Government, as they were during Katrina.

Clarion County, PA, is starting its pandemic planning from the right position...

"You can't expect the state and federal government is going to be here early on," he said. "We'll be on our own for a period of time."


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